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Glenn Kirschner: Don't Call It 'Quid Pro Quo' When It's Extortion And Bribery

"Quid Pro Quo" is for small potato, non-criminal enterprises. On Stephanie Ruhle's show, Kirschner argues, the fate of entire countries hung in the balance.

Let's call a thing a thing, shall we?

Yesterday, our intrepid Managing Editor, Karoli Kuns tweeted thusly:

This very morning, on Stephanie Ruhle's show, Glenn Kirschner joined the chorus when Ruhle asked him about doing away with the term "quid pro quo" when referring to the criminality of what the Trump administration pulled in Ukraine. Specifically, she asked if that term helped the American people understand what went on there. Kirschner's response was fire.

KIRSCHNER: Yeah, no, "quid pro quo" is a quaint and confusing little Latin term that I think we should completely move away from. We have two things here -- we have bribery and we have extortion. Bribery, Steph, is nothing more than giving a public official money or some kind of an inducement to take an official act. That's what Trump did. He told Zelensky, "I am withholding this aid." That's an inducement. You can bribe somebody by withholding something they have a right to. And he told Zelensky, "I'm withholding this aid until you announce your dirty investigation into Biden." That's bribery. Extortion is -- let's take the stereotypical example -- "I will burn your house down if you don't give me money." What did Trump do? He basically said, "I will let Russia burn your country down by withholding this military aid unless you announce a dirty investigation into Biden." You know, often when somebody commits a criminal act, Steph, it violates multiple statutes. This does, both bribery and extortion. But we know bribery is one of the big four in the Constitution -- treason, bribery, high crimes, misdemeanors. Let's go with bribery because it is that.

RUHLE: Behind Door Number Three, Glenn is going with bribery.

Seriously, if the goal is to help the public understand the basics of why impeachment is happening, and why Trump should be expelled from the Oval Office, put things in terms as many people as possible can understand. Especially the people who voted for him.

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