Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot unleashed on President Donald Trump's latest scandal he's calling Ukraine-gate. But when it comes to Republicans, he called them outright complicit.
In his Sunday column, Boot noted that a mob boss doesn't have to overtly say “pay up, or we will destroy your store” to be guilty of extortion. In Trump's case, he tends to say things in a way that it is understood what he wants people to do, according to former "fixer" Michael Cohen.
"It was sufficient that, according to the Wall Street Journal, in a July 25 call, Trump badgered [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky eight times to investigate Biden, before also withholding $250 million in military aid. The Ukrainians got the message whether the quid pro quo was explicitly laid out. As a Ukrainian official told the Daily Beast, 'Clearly, Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden, to take revenge for his friend Paul Manafort, who is serving seven years in prison,'” wrote Boot.
He went on to call it "one of the most shocking revelations of wrongdoing by Trump since he fired FBI Director James Comey (by his own admission) to squelch the investigation of his Russia ties."
Yet, still, Trump got away with it because there was no direct evidence that Trump's campaign knew what they were doing was illegal. By now, one would assume they would, yet the White House has continued to obstruct any investigation into Ukraine-gate.
"If there were any justice in the world, this would mark a turning point where Democrats find the courage to impeach and Republicans find the decency to stop defending the indefensible," Boot wrote.
Indeed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a "dear colleague" letter she released Sunday that if Trump and his administration continues to block any release of the whistleblower complaint to Congress "they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation."
Boot noted that on Sunday, Trump effectively admitted that he told Zelensky to investigate Biden and his family, but he claimed that it's also all a fake news story. How something can be both accurate and fake only makes sense in the president's brain.
To make matters worse, Trump ally Rudy Giuliani has compared Biden to a former VP forced to resign after bribery, extortion and tax evasion. Boot noted that Giuliani also claimed he has documents to prove his allegations but he's the only one who can see them.
"Both Trump and Giuliani know that the utter falsity of their slanders doesn’t matter: As long as they say it, some people will believe it, and others will shrug in frustration and say they don’t know what to believe," Boot wrote. "Trump’s sleazy lies are faithfully amplified by his lickspittle surrogates in the Cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and in Congress, such as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)."
Meanwhile, the GOP is silent. While they were eager to call former President Barack Obama unpresidential for wearing a tan suit, when it comes to a clear violation of the law, they'd just assume stay quiet to protect their white, right-wing judges.
"As long as Democrats do not proceed with impeachment — and perhaps even if they do — Trump has made clear that he will continue his all-out assault on the Constitution," Boot closed. "And Republicans — who congratulate themselves on their alleged devotion to the Constitution — will not do anything about it except to cheer him on."