President Donald Trump’s actions on a phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was less than ideal, but the Democratic Party’s overreaction was far worse.
That’s according to Ari Fleischer, who penned a Fox News editorial where he equated Trump’s request to the Ukrainian leader to a “five-yard penalty” in football — the president asked Zelensky to get to the bottom of former Vice President Joe Biden threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees if Ukraine did not fire a top prosecutor who was investigating the oil company Burisma Holdings, which employed Biden’s son, Hunter, at a salary that reached $50,000 a month.
Fleischer is more than willing to say what others will not say.
“President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was beautiful,” the former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush wrote. “Except for the part where Trump talked about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. That was inappropriate.”
“But what’s even more inappropriate is the hysterical, hyperbolic, hypocritical, fabricated (I’m talking to you, Katy Tur) impeachment-seeking reaction to the call,” Fleischer added.
“In football terms, President Trump deserved a five-yard penalty flag. What he did was the equivalent of a false start,” he noted, saying that Trump “was wrong to request that Zelensky work with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to find out what happened.”
Fleischer went on to say justice should be blind, especially when it comes to powerful elected officials.
“But to Trump’s critics – meaning elected Democrats and much of the media — Trump was headhunting, and they want to throw him out of the game via impeachment. They always have,” he proffered. “This is grossly disproportionate and highly hypocritical.”
In highlighting Biden’s conflict of interest, Fleischer accurately pointed out that the media is not overly interested in covering his threat to withhold U.S. loan guarantees. He also noted that three Democratic U.S. senators — Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Patrick Leahy of Vermont — wrote a letter pressuring Ukrainian officials to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in investigating Trump.
The double standard is nothing new, as Fleischer pointed to Barack Obama himself:
When it comes to working with foreign nations to influence an election, former President Barack Obama’s request to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev takes the cake.
Obama, not wanting his national security positions to become a reelection issue, was caught on camera in 2012 asking Medvedev to tell then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that Obama needed “space” on missile defense negotiations until after U.S. presidential election was over.
In other words, Obama was saying: if you, Vladimir, don’t raise this matter during the election, I’ll have more “flexibility” after the election to reach an accommodation.
Citing Washington’s “typical standards,” Fleischer insisted that “the Democratic-media hypocrisy toward Trump is over the top. So too is impeachment.”
He cautioned Republicans “to wise up.”
“The overreacting Democrats and their media backers are the real threat to civility, norms and fairness,” Fleischer wrote.
“Impeachment is not a game,” he added. “It’s the Constitution’s safety valve and it should only be applied in the gravest of threats to our nation and system of government.”
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