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GUEST VIEW: Quid pro quo becomes quid pro no - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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GUEST VIEW: Quid pro quo becomes quid pro no

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Posted: Friday, November 8, 2019 5:30 am

Democrats and some Republicans in Washington, D.C. and the media throw around the term quid pro quo quite a bit these days with the intonation that it describes the ultimate evil, convincing me that they don’t really know what it means.

So I consulted the Merriam-Webster dictionary which defines it this way, “From a legal perspective, quid pro quo indicates that a good or service has been traded for something of equal value. In particular, quid pro quo is used explicitly to indicate that there has been ‘consideration’ in a contract, meaning that there are goods or services being delivered and that acceptable payment is made for these goods or services.”

The transcript for the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky never mentioned that military aid for Ukraine had been put under review the prior week, even as Trump asks the Ukrainian to do him a favor and help get to the bottom of the origins of the Russia-gate scandal.

In fact, according to an August 28, 2019 story in the left-wing D.C. web publication Politico, “Now, that funding is being called into question. The senior administration official, who asked to remain anonymous in order to discuss internal matters, said the president wants to ensure U.S. interests are being prioritized when it comes to foreign assistance, and is seeking assurances that other countries are ‘paying their fair share.’”

And it was this story which two of the Democrats’ key witnesses, Tim Morrison and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor testified alerted Ukrainian officials that the security assistance was being withheld.

Math majors will note that it took six weeks for the Ukrainian government to find out that U.S. security assistance was being evaluated by the Trump administration, a full five weeks after President Trump himself spoke with Zelensky. Not surprisingly, Zelensky has stated publicly that he did not feel pressured by the President to take any actions, largely because he was unaware that the U.S. was exerting any leverage on him to do anything.

Remember, a quid pro quo requires delivering goods in exchange for an acceptable payment.

An example of a quid pro quo in foreign policy would be former Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he directly threatened to withhold $1.2 billion of U.S. loan guarantees to the Ukraine if their government did not fire their prosecutor who says he was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma. The very same company had recently added the Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden, onto its Board of Directors in a heavily compensated position.

That would be a quid pro quo.

But what Adam Schiff and his impeachment mob would have us believe is that Donald Trump, the man who wrote “Art of the Deal” forgot the most basic part of any negotiation — leveraging something those you are negotiating with by threatening something they desperately want or need.

Occam’s Razor simply states, “The simplest solution is often the likely one.” In the weird case being manufactured by House Intelligence Committee to impeach Donald Trump, the American public is being asked ignore the simple explanation that the Ukrainian aid was withheld because the president wanted to ensure U.S. interests are being prioritized when it comes to foreign assistance, and is seeking assurances that other countries are “paying their fair share.”

The very complaint that the President voiced to Zelensky in the transcript of the July 25 phone call between the two men. Trump said, “I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you… A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s something you want to look at…”

To which Zelensky replied, “Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100 percent, but actually 1000 percent and I can tell you the following: I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her. I also met and talked with Macron and I told them they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner…”

One thing, if nothing else, is very clear, House Democrats demonstrate that foreign policy quid pro quos are acceptable as normal behavior to them due to their lack of outrage over the Biden brag which resulted in a giant yawn.

If there was an honest bone in the crumbling corpse of the House Democratic leadership, they would drop this increasingly bitter and divisive attempt to throw out President Trump. Sadly, it appears that House Democrats are bitterly clinging to the raw emotion of today.

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