The life of the Trump-Ukraine affair can be measured in days, and the most basic facts of the matter are still unknown.

Yet many Democrats and their allies in the media are already renewing their calls for the impeachment of President Trump. By doing so, they are observing one of the lessons of the Trump-Russia investigation: Act before finding out what happened. Don't wait for the end of an investigation, with its facts, details and messy inconclusiveness, to call for the president's removal. Strike first, before things get complicated.

We don't yet know precisely what was said in the July 25 telephone conversation in which Trump reportedly pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden's son. We don't know what a whistleblower told the intelligence community inspector general about the conversation (although we do know that he or she did not have direct knowledge of the call). We don't know what other evidence the whistleblower did or did not include in the complaint. And, of course, we don't know who the whistleblower is or the circumstances surrounding his or her decision to come forward.

Nevertheless, the media is filled with the notion that the public already knows what happened. "At this point, the facts are pretty much in the open and agreed to," Politico wrote Monday.

"Donald Trump already admitted everything you need to know about the Ukraine drama," reported CNN, also on Monday.

If one thing is clear, it is that the public does not know everything it needs to know about the Ukraine situation.

Some administration officials have urged President Trump to release the transcript of his call with Zelensky. Through the day Monday, Trump, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, discussed his options with reporters. "I can do it very easily," he said. "But I'd rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversations I have. I may do it because it was a very innocent call on both his part and mine."

Trump was similarly noncommittal in other statements. His hesitation about "all of the other conversations I have" reflects the advice of aides who oppose public release because doing so would mean that no foreign leader could have confidence that confidential talks with Trump would remain confidential.

Democrats have demanded release of the transcript, as well as the whistleblower complaint. So far, the administration has refused.

Now media chatter seems to be leaning toward the possibility that the transcript might not be as damning as some of the president's critics hoped. For example, it might not include the presidential "promise" noted in one of the first Washington Post reports.

"It's something that goes beyond this phone call," Post reporter Shane Harris said on CNN Monday. "It's apparently not just this one incident that so alarmed [the whistleblower]."

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau warned against releasing the transcript alone. "This is a trap," Favreau tweeted Monday. "I would bet that Trump is focusing on the transcript because he knows it isn't great, but not nearly as incriminating as the entire whistleblower complaint. We need the full whistleblower complaint ASAP and Democrats should accept nothing less."

"Releasing the Ukraine Transcript Isn't Enough," read the headline of a Huffington Post story. "Where's the Whistleblower Complaint?"

The commentary was in line with my report Sunday on what some administration officials who urged release were saying about the transcript:

"The officials think release of the transcript would show definitively that Trump did nothing illegal. The president's adversaries, determined to use the issue to demand his impeachment, might still argue that he acted inappropriately, but release of the president's precise words, the officials believe, would make it more difficult for critics to claim that Trump did something wrong."

That gets to a fundamental fact of political investigations. They often uncover an inconclusive set of facts. Partisans can argue those facts one way or the other. There is no slam dunk, no smoking gun.

Most recently, Democrats who had accused Trump of conspiring or coordinating with Russia to fix the 2016 election were deeply disappointed by the release of the Mueller report. After all the media talk, and all the accusations, and after two years of investigating with full law enforcement powers, Mueller could not establish that a conspiracy or coordination even took place.

So now, with many of the president's adversaries in a high state of agitation about the Ukraine story, the lesson of Trump-Russia is: Move fast. Don't withhold judgment. And don't wait for the results of a long, ponderous investigation. It might not produce the ending Democrats want.

— Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

(22) comments

SnowGypsy

Liberal Dems: Please use the online dictionary to define both "allegations" and "facts". What are "facts"? The worst enemy of the liberal democrats in this case! Reading comprehension? I see a real issue there also. A brain is a terrible thing to waste!

