Australia’s east coast is currently covered in dust and smoke from bushfires.
Washington is covered in bulldust.
Time to clear the air.
If you haven’t followed the Ukraine-Russia-Trump-Clinton saga for the past 18 months it is almost impossible to understand what is going on in the impeachment hearings in the US at the moment.
And if you followed the mainstream media, you might actually think that Trump did something wrong.
In which case, you would be wrong.
Or you might be a journalist with the mainstream media.
And you would also be wrong.
Here’s the truth: Trump did nothing wrong. These impeachment hearings – like the Russia garbage earlier in the year – are a giant nothing burger.
But because of the complexity, the truth has been hidden – even when the anti-Trump witnesses say very clearly that there was no quid pro quo, the media has been able to hide the ball because of the complexity.
So let’s lay out some facts.
The star witness against Trump was EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
Let’s see the G-Man in action:
With every question that @RepStefanik asks, Democrats' sham impeachment gets weaker and weaker.
Q: "You testified, 'President Trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the investigations?'"
Ambassador Sondland: "That's correct." pic.twitter.com/ZnKsoBp6PD
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 20, 2019
Here’s some of Sondland’s greatest hits as compiled by Trump’s team:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Here what it means in layman’s terms:
The hoax is OVER. It's done. They tried and failed. They didn't have one witness to testify that President @realdonaldtrump directed a Quid Pro Quo involving military aid. Not one! #TheFive pic.twitter.com/kwzSUp953P
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) November 21, 2019
Then yesterday, Fiona Hill spoke.
Hill is supposed to be a Ukraine expert.
She isn’t. How do we know? Because of this. The most important point is where she tries to say that Ukraine did not interfere in the 2016 election.
WATCH: Dr. Fiona Hill rebukes Republicans for repeating Russian propaganda, saying that Russia's goal is to "destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy."
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 22, 2019
Here’s what she says (if you can’t handle that oddly hypnotic accent):
Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.
The problem is that she is 100 per cent wrong. On the Ukraine part.
The truth is that BOTH Ukraine and Russia interfered in the 2016 election. She doesn’t seem to get that. Just because Russia interfered doesn’t mean that Ukraine didn’t.
And Ukraine did.
Ukraine did interfere and she should know that. Ukraine interfered on behalf of the Democrats for the Clinton campaign.
The enormous support Hill is getting on Twitter and elsewhere is a sign that she is backing the narrative the anti-Trumpers want and they know nothing about the history and events of the 2016 election.
What Hill did – and very few people picked up on – is conflate a theory that Ukraine hacked the Democrats and the server is in Ukraine.
This is discredited. But Trump believes it. Trump is wrong. So is Hill.
But the second theory is that Obama encouraged Ukraine to go after Trump campaign advisor Paul Manafort.
Here’s the summary from Andy McCarthy in The New York Post:
A Ukrainian court, in late 2018, concluded that two Ukrainian officials meddled in the election. And in 2018 House testimony, Nellie Ohr — who worked for Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign opposition research firm that produced the lurid and discredited Steele dossier — conceded that a pro-Clinton Ukrainian legislator was a Fusion informant.
When Republicans and most Trump supporters refer to evidence of Ukrainian collusion in the 2016 election, it is this collusion theory that they are speaking about. This theory is in no way mutually exclusive with the finding that Russia hacked the DNC accounts — it has nothing to do with the hacking.
There is nothing illogical in believing both that Russia hacked the Democrats and that Ukraine supported the Democrats.
Hill’s testimony aimed at obfuscating this viable theory of Ukrainian collusion, implying that it had been debunked and that to consider it is to lend aid and comfort to Russia, notwithstanding that many people who credit the Ukrainian collusion theory are more reliably hawkish on Russia than Democrats have been over the last 30 years — I included.
Hill even suggested that talk of Ukrainian collusion is the cause of the bitter divisiveness in American politics. Nonsense. The divisiveness is mostly attributable to an obsessively pursued but never credible and now-debunked theory that Trump conspired with the Kremlin to steal the 2016 election.
Critics of the Trump-Russia “collusion” theory don’t believe, and have never contended, that Ukraine hacked the Democrats. But that hardly means Ukrainian officials didn’t try to put their thumbs on the scale for Clinton.
The impeachment story is very complicated. They are using complexity to fudge the facts.
Don’t fall for it. Give it a few weeks and all this will be out in the open.