Editorial: If attaching strings to foreign aid is impeachable, cancel it all

A photo of President Donald Trump overlaid on a USAID Foreign Assistance Database map.

Transcripts of the testimony of two more of Rep. Adam Schiff’s star closed-door hearing guests have been released. But what they show is not the damning “quid pro quo” that Democrats have so far been using as a pretext to impeach a duly elected President and overturn an American election. In fact, the transcripts show that much of what Democrats have been claiming about President Trump in their impeachment frenzy is just not true.

Fiona Hill, one of the guests touted by the mainstream media, admitted she was not on the phone call in question. In fact, Hill admitted to having no firsthand knowledge of the call and undermined claims about the quid pro quo.

Alexander Vindman, another of Schiff’s star guests, confirmed that Ukraine didn’t even know that aid had been withheld and admitted to the intelligence committee that his belief in the “quid pro quo” was only his opinion.

Ukrainian President Zelensky also said, before the whole world, that there was no quid pro quo.

Contrast this with the video of Joe Biden, bragging about the time he told Ukrainian officials that the United States would suspend foreign aid if the country didn’t fire a prosecutor who was investigating the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, that his son Hunter worked for.

On the campaign trail right now, both Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are promising to suspend foreign aid to Israel if the Jewish nation doesn’t change their policies toward Gaza.

Sanders, in a speech said, “I would use the leverage, $3.8 billion is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or for that matter to any government at all.”

You can disagree with Bernie Sanders’ approach to the specific policy on trying to force Israel to soften up on Gaza – many, many do. But the idea that an American President can use foreign aid to spur policy changes or specific actions in the receiving nation is not new or illegal.

Sanders and Warren are threatening to pull the rug out from under Israel, America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, if they do not soften up on hostile actors in a region from which rockets are often fired at their cities. They are openly saying this. If President Trump were to say something similar about a foreign nation how would they react?

More relevant to the topic at hand, what Sanders’ statement does is expose, in no uncertain terms, that foreign aid should come with some strings and expectations. The exact scenario that the media could spin into the dreaded quid pro quo.

United States taxpayers provided almost $50 billion in economic and military foreign aid in 2018 alone. That’s enough to give every retired worker in America about a $1,200 per year increase in their social security.

How can we not expect that our foreign aid will come with expectations, even demands, for some things to get done?

Reasonable people can debate about the propriety of any particular foreign aid arrangement. If Joe Biden was, in any way, using foreign aid as a way to call off a corruption investigation to protect his son, that would be worth knowing, and investigating.

In President Trump’s defense, the United States has a treaty with the nation of Ukraine to guarantee cooperation in matters of criminal investigations. He doesn’t even need to use foreign aid to get to the bottom of the Biden situation.

The argument against President Trump asking for Ukraine to look into Burisma is that it involves the actions of a candidate of the opposing party, therefore it is off limits – this paints a perfect picture of why Americans are rebelling against America’s political ruling class.

President Trump sure didn’t get that kind of special treatment from the Obama administration when the deep state was apparently running rampant abusing the FISA process to create a Russian collusion conspiracy as an “insurance policy” in case Trump won the 2016 election. Just ask Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Or James Clapper. Or Susan Rice. Or maybe John Brennan.

The Trump vs. Biden situation aside, the entire national conversation right now suggesting that attaching strings to foreign aid is akin to an impeachable offense or treason is absurd. It is so absurd it almost looks like a social experiment to see how far the mainstream media can stretch the credulity of the American public.

The latest coup attempt from the far left in Washington D.C. hinges on a still unproven quid pro quo with a country that has a track record of corruption in business and government. The entire basis of the inquiry so far relies on an unfounded accusation followed by criminalizing a President allegedly attaching strings to foreign aid. This despite the fact that the top three Democrats running for President all openly admit to or say they would use the same tactics.

American taxpayers send tens of billions of dollars per year to foreign countries, some of them third world dictatorships. We should expect something for our money. We should never expect our leaders to just send airplanes carrying pallets loaded with cash to foreign countries, should we?

So if we are going to criminalize a President attaching strings to foreign aid, just cancel all foreign aid tomorrow and give America’s social security recipients a nice monthly increase – they deserve it more than those third-world dictators anyway.

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