Brad Wenstrup on Foreign Policy
RESOLUTION expressing concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, in the People's Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.
The sum and substance of the Democrats' case for impeachment is that President Trump abused his authority to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, President Trump's potential political rival, for President Trump's benefit in the 2020 election. Democrats say this pressure campaign encompassed leveraging a White House meeting and the release of U.S. security assistance to force the Ukrainian President to succumb to President Trump's political wishes.
Even examining evidence beyond the July 25, 2019 presidential phone call shows no quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, or abuse of power. The evidence shows that President Trump holds a deepseated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption. The President has also been vocal about his skepticism of U.S. foreign aid and the need for European allies to shoulder more of the financial burden for regional defense. Understood in this proper context, the President's initial hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide U.S. taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without thoughtful review is entirely prudent.
The Democrats' impeachment narrative also ignores President Trump's steadfast support for Ukraine in its war against Russian occupation. Several of the Democrats' witnesses described how President Trump's policies toward Ukraine to combat Russian aggression have been substantially stronger than those of President Obama--then under the stewardship of Vice President Biden. Where President Obama and Vice President Biden gave the Ukrainians nightvision goggles and blankets, the Trump Administration provided the Ukrainians with lethal defensive assistance, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Democrats say that Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, and a "shadow" group of U.S. officials conspired to benefit the President politically. The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations, and none of the Democrats' witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor.
The Democrats nonetheless tell a story of an illicit pressure campaign run by President Trump through Mayor Giuliani, to coerce Ukraine to investigate the President's political rival by withholding a meeting and security assistance. There is, however, no direct, firsthand evidence of any such scheme. The Democrats are alleging guilt on the basis of hearsay, presumptions, and speculation--all of which are reflected in the anonymous whistleblower complaint that sparked this inquiry. Where there are ambiguous facts, the Democrats interpret them in a light most unfavorable to the President. In the absence of real evidence, the Democrats appeal to emotion--evaluating how unelected bureaucrats felt about the events in question.
The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a discomfort with President Trump's policy decisions. To the extent that some unelected bureaucrats believed President Trump had established an "irregular" foreign policy apparatus, it was because they were not a part of that apparatus. There is nothing illicit about three senior U.S. officials--each with official interests relating to Ukraine-- shepherding the U.S.-Ukraine relationship and reporting their actions to State Department and NSC leadership. There is nothing inherently improper with Mayor Giuliani's involvement as well because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.
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Freshman class of 2019:
"Freshman class" means "not in Congress in January 2017", with exceptions:
* Special election, so sworn in other than Jan. 2019
** Served in Congress in a previous term
*** Lost recount or general election
Freshman class of January 2019 (Republicans):
FL-6:Waltz ; FL-15:Spano ; FL-17:Steube
MN-1:Hagedorn ; MN-8:Stauber
OH-12*:Balderson ; OH-16:Gonzalez
PA-9:Meuser ; PA-11**:Smucker ; PA-12*:Keller ; PA-13:Joyce ; PA-14:Reschenthaler
TN-2:Burchett ; TN-6:Rose ; TN-7:Green
TX-2:Crenshaw ; TX-3:Taylor ; TX-5:Gooden ; TX-6:Wright ; TX-21:Roy ; TX-27*:Cloud
VA-5:Riggleman ; VA-6:Cline
Freshman class of January 2019 (Democrats):
AZ-2**:Kirkpatrick ; AZ-9:Stanton
CA-49:Levin ; CA-10:Harder ; CA-21:Cox ; CA-25:Hill ; CA-39:Cisneros ; CA-45:Porter ; CA-48:Rouda
CO-2:Neguse ; CO-6:Crow
FL-26:Mucarsel-Powell ; FL-27:Shalala
IA-1:Finkenauer ; IA-3:Axne
IL-4:Garcia ; IL-6:Casten ; IL-14:Underwood
MA-3:Trahan ; MA-7:Pressley
MI-8:Slotkin ; MI-9:Levin ; MI-13:Tlaib ; MI-13*:Jones ; MI-11:Stevens
MN-2:Craig ; MN-3:Phillips ; MN-5:Omar
NJ-2:Van Drew ; NJ-3:Kim ; NJ-7:Malinowski ; NJ-11:Sherrill
NM-1:Haaland ; NM-2:Torres Small
NV-3:Lee ; NV-4**:Horsford
NY-14:Ocasio-Cortez ; NY-11:Rose ; NY-19:Delgado ; NY-22:Brindisi ; NY-25:Morelle
PA-4:Dean ; PA-5:Scanlon ; PA-6:Houlahan ; PA-7:Wild ; PA-17*:Lamb
TX-7:Fletcher ; TX-16:Escobar ; TX-29:Garcia ; TX-32:Allred
VA-2:Luria ; VA-7:Spanberger ; VA-10:Wexton