• Sigh … Release of Trump/Ukraine Transcript Will Settle Nothing

    Surge Summary: Yesterday, the White House released a “transcript” of the much-talked-about conversation between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine. What was clear immediately: It will do nothing to settle this controversy. 

    The phrase “Rorschach Test” was uttered a number of times on the heels of yesterday’s release of the much-touted Trump/Ukraine-phone-call transcript.

    Also known as the “inkblot test”, the Rorschach Test,  is “a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological  interpretation”. A person is shown an image, asked to report what he sees, and the evaluation of the individual goes on from there.

    Many noted, correctly it seems, people’s opinions of the worth or worthlessness of the released transcript will turn completely on what they already think of Donald Trump. Trump-haters will see iron-clad proof of quid pro quo nefariousness; those who believe the President can do no wrong will see dazzling vindication of his pristine innocence.

    To review the basics:

    During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, over allegations that the former vice president used his position to help a Ukrainian energy company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter was appointed to its board of directors.

    On Tuesday, Trump admitted that he temporarily withheld military aid from Ukraine that was intended to help the country ward off Russian aggression, prompting suspicion of a quid pro quo scheme. If a quid pro quo deal was struck, it may constitute a campaign finance law violation since a foreign national, Zelensky, would have been providing Trump’s campaign assistance in the form of opposition research on his chief political rival, Joe Biden.

    The White House on Wednesday released a partial transcript of the call, which revealed Trump did in fact ask Zelensky to help Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani investigate Biden’s influence in firing a Ukrainian prosecutor. [Mairead McArdle/National Review]

    Pundits were all over the place concerning what the text of the conversation uncovered. Over at the site of National Review magazine alone, reactions went in scattershot directions. David French – not a fan of the president – insisted the conversation between the world leaders clearly “contains evidence of a quid pro quo”. Kyle Smith shrugs: “Where’s the smoking gun? … I still think the House will not vote to impeach the president, based on what we know now.” NR’s editor, Rich Lowry concludes the aired text is “suggestive, but obviously not a smoking gun.”

    On his Wednesday podcast Ben Shapiro announced the transcript shed “more shadow than light” on the debate. An overview by The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson was titled: “That’s It? Seriously? It Ain’t Good. But It Isn’t Impeachable.”

    This smattering of reaction from America’s conservative punditocracy confirms: the release of this transcript will resolve nothing. The President and his supporters will continue to dismiss the entire matter as another “witch hunt” against him. The hyperventilating Mainstream Media and Leftists will shriek “quid pro quo! … Impeach!”

    “Anti-Trump partisans see major corruption; pro-Trump partisans see a nothingburger,” proffers Kyle Smith.  Once more, it all depends on how they felt about Trump before this newest controversy ever emerged.

    By the way, if the goal was to put this controversy to rest, it probably doesn’t help that this transcript as the media now has it is supposedly not the actual, complete, verbatim record of the two leaders’ discussion but, as Kyle Smith points out “just detailed notes, possibly incomplete”.

    Good grief. That fact alone will render it unacceptable to those fixated on taking down Donald Trump.

    No, this alleged scandal is going nowhere near being definitively wrapped up. Polls show the American people are not enthusiastic about an impeachment initiative against the current Chief Executive but, as has become an exhausting pattern, the Democrats and Lefty Media are so riveted on crushing Trump that, with Three-Stooges levels of chaotic energy they are overreaching. It continues to be true: the best advantage Donald Trump possesses is the quality of his enemies: slavering, frenzied, fatally, self-servingly overconfident.

    Get used to hearing the words “Trump”, “Ukraine” and “quid pro quo” balefully lumped together. For a long time.

    Image: Screen Shot; ABC Nightline; Donald Trump/Volodymyr Zelensky; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlvMAWX5AXY

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