November 20, 2019
It's not "Quid Pro Quo"

…It's "Bribery," pure and simple, says Tony Piel:

“Quid Pro Quo” is NOT the term to use when describing President Trump’s current Ukraine fiasco. The correct term is “Bribery,” pure and simple. It makes a Constitutional difference.

“Quid Pro Quo” is a first-year law school term to describe when a supposed agreement is or is not a legally enforceable “contract.” It is a short-hand way of saying that something is to be given or received, and both parties expect to be legally bound by “performance” of contract. For larger sums or values, a legally enforceable contract must usually be written, signed and dated by both parties. Without “Quid Pro Quo” there is no contract. In the Ukraine fiasco, no one has suggested that Presidents Trump and Zelensky had intended, made or signed a legally enforceable contract. Contract law is not what it was all about.

“Bribery,” by contrast, means offering something (a “bribe”) in order to solicit or influence the actions (i.e. misbehavior) of an official or other person in violation of law or public duty. Bribery is itself a crime, and even if it fails it’s still the crime of attempted bribery. In the Ukraine fiasco, Bribery is exactly what is alleged, namely Trump’s withholding of $ 391 million worth of Congress’ appropriated military aid (intended to protect Ukraine from invasion by Putin’s Russia) in order to influence Zelensky to make a public announcement of a (frankly non-existent) Ukrainian investigation of (equally non-existent) “corruption” by Trump’s personal campaign opponent, Joe Biden, in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Soliciting (by Trump) or making (by Zelensky) such a false statement violates international as well as US national election law. It’s a perfect example of “Bribery.”

Article II of the US Constitution anticipates the problem and provides the clear solution: “A President shall be removed from office on impeachment and conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes.” There’s nothing about “Quid Pro Quo.” It’s all about “Bribery.” The remedy: Removal from office. If not by impeachment, then by vote. Why ? (1) For unsuitability for high office, (2) for abuse of presidential power, and for violation of US law and the US Constitution. It’s that pure and simple.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at November 20, 2019 05:04 PM
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Actually, the crime involved is good old-fashioned gangland extortion. As in, "Nice country ya got here, Zelinsky. Be a shame if something should happen to it and the Russians took it over."

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Posted by: The New York Crank on November 22, 2019 10:24 AM
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