“But he did it first!”

“But he did it first!”

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An exercise in ‘And You’re Another’

From schoolyard name-calling to the debate stage, And You’re Another is a rhetorical trick politicians use often. Candidate A makes an accusation. Candidate B deflects it by saying Candidate A has done the same thing.

This response doesn’t address or deny the original issue; it simply trades one black eye for another.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in a July 25 call President Donald Trump urged Volodymyr Zelensky, the new president of Ukraine, to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. As vice president, Biden threatened to withhold military loans to Ukraine unless it fired a prosecutor who was investigating corruption charges. Among the targets was a company that had hired Biden’s son as a director and legal adviser. Joe Biden has said the firing was unrelated to his son’s involvement.

Using influence

Many Republicans also believe President Barack Obama’s administration illegally obtained court warrants to spy on the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. They say this could have been an impeachable offense if Obama were still in office.

Yet neither case seems to have been investigated thoroughly. Perhaps just a whiff of corruption is enough to make the point.

Whistle stop?

Trump said a “partisan whistleblower” challenged the July call. The tipster said Trump tried to influence a foreign leader to investigate a political rival. Trump says it was just business.

Still, doesn’t investigating a political rival sound familiar? Because of this, Biden now says Trump should be investigated.

If True — we can discuss that trick later — Democrats could run with this as part of a threatened impeachment investigation. Or it could just blow over.

Nevertheless, the report may be enough to stifle Republican charges about Obama’s use of the FBI against the Trump campaign.

Or maybe not.




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