Unlike how they handled the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, Republican politicians have shown themselves less likely to fall for the Ukraine story being peddled through leaks to the same sympathetic reporters from anonymous partisan sources.
On Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper amplified a tweet from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, with some additional commentary:
First GOP official I’ve seen to even stray in the general direction of possibly thinking of approaching condemnation — https://t.co/2VdvP9SVEG
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 22, 2019
In recent days, Resistance figures have run an operation similar to the Russia collusion conspiracy that gripped the country for years. That since-debunked conspiracy theory, supported by daily drips of “bombshell” “news” reports from media employees including Tapper, was that Trump had seditiously colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Even the partisan probe ostensibly led by the ailing Robert Mueller was unable to find a single American, much less the president of the United States, had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. The hysteria about Russia caused real harm to the country’s foreign policy and administration of government. No one has yet been held accountable for perpetrating the hoax. And many media are helping the co-conspirators in the hoax avoid that accountability.
Now similar figures are alleging, based on an anonymous source without firsthand knowledge, that Trump should be impeached because of a phone call he had with Ukraine in which corruption involving Hunter Biden was discussed. Biden is the son of former Vice President Joe Biden. He is famously troubled, but also acquired a great deal of wealth thanks to his father’s connections, including in Ukraine and China. The anonymously sourced reports are changing, depending on the media outlet. First it was a whistleblower, then it turned out to be a hearsayer — someone without firsthand information. Supposedly a quid pro quo was demanded, then it turned out there was no quid pro quo. President Trump, for his part, is adamant that the phone call was nothing as described, even as that description is ever-changing.
Trump released the transcript of the phone call, which showed that the media and other Resistance figures’ early reports of the call mischaracterized it. Last week, it might be noted, Democrats were demanding the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh due to a false report in the New York Times of dubious provenance to begin with.
What Tapper highlighted is worth highlighting, though. While during the Russia hoax, nearly all prominent Republicans expressed concern about collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election, rushed to microphones to condemn the president for what turned out to be a false smear of sedition, and went out of their way to protect the relentless investigation of him based on lies secretly funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, this time, it’s mostly just Mitt Romney.
The standard of evidence required from Resistance figures in and out of the media to perpetrate yet another Russiagate is so high that it might be impossible to meet. But at the very least, it’s higher than what’s offered now. Yes, Democrats have wanted to impeach Donald Trump for the crime of winning the 2016 election, and they very well might do that no matter what they pretend the underlying reason is. But Republican politicians, Romney and those like him excepted, are either smart enough not to fall for this particular Resistance effort, or they’re simply savvy enough to realize there is no appetite for Republican politicians to assist Democrats in undermining a duly elected Republican president based on questionable hearsay, a complicated narrative that doesn’t even add up, and a desperate desire to undo 2016.