Even If Trump Fails to Expose “Russiagate,” A Media Witch Hunt Won’t Win 2020

Nick Hankoff Comments

This article has been updated with a correction. See below.

Swooping cable TV news graphics are working overtime, but it doesn’t matter what the breaking headlines get right or wrong about President Trump. From Russiagate to impeachment, the stench of corruption is palpable with the fake news corporate media.

The Trump-Ukraine-whistleblower scandal has many layers, and both sides of the impeachment debate have their merits.

Of course, to a libertarian, the most frustrating fact is that this entire mess could have been avoided if only the U.S. quit behaving like an empire and abolished foreign aid. On Monday, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) tweeted out an infographic, alluding to this point.

However, ending foreign aid is about as likely as Trump being removed from office. And much more likely than the latter is him actually winning re-election, despite this impeachment push.

Trump quickly ordered a release of the full transcript of his call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, following a whistleblower complaint. It shows Trump requested Ukrainian cooperation with the Department of Justice investigation into the roots of Russiagate, including answers surrounding CrowdStrike, the firm the Democratic Party hired to examine its supposedly hacked hard drives, which were off-limits to the FBI.

Trump also asked Zelensky to look back at the corruption investigation into Ukraine’s largest natural gas company, notorious for having Joe Biden’s son Hunter on its board. Biden, as vice president, had pressured then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to fire his top prosecutor heading up the investigation.

The transcript does not show a quid pro quo, unlike in the case of Biden, who admitted to threatening to deny Ukraine $1 billion in promised U.S. aid if the prosecutor wasn’t fired.

Libertarian and Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano believes Trump committed a crime in the phone call with Zelensky. Others disagree, assuring us that Trump’s priority was battling corruption in Ukraine.

To compound the story, it’s reported as if it’s actual news that Attorney General Bill Barr has asked Trump to contact leaders in Australia, Italy, and the United Kingdom, to further the DOJ investigation of Russiagate’s origins. Trump had explicitly forecasted this to reporters back in May.

Whatever the details are in the end, they will not matter, because it’s only the big picture that matters in presidential elections. Since 2016, thanks to Trump, the mainstream corporate media has been a part of that big picture, whereas before they primarily were mere presenters of it.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that the Biden campaign was “demanding” that major news producers and anchors not allow Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on their shows. Fact-checking in real-time, the Biden team admonished, “is no longer enough.”

The big picture in 2020 increasingly appears as if it will closely resemble 2016. Only this time, the ending shouldn’t shock as many people. If it is Trump going up against an establishment Democrat aided by the establishment press, then it won’t matter if Trump is impeached or even if he gets to the bottom of Russiagate.

He will win because the losers of 2016 didn’t change the script.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated that there was a “recent secret change” to whistleblower policy, giving an opportunity for the whistleblower to file a complaint based on secondhand knowledge. This was untrue and has been deleted.

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