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The commentaries about “no quid pro quo” have really plucked a nerve. Those advancing this argument are taking a page out the Republican playbook to accuse the other guy of doing exactly what you are doing. In this case it’s playing word games, although I do agree Adam Schiff could have done a much better job of recapping the evidence in a less partisan way.

I watched every minute of the hearings live on CSPAN so there is no hearsay as to what I heard out of the witness’s mouths. I also had the advantage that jurors have in seeing the body language of those testifying and determining the truthfulness for myself. I can tell you the ones with the hearsay were a lot more believable than the ones trying to defend Trump by parsing every word to make it as good for him as they could without perjuring themselves.

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What I saw was the Republicans using all of their time to deflect from the facts creating “red herring” and “straw man” arguments that are not admissible in a court of law. In cases where the defendant is claiming the fifth, refusing to let firsthand witnesses testify, etc., the judge is fully entitled to include a jury statement to the effect that hearsay information can be used should the jury find a preponderance of the testifiers are independently telling the same story.

Actually, the Republicans haven’t even contested the facts. We all heard Nick Mulvaney on TV say it was indeed a “quid pro quo,” get over it. Ambassador Gordon Sondland was not hearsay — he said it was perfectly clear that in order to achieve their goal of delivering the weapons approved by Congress to the Ukrainians that they desperately needed they would have to go along with the Giuliani plan.

Some also argue that quid pro quos are not illegal. Yes, we do use them often in politics to get countries to implement the policies that we think are best for them. The point where they become illegal is when we use them to dig up dirt on one’s political opponent.

In answer to the argument made that they got the weapons being proof there was no wrongdoing, I would like to point out that someone I barely knew through a third party received an 18-year prison sentence for a bank robbery he only planned but was stopped from doing. The scheme was only called off and the weapons released once Trump new about the whistle blower outing his scheme.

The first thing they did was to lock up any notes or anything to do with this in a highly secure location where they were hoping they would never be found. Then the true sign he is guilty: The Don called the Ukrainian president and went out of his way to use the “no quid pro quo wording” which he and his operatives continue to repeat over and over to establish the alternate truth. Oh yeah, CNN had already begun to tease the exclusive interview with the Ukrainian president that was canceled without explanation.

Biden’s son was a private citizen. He fell into what is known as a honey pot trap in which he was offered a high-paying job and took it not realizing the implications on his father’s career. This is old news that has been fully investigated. We knew about this when Trump took office. If he really was so concerned wouldn’t he have investigated long ago?

Just a coincidence that Biden emerged as his potential opponent in the next election? I doubt it. Besides if corruption really bothered him he would look into the patents worth millions his daughter got from the Russians while on duty as a U.S. representative or the close to $1 million payment his personal attorney at the time took from AT&T to curry favor in their merger with Time Warner.

Let’s cut to the chase. What we are really talking about here is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat could become open at any second and the Republicans will never see anything the POTUS does as rising to high crimes and misdemeanors until after they have that seat in their column. Even if that means tearing apart and demonizing one of the best nonpartisan diplomatic corps that any country ever had. Even if that meant denying the weapons to an ally which virtually would have given Putin the green light to finish the takeover and once again create a Soviet Union.

As to the president having his day in court? The House hearings are the equivalent to a grand jury where evidence rules are a lot more lenient. He will have his day in court in the Senate and I already told you why the verdict on that one is already in.

Steven Davidson writes from New Windsor.

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