Ken Buck’s Impeachment Denial Gets Harder By The Day

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

As Politico reports, yesterday was another day of damning testimony against President Donald Trump in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, with a decorated veteran National Security Council staffer testifying that the transcript Trump dubiously relies on to proclaim his innocence has itself been compromised:

A senior White House official told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he believed President Donald Trump undermined national security when he appealed to Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rivals, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by POLITICO…

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman, a National Security Council official overseeing Ukraine policy, told investigators, referring to Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce probes into Joe Biden and his son.

Vindman, who became the first White House official to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry, also wrote that he reported Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky to the NSC’s top lawyer after listening in on the conversation from the White House Situation Room alongside other national security officials.

The testimony of Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was swiftly attacked by Trump’s congressional surrogates like ex-Rep. Sean Duffy, who openly questioned Vindman’s loyalty to the United States before walking his smears back a short while later. Other Republicans like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming have been much more vocal in, if not explicitly endorsing Vindman’s damaging testimony against the President, at least defending the honor of a career military officer with no grounds for accusation of political bias.

Among Colorado’s Republicans in Congress, though, it’s just another day of blanket denial:

I see nothing!

We’ve noted previously that Rep. Ken Buck, the former Weld County district attorney and assistant U.S. Attorney, seems to have lost all of his prosecutorial critical thinking skills upon election to Congress. The ongoing impeachment inquiry against Trump is causing Buck’s newfound willful ignorance to stand out in sharp relief. Despite the insistence of Trump and his Republican defenders that the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky occurred in some kind of fictional isolation, it’s well known that the call was just one piece of a much broader pressure campaign involving numerous proxies including Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and members of Trump’s Cabinet.

As for whether or not Trump committed a crime even if the quid pro quo is universally acknowledged, that’s not up to Ken Buck to decide. Federal law says clearly that seeking assistance from a foreign government in an American election is a crime. Again, if anyone out there should be expected to know this without being told, it’s a former prosecutor. At the end of September, Buck even said “I don’t think this is necessarily even wrong” in reference to what  federal law clearly defines as a criminal act. Today, Buck sidesteps the question by saying only that it’s not an “impeachable offense,” but his credibility to make that judgment is already spent after he argued that what is clearly a crime is in fact not.

The good news is that Rep. Buck isn’t pretending to be excluded from these hearings anymore.

The next step, and we may never see it, is for Buck to acknowledge what is actually coming out of them.

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16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Rep. Buck says the quid pro quo theory fails because the Ukrainian president has said he didn't know aid was being withheld when he reinstated the prosecutor.

    Liar, fucking liar, and lying fuck . . .

    Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze by Early August, Undermining Trump Defense

    Top officials were told in early August about the delay of $391 million in security assistance, undercutting a chief argument President Trump has used to deny any quid pro quo.

    Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze by Early August, Undermining Trump Defense
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/us/politics/ukraine-aid-freeze-impeachment.html

    . . . or, all of the above.  

    What is Ken Buck is for $100, Alex ??? . . . 

    • bullshit!bullshit! says:

      Buck's fucked. They're all fucked. The only thing they can count on is safe seats and Fox News.

      I like calling out Buck as a shitty prosecutor too. He really is completely worthless.

  2. dlof says:

    Ken Buck would totally believe this was an impeachable offense if the president were other than a straight, white man.  The guy has a history of race-baiting and violating the civil liberties of brown people, going back at least a decade, but now, he doesn't even think an investigation is warranted when the probable cause is so clear?  Come on.  He's a racist and a fascist, who will put his own power above any principle he claims to have.

  3. Early WormEarly Worm says:

    I may have selective memory, but it seems like the line of defenses of the president's conduct are following a familiar pattern: This is a witch hunt; he didn't do anything wrong; even if it was wrong, it wasn't a crime; even if it is a crime, it isn't an impeachable offense. When we went through this same script with Clinton, the Senate decided, on a mostly party-line vote, that lying (under oath) about your affair was not an impeachable offense. 

    I think we are headed to a Senate vote where the majority, if not all, of the Republican delegation, will vote that threatening to withhold military aid to an ally, in exchange for assistance in investigating/implicating/smearing a political rival is not an impeachable offense. The Republican Senators' votes will be blatantly hypocritical (I'm looking at you Lindsay Graham), and they will feel no shame.

    • MADCO says:

      me and you  : same page

      It usually ends with her emails or bengazi or, rarer now, 2nd amendment solution and the freedom blood on the roots of the liberty tree, or occasionally just freedom!

      The senate is hoping he quits or goes bankrupt before they have to vote. Better would be a tax fraud conviction or acute coronary event that results in argument about Commanders in Chief being entitled to interment at Arlington.

      Christmas is coming – but, I think they're going to have to vote.

  4. Former US Attorney Buck might want to have a refresher on what qualifies someone for impeachment…

    The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    The whole "quid pro quo" thing is the Republican prerequisite for Bribery. (In this case, Extortion, but that was considered Bribery by the Framers' definitions…) Quid pro quos aren't explicitly required to prove Bribery, but they help; we have one here – the withholding of Congressionally approved taxpayer money for a personal gain.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Wasn't he an A.U.S.A., not a full fledged US Attorney? Let's not make more of him than necessary.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        A stellar career of legal ambiguity, . . .

        In 1990 Buck joined the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado where he became Chief of the Criminal Division. Buck was formally reprimanded and required to take ethics classes in 2001 for a meeting he had with defense attorneys about a felony case he thought should not be pursued.[8][11] Only one of the three men initially indicted on felony charges was convicted, for a misdemeanor offense.[11] Buck said he is "not proud" of the incident that effectively ended his career with the Justice Department,[11] but says he felt it was "unethical" to prosecute such a "weak" case against the three men.[12] One of the three men donated $700 to Buck's 2010 Senate campaign.[11]

        Wikipedia

        . . . moral bankruptcy, ethical bereftness, and professional dishonesty.

        • kwtreekwtree says:

          Dick Cheney taught Ken Buck everything he knows* about ethical conduct while Buck helped investigate cover up Iran-Contra….

          * Don’t get caught. 

           

        • spaceman65 says:

          Buck was only admitted in Colorado in 1994.  He graduated from Wyoming law in 1985, so I suspect he was only an AUSA.  Doubt Bush the Elder would've appointed someone so green as US Attorney.  And since he later became chief of the criminal division, it seems he was an AUSA.  A shitty one

           

  5. ajb says:

    And it turns out the transcript was edited to remove damning references. Vindman tried to correct the record, but his edits were not accepted.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/us/politics/alexander-vindman-trump-ukraine.html

    The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I liked presidential concealment better when we had Nixon doing all his "expletives deleted" on his transcripts. Which, of course, was every third word that came out of his mouth.

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      I'm hoping one or more of the prime minions (Pompeo, Mulvaney, Cipollone, Kushner, et al) were the ones who redacted the Memorandum that was released.  Careful editing to remove the most obvious links to Biden and Burisma would be excellent evidence for dragging their names in the mud or impeaching if they are Senate confirmed.

  6. itlduso says:

    Conventional wisdom today seems to suggest that GOP senators will acknowledge that Trump asked for help re: Biden, but it’s not enough to remove him from office.  Dems need to note (scream!) that Trump is trying to rig the current election and that if he’s not removed, that he will be free to take even more egregious actions to fix this election in his favor.  

    Now is that such a difficult message for Dems to embrace?  Doesn’t anyone here know how to play this game?!?

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