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Letters, Nov. 8

Extortion, not quid pro quo

Trump engaged in extortion, that is, blackmail, not a quid pro quo. Quid pro quo is misleading if not incorrect. Something for something implies that Trump said, You give me a public declaration you’re investigating Biden and I’ll give you weapons.

This is not the case. Rather, Congress had authorized $400 million in weapons for Ukraine to fight the Russian-backed separatists in the ongoing, grisly war in eastern Ukraine. Trump unilaterally stopped the delivery of these weapons to our beleaguered ally against Russia. He told the president of Ukraine, directly, through Guliani, and through ambassadors, you publicly announce an investigation of Biden, and start investigating, or you will never get these weapons. Weapons Ukraine needs and weapons the U.S. Congress authorized and directed.

This is blackmail. Extortion. Yes, it is something for something. However, when the U.S. something is already authorized and promised, it is not a simple exchange. It is the withholding of something already legally required (defensive weapons for Ukraine) for something illegal (dirt on Biden by Ukraine). Trump is acting, not for the first time, like a mafia crime boss. “Do me a favor ” even as the weaponry is withheld, and Ukraine has been informed of why it is being withheld.

Besides Trump benefiting from this gambit, who else? Putin, who is trying to destroy the Ukrainian democracy by backing, funding and directing the war in eastern Ukraine. So Trump was trying to get a twofer. Have Ukraine hurt Biden, and help Russia destroy Ukraine. The Cold War is getting hot again, and the U.S. is led by a pro-Russian crime boss.

Art Buck

Ashland

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