Dispatch September 24, 2019

Impeachment Toplines and Background


  • Donald Trump is engaged in an effort to deprive America of a free and fair election in 2020 and will not stop unless someone stops him.
  • His defining characteristic of putting his own interests ahead of the country’s has brought us to a breaking point.
  • Trump appears to have used foreign assistance funding – taxpayer dollars that Congress appropriated – to extort a foreign government to attack his political opponent.
  • Even the act of asking Ukrainians to launch an investigation of a Trump opponent, which the president freely admits to, is an impeachable offense.
  • This was not an isolated call, but rather a pressure campaign obsessively pursued with the help of multiple Cabinet officials, abuse of government resources, and inappropriate contact with shady business interests and other hangers-on.
  • Trump has left the Speaker and House Democrats no choice but to start a full-scale impeachment.


  • Despite increasingly contradicting stories, Trump confirmed over the weekend that he’s been pressuring Ukraine’s president to open an investigation involving Hunter Biden.
  • In 2016, Trump publicly called on Russia to deliver dirt on his opponent, which they immediately tried to do.
  • This past June, he confirmed that he’d be happy to accept foreign help again in 2020.
  • The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed last week that he has been helping Trump pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
  • Giuliani has been pushing conspiracy theories about Biden in the press since at least May, and has met with current and former Ukrainian officials to press them to dig up dirt on Biden on the president’s behalf.
  • This story has spilled into the center of political conversation because the Trump administration is breaking the law to hide an intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint.
  • While Congress still needs to see the full whistleblower complaint, public reporting so far has uncovered that the intelligence community member was sounding the alarm about Trump’s corrupt conversations with the Ukrainian president.
  • In response, Trump and his Republican accomplices in Congress are attacking the whistleblower.
  • Their latest plays are ones we’ve seen over and over again: First, Trump said he’d let a “respected source” review the transcript of the call to confirm he did nothing wrong.
    • That’s exactly what he did with the Mueller report, letting Attorney General Bill Barr give multiple misleading summaries before anybody else was allowed to read it.
    • It’s also how President Richard Nixon tried to cover up the Watergate tapes, offering to let a trusted (and hard-of-hearing) senator listen to the tapes to clear Trump of any wrongdoing. The proposal was immediately rejected.
    • Then, Trump said he would release a transcript of his phone call with Zelensky—which, according to multiple reports, was only one part of the whistleblower complaint the White House is still withholding from Congress.
  • The difference collusion in 2016 and now is that Trump now has the weight of the U.S. government behind him. At least two cabinet-level officials—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin—have given interviews effectively signing off on Trump’s actions.