After months of accusing President Trump of demanding a quid pro quo by allegedly withholding U.S. aid to Ukraine if newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky if he didn’t agree to investigate possible corruption involving former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Democrats have decided to purge quid pro quo from their vocabulary and replace it with bribery in an effort to strengthen their case for impeachment.
The Washington Post reports that this change has taken place in recent days after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee conducted a series of focus groups in key battleground states testing messages on impeachment. Participants were asked various questions including whether “quid pro quo,” “extortion” or “bribery” was a more compelling description of Trump’s conduct with “bribery” coming out on top as the most damning.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested the change amounted to a translation of quid pro quo to something most Americans can understand. “Talking Latin around here: E pluribus unum — from many, one. Quid pro quo — bribery. And that is in the Constitution, attached to the impeachment proceedings.”
Article II of the Constitution states that the president and other civil federal officials “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” not a quid pro quo thus the change to make the impeachment hearings appear to be based on Trump’s criminal actions and not the political machinations of the Democrat Party which it is.
The problem for the Democrats and the media which has gone all-in on the impeachment hearings is that quid pro quo, which means “this for that” is not unusual when foreign leaders negotiate on trade, defense, and any other major deal. There are very few deals that are made without some type of quid pro quo. The current China trade talks involve the quid pro quo of the U.S. removing or lowering tariffs in exchange for the Chinese buying more American products and reducing the trade deficit. What President Trump did was no different except that he wanted Ukraine to clean up the corruption in their country and it just happened to involve one of the leading Democrat candidates for president and his son who has admitted to using “poor judgment.”
While quid pro quo wasn’t resonating with Democrat voters as a reason to impeach President Trump, the switch to bribery will make it even harder for the Democrats to legitimately impeach Trump since the aid to Ukraine was already approved and not being offered in exchange for illegal or illicit activity.
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