Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez becomes emotional as he speaks to reporters in front of the courthouse in Newark, N.J., Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The federal bribery trial of Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday when the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on all charges against the New Jersey politician and a wealthy donor. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig;

 

After reading the transcript of President Trump’s July 25th telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, the repellent chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-CA) said, “This is a classic Mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader.”

As the Democrats and the mainstream media spiral out of control over President Trump’s July 25th telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr, two exchanges between Democratic senators and Ukrainian officials involving actual quid pro quo have surfaced.

In May 2018, Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez (NJ), Dick Durbin (IL) and Patrick Leahy (VT) sent a letter to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko pressing his office to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Two days before the senators wrote this letter, the New York Times reported that Ukraine had frozen investigations related to the Mueller probe.

The senators remind Lutsenko of everything the U.S. has done for his country and essentially tell him, it would be a shame if that were to end.

The letter begins with the senators expressing their “great concern about reports that your office has taken steps to impede cooperation with the investigation of United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

It discusses the progress Ukraine has made with U.S. support and tells Lutsenko they are “disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these principles in order to avoid the ire of President Trump.”

The senators note that by freezing the investigations, Ukraine is “thereby eliminating scope for cooperation with the Mueller probe into related issues…If these reports are true, we strongly encourage you to reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation. As strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine, we believe that our cooperation should extend to such legal matters, regardless of politics.”

They end by demanding requesting information about Ukraine’s dealings with Trump administration officials.

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow spoke to Sean Hannity on Wednesday night and said, “That’s a quid pro quo. You do this. We’ll do that.”

Several days ago, the Hill’s John Solomon reported a little known story about Sen. Christopher Murphy’s (D-CT) bipartisan meeting with Zelensky in Kiev several weeks ago. I posted about this here.

Following the meeting, Murphy spoke to reporters. He said he pointed out to Zelensky that Ukraine currently enjoyed bipartisan support for its U.S. aid but wouldn’t it be a shame if something were to happen to it but if he chose to “investigate past corruption allegations involving Americans, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s family,” he runs the risk of losing Democratic support going forward.

Murphy reportedly told Zelensky that U.S. aid was Ukraine’s “most important asset” and if he were to comply with Trump’s request, it would be “disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations.”

Solomon spoke to Murphy on Monday and he said, “I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics. I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. There are few things that Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington these days, and support for Ukraine is one of them.”

After the meeting, Murphy had tweeted, “I told him it was best to ignore requests from Trump’s campaign operatives. He agreed.”

This is also a quid pro quo. ‘You want to keep that U.S. aid flowing, you better lay off the Biden family.’

The double standard is breathtaking.

I sure wish the Republicans in Congress would fight back a little harder. Maybe Corey Lewandowski can show them how it’s done.