- - Thursday, September 26, 2019

More and more, on the issue of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her House Democrats are so far out over the tips of their skis that they remind me of Vinko Bogotaj.

Mr. Bogotaj is the 22-year-old Slovenian ski jumper whose spectacular ski jump crash became the iconic image showing “the agony of defeat” in the video montage used to open the old TV show, ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.”

After the release of the transcript of the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are crashing downhill at full, skull-breaking speed. Mr. Bogotaj himself would be proud.

Virtually everything Democrats told us about this phone call turns out not to have been true.

It began, you will recall, with the allegation that the president had “promised” something to Mr. Zelensky. Then that allegation morphed into a reverse promise – that Mr. Trump had threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Ukraine if Mr. Zelensky did not do what Mr. Trump demanded. Mr. Trump had referenced former Vice President Joe Biden’s name eight times, it was reported.



None of these things, it turns out, is accurate. The transcript reveals no quid pro quo, no commingling of offers, or threats, with asks.

Instead, the transcript of the 30-minute phone call reveals that President Trump used the name “Biden” a total of three times, not eight — once in reference to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, and twice to Mr. Biden himself — over a total of two sentences about two-thirds of the way into the phone call.

Reads the transcript: “The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General that would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”

That’s it.

Yet, Democrats continue to press forward with their “official” impeachment inquiry. Said Speaker Pelosi Wednesday morning, before she had even read the transcript: “The fact is that the president of the United States, in breach of his constitutional responsibilities, has asked a foreign government to help him in his political campaign, at the expense of our national security, as well as undermining the integrity of our elections. That cannot stand. He will be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

In Mrs. Pelosi’s view, asking the new Ukrainian president to investigate what happened in 2016 is “help” to the Trump re-election campaign, and that is a “breach” of his “constitutional responsibilities.” What rubbish.

This is only news because Mr. Biden is running for the Democratic nomination for president. If he were not running now, there would be nothing at all remarkable about an American president asking a new Ukrainian president to look into what may or may not have happened years ago.

Mrs. Pelosi says, “no one is above the law.” I agree. But no one is below the law, either. Should the fact that Mr. Biden is now running for president be allowed to shield his previous activities from investigation? Mr. Biden never should have done what he did in 2016 in the first place — once his son accepted a paid position on the board of directors of a Ukrainian company, Mr. Biden should have been conflicted out of having anything to do with Ukraine. Instead, he traveled to Ukraine and threatened to withhold a billion dollars’ worth of U.S. aid if the Ukrainian government did not immediately fire the very prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company — and then later bragged that he had succeeded in having that prosecutor fired.

I don’t know if Joe Biden’s son did anything wrong in Ukraine. But I do know you’d have to be blind not to see the conflict of interest in the former vice president doing what he did. To think that no one should investigate that because he is now, years later, running for president, is absurd.

Democrats claim that President Trump believes himself to be “above the law.” The truth is the exact opposite — it is the Democrats, not President Trump, who believe they can act in their own interest with impunity. Mr. Biden never should have traveled to Ukraine, let alone threatened to cut off aid to Ukraine, after his son started taking money from a Ukrainian company.

Next year, the voters will render their verdict — and I’ll wager Democrats will be disappointed. Again.

• Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.

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