Today Was Trump’s Best Day in the Ukraine Scandal — and That’s Bad News for the GOP

The legacy of every Republican in Congress is on the line

Dan Lavoie
GEN
Published in
3 min readSep 25, 2019

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Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images

MMovies and television have conditioned us to believe that political schemes are concocted in secret, smoky rooms by political geniuses and corporate lobbyists. We’ve been told there is a devious, intelligent craft to their designs.

But what if they’re just a bunch of dumb, greedy goons who think they’re shaking down a flower shop owner? That’s the lesson to take away from the official notes from the July 25, 2019, Trump-Zelensky call.

The notes represent the most damning, clear-cut evidence in a political scandal since then-Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer paid for sex with a check.

Every relevant piece of evidence we need is right there in the notes of this “perfect call,” as President Donald Trump called it.

Yes, it is perfect. It is clear and it is overt. The corruption winds itself through the entire conversation in ways that seem too obvious to imagine any politician — let alone the titular Leader of the Free World — ever speaking aloud.

“I would like you to do us a favor… ” That is how Trump starts out a long section of the conversation wherein he sought help to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller and spark an investigation into former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden. And he explicitly directed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to talk to Trump’s personal attorney and the U.S. attorney general to carry out this scheme.

The political world spent weeks earlier this year parsing whether Trump had “directed” or “instructed” Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a rhetorical trick that squelched the one real spasm of impeachment momentum. The GOP’s long-standing, if-you-squint-maybe-it’s-not-so-bad defenses of Trump are no longer operable.

Are they willing to flush their own good names down the toilet for a ham-fisted goon who doesn’t even know to not say the quiet part out loud on a recorded call with a head of state?

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Dan Lavoie
GEN
Writer for

Progressive comms. Fighting for justice and equity. Former @NewYorkStateAG senior advisor, labor advocate, journalist & think-tanker.