A typical GOP senator’s shell game

A typical GOP senator’s shell gameA typical GOP senator’s shell game

The first step in this shell game is to eliminate the importance of the “quid pro quo.” Asked by host Margaret Brennan whether a quid pro quo for the president’s political benefit would be appropriate, Kennedy sidestepped: “Here are the two possible scenarios. Number one, the president asked for an investigation of a political rival. Number two, the president asked for an investigation of possible corruption by someone who happens to be a political rival. The latter would be in the national interest. The former would be in the president’s parochial interests and would be over the line.” You may have noticed that Kennedy’s two distinct scenarios are, in fact, one scenario. It is literally impossible for the second scenario not to also be the first scenario and vice versa. But by pretending there is a distinction, the investigation of a political rival can be cast by Kennedy or another Trump defender as the investigation of someone “who happens to be a political rival” — a far less sinister action. The second step is to muddy the discussion of the president’s motive. Kennedy summarized how he’d assess motive this way: “Did he have a culpable state of mind? For me, Margaret, there are only two relevant questions that need to be answered. Why did the president ask for an investigation? And, number two — and this is inextricably linked to the first question — what did Mr. Hunter Biden do for the money?” Here Kennedy offers one question that actually matters and one ...
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