Republicans should know by now not to go full Devin Nunes, but they are desperate and have decided they must. According to CBS News and the New York Times, they have prepared a report echoing all of Vladimir Putin's favorite talking points, including the claim that it was actually Ukraine who interfered. This, in spite of the fact that the Senate Intelligence Committee has already dismissed that theory as nonsense.
CBS News quotes the report as saying, "The evidence shows that President Trump holds a deepseated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption."
“There is also nothing wrong with asking serious questions about the presence of Vice President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, on the board of directors of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian company, or about Ukraine’s attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election," it continues.
Of course, Hunter Biden is irrelevant, and Dr. Fiona Hill already laid waste to the nonsense about what Trump's deep-seated skepticism is, in sworn testimony. But hey, when did any facts make a difference?
Here's what they're going with:
“Publicly available — and irrefutable — evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump’s candidacy, and that some in the Ukrainian embassy in Washington worked with a Democrat operative to achieve that goal,” they maintain. “While Democrats reflexively dismiss these truths as conspiracy theories, the facts are indisputable and bear heavily on the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.”
Except none of these "facts" have been presented in the form of evidence because there ARE no facts to this effect.
Alexandra Chalupa testified about these ridiculous accusations in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. POLITICO reports on the Ken Vogel January 2017 article and her testimony:
The Senate interview largely focused on a POLITICO article published in January 2017, according to a person with direct knowledge of the closed-door hearing, in which Chalupa was quoted as saying officials at the Ukrainian Embassy were "helpful" to her effort to raise the alarm about Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort in 2016.
“If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with," she said at the time. She cautioned, however, that the embassy was “very careful” not to get involved politically because of the bipartisan support Ukraine has traditionally enjoyed from U.S. lawmakers. As the POLITICO article noted, there was “little evidence” of a “top-down effort” by the Ukraianian government to sabotage Trump’s campaign. And the article did not allege that Poroshenko “actively worked” for Clinton, as Kennedy claimed.
In her Senate testimony, Chalupa denied serving as an intermediary between the Ukrainian embassy and the DNC and said she had been targeted by a Russian active measures campaign. Intelligence officials have since briefed senators on Russia’s attempts to pin blame for the 2016 interference on Kyiv as part of a disinformation operation, according to a source familiar with the briefings, which were first reported by the New York Times.
All of this means that Republicans have decided the best defense is a pack of lies crafted by the Russian president and honed by his American servant, Donald Trump.
Which leads to a dark and real conclusion:
The darkest conclusion I come to here is that the Republicans feel confident they can lie for as long as they can draw air, and that they will pay no price for lying. Ever.
And they might be right. https://t.co/rc7uiGqRm4
— John Stoehr's Editorial Board (@johnastoehr) December 2, 2019