So many big whoppers in Coulter’s Oct. 1 column, you’d think her avatar, Trump, was Burger King, rather than president.
Start with: No, Ann, the Ukraine scandal isn’t about the whistleblower. It’s about the president. It doesn’t matter whether Christine Blasy Ford, Coulter’s choice (to raise the spectre, to the base, of a uncorroborated accusation), or Lassie’s ghost (can a dog?) uncovered it.
Trump demands to meet his accuser face-to-face. Any mirror will do. Trump’s own redacted transcript of the Zelenskiy call and his personal lawyer’s admissions establish that Trump withheld millions in military aid for Ukraine authorized by Congress(!), and used the withholding period to repeatedly pressure Zelenskiy to find dirt on Biden, Trump’s front-running political rival, and for Ukraine to claim responsibility for the 2016 Russian election interference. No more is needed to merit a Congressional investigation.
It gets worse. Trump stalwart Tom Bossert, his top homeland security adviser, repeatedly told Trump that the Ukraine-not-Russia notion was “completely debunked,” but Trump was unable to let that go, or the equally unsupported notion of a Ukraine/Biden scandal.
Corruption and a lack of ethical constraints are compounded by delusional obsessions by the guy with the nuclear codes. Trump knew his behavior was wrong; he avoided formal State Department channels, using Guiliani instead to pressure Zelenskiy; he immediately tried to hide the transcript of the call.
Coulter starts a theme with: “Trump said there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son … Biden went around bragging he stopped the prosecution.”
We’ve seen from Sarah Sanders with her statement that “countless” FBI agents told her they had lost confidence in Comey, that phrases like “lots of people have told me” are White House jargon for “I made it up.”
Coulter, however, immediately assumes not only that Trump was actually told that, but also that Biden actually said what Trump attributes to him, and even further, that it is true that Biden stopped a Ukraine corruption investigation. Ann, a lawyer who called Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh “mere accusation” even after hours of sworn testimony and cross-examination, accepts double- and triple-hearsay as irrefutable.
Back to whoppers.
The Russian election interference scandal was not hatched by Hillary Clinton; this is a wholesale, pants-on-fire fabrication, designed to feed upon another of Trump’s obsessions popular with his base.
The government was already investigating, even prior to the Steele Dossier; the agent Steele talked with was familiar with his concerns. Obama, before the election, discussed Russian interference with Congressional leaders, but McConnell strenuously protested making it public before the vote. Coulter’s viewing the election scandal as a Democratic gambit to explain “how Americans could put this boob in the White House” (her words) puts an effect before the supposed cause.
Several different intelligence agencies, some in coordination and others independently, using highly sophisticated electronic intelligence methods, concluded that Russia was behind the 2016 election interference. That conclusion was not, as Coulter insists, solely based on the word of one cybersecurity firm.
Mueller, a lifelong Republican and prosecutor, did not obtain indictments against a dozen or so Russian operatives on so flimsy a basis, but could trace the false social media accounts, trolls, postings and emails to specific Russian computers. A whopper with cheese and fries!
Coulter claims the Mueller investigation turned up “goose eggs.” Beyond the indictments and convictions arising from the investigation, the report detailed many improper contacts by the Trump campaign with Russian operatives; these fell short of prosecutable criminal conduct only through campaign incompetence and, where knowledge of the law is an element of the crime, ignorance.
The report discussed more than a half-dozen instances for which sufficient evidence existed to prosecute once presidential immunity lapsed, or for Congress to follow up on. Golden goose eggs for the Trump resistance?
I fully respect Ann Coulter’s right to lie in support of her political favorites. That is an historic American tradition, a right within the penumbra of the First Amendment. But, Ann, don’t sell horse meat as beef. Respect our intelligence.
Jed Somit is a resident of Kapaa.