Aim_High

Trump himself admitted on tape that he just starts kissing women before grabbing them by the pu$$y. I think this qualifies as "a thing that is known or proved to be true" i.e. "fact". In court they would call this a "confession" and with dozens of corroborating accounts substantiating Trumps own words spoken by himself, along with his public apology, it's safe to call Trumps pu$$y grabbing ways are a fact.



Biden on the other hand has zero accusers, other than sweaty Republicans screaming about youtube videos that show nothing illegal. You have to be pretty damn dumb to truly believe Biden is a deviant and Trump is a saint. Reading comprehension, lol yeah. I'm not sure how many times these simpleton things have been explained to you. It's obvious you're not playing with a full deck.

SeanRanklin

Fake news

aulani

I am amazed that even after the transcript of that phone call to the Ukraine has been revealed, Trump supporters are more rabid than ever. What Trump did constitutes a high crime. Asking a foreign government for a favor to investigate a political opponent in order to obtain "dirt" on that person is criminal. This support should be bi-partisan because it threatens our country's security, but no, the supporters rage on.This is a crime against the nation. Mark my word, this was the plan set forth in Helsinki. We weren't privy to that transcript were we? I wonder why? Trump is helping Russia take over Ukraine by holding back weapons we promised them to defend themselves. I can't wait to see Trump hauled out of the Oval Office like the criminal he is.

Aim_High

Wonder why Joe Biden doesn't have a list of sexual assault allegations long enough to need its own Wikipedia page? I learned he has been accused of sexual harassment once, never convicted, and has never been accused of sexual assault. Biden is a strong advocate for sexual assault victims as well as LGBT victims. He even led the efforts to pass the violence against women act. All republicans have on him is some weird hair sniffing fetish which is why Trump is resorting to begging for dirt on Bidens child. I still wouldn't vote for him, but he's already looking 10x better than Trump.

SnowGypsy

Biden sniffs the women's and girls hair while "massaging" them, google "Creepy Joe" for video footage. He does it when he knows that the woman or girl is basically trapped in a social situation. He needs a knee in the ........... With Trump, there is no footage of him actually inappropriately touching. I remember one of the women saying that they were out and at the table, he was trying to put his hand up her dress, so she went up to his hotel room with him............ Message? Gold diggers will do and put up with what they must in hopes of scoring a man, a marriage, jewels, cash............. And liars are a "dime a dozen" and for sale to the highest Dem bidder. You already said that Biden didn't have a chance, so why would Trump need dirt on the old pervert anyway? Since you aren't a female, I don't think you understand the moral sickness that Biden has, or maybe it is something you think is acceptable as Biden isn't the only one that thinks women are there just to used for whatever. Biden had no chance ever, he just had the best chance of the gaggle of losers.

Aim_High

Lol this is comedy gold. You're going to dismiss Trump's victims statements as unfounded accusations, then give us an example of when Trump assaulted a woman by putting his hand under her dress... Then you defend him by blaming the victim and calling her a gold digger, then then to top it off you're going try to convince us it's actually Biden that " thinks women are there just to used for whatever." My sides hurt! Biden has 0 accusations of sexual assault, Trump has 24. Sniffing hair and massaging shoulders is not sexual assault. Grabbing a womans genitalia is. Bragging about it and having to apologize should be all the proof one would need, unless you're slow or snow.





And I don't know why would Trump need dirt on the old pervert anyway... but whatever his reason is must be pretty good if he's begging foreign governments for help! I bet he is scared!

SeanRanklin

Fake news

aulani

Agree that he is looking 10X better than Trump. Lots of digging going on right now. I do agree with what Bill Maher has to say about this: Why can't politicians tell their kids to just go get a job? It's distasteful for your kid to be working for some foreign government in any capacity which includes advisory boards. Hunter Biden was wrong to take this job in Ukraine.

Aim_High

We all know Snow won't actually watch any of this, and will come up with some poor excuse of why this is not good enough proof, but here goes.

