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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Impeachment Inquiry Hearing Theatrics and Quid Pro Quo

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Image: U.S. President Trump (right) Ukrainian President Zelensky (left), Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

He did the thing.

There’s no question he did the thing.

Everything that’s happening now – the theatrics and distractions, the pundit nitpicking, and the blatant witness tampering – is noise, a spectacle that should only reinforce what any clear-eyed person who’s been paying attention already knows.

President Trump held up $400 million in aid to Ukraine to force them to announce investigations into Joe Biden. This for that. Quid pro quo.

To be sure, quid pro quos are the mother’s milk of foreign policy. When Biden, in 2016, threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine unless it removed a state prosecutor viewed as corrupt, that was also a quid pro quo.

But Biden acted in furtherance of U.S. foreign policy. Trump acted in furtherance of Trump.

Whether he did it is no longer the pertinent question.

At the end of all this drama, the only question that will matter is whether Republican senators have the courage to rebuke the president, whether they’ll acknowledge the corruption staring them in the face or submit fully to the rising tide of authoritarianism.

The question now is whether he’ll get away with it.

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