Youtube: "Reports: Multiple women accuse Trump of groping"

Youtube: "Trump Denies Groping Allegations, Slams Clinton"

Youtube: "Trump Brags About Groping Women in Vulgar Remarks Caught on Tape"

Youtube: "Donald Trump apologizes for sexist comments about groping women"

Youtube: "Trump: I'm not proud of tape about groping women "

Youtube: "Trump’s 22nd Sexual Assault Allegation"

And for a full list of accusers and citations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_sexual_misconduct_allegations



Put your blinders back on and don't let this distract you from the fact that Biden likes to smell hair and give creepy hugs, which is so much worse than Trumps sexual misdeeds since he is a democrat.

SnowGypsy

OK, I see your issue now. Accusation? Give me a break! And, when did these allegations come forward? In 2016 when Hillary Clinton started to lose steam along with her issues with the FBI, and along comes women from 30 years ago saying Trump sexually assaulted them. (Probably only their dreams.) As I said, liars are "a dime a dozen". No idea how old you are, but when and if Trump was groping women or simply trying to make himself sound like a stud to other guys (having been employed in some male dominated professions, I know how that goes), 40 or 50 years ago, that wasn't considered that big of deal, and that is part of the reason that Biden is comfortable groping the women even on camera. Anyone that watches Biden grope the females, he likes them young too, will be sickened by it or they are no better than Biden accepting that very inappropriate and sick behavior. Biden is filth! He never had a chance. Trump will get another term. Get over it!

SeanRanklin

Fake news

sarelon

As usual the conservatives leap blindly forward in frantic defense of Trump. More of the rabid cult members Trump was referring to when he claimed he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose voters.

SnowGypsy

The complaint was "heresay", and the transcript did not match up to the "heresay" of a number of unnamed individuals that were supposedly quoted again and again. Did you read it? The non-whistle blower (having no firsthand knowledge) is full of the same thing the rest of the Dems supporting this are full of, and it isn't information!

athertok

It is just after 2:00 on the day of the House whistleblower gearing and already this column isn’t aging well.

Aim_High

The very first sentence is wrong. It has come to light that Trump has been engaged in a MONTHS-long conspiracy to get Ukraine to gin up dirt on Biden, and make it look like Ukraine interfered in the 2016 electionand had the DNC server. The only one who benefits from this is.... Russia. Withholding military aid also helps Russia...

A real word-for-word transcript exists. What the White House released on Wednesday was an "unofficial" transcript, made from memory . There are half a dozen witnesses corroborating this. The White House, on multiple occasions, abused a classified computer system to hide transcripts (and possibly other documents) for political purposes and not for any security reasons, which is unconstitutional, and why we aren't seeing the real transcript.

Where's the whistleblower complaint? It is right here: https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20190812_-_whistleblower_complaint_unclass.pdf

SnowGypsy

This comes after the sorry performance of the Democrats at their "debates". It is "reaching", but they don't have anything else at this point. Big question is: "Can any of those sorry potential Dems defeat Mike Pence?" The Dems deserve Mike Pence, but I don't even think they could defeat him, and I would cringe while casting my vote for Pence, but he would still be a better choice than any of the sorry lineup the Dems are offering. President Trump isn't going anywhere, and the move to try to impeach him will only give him more steam. The Dems need to pull their heads of the their butts and realize the more they try to make President Trump the "underdog", the more support he will gain. The Dems been threatening impeachment even before President Trump was elected. Fun fact: For those that think impeachment means President Trump is removed, nope! No one needs to dig up dirt on McFeelThemUp (little girls and women) Biden, his fellow Dems did that at the debates, and of course, his groping is all over youtube. Biden never had what it would take to be President.



Whistle blower? I quote from the above referenced link: "Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call............" So, "some people" told the "whistle blower" about the call? Also: "Based on my understanding there were approximately a dozen White House officials that listened to the call.........." but, not the whistle blower. And, "White House officials told me.........." So it amounts to "some people told me some stuff about the President". Maybe this was like the "fish" story? Again, Biden's own party did him in along with his perverted behavior.

Aim_High

Yes I'm sure Democrats concocted this imaginary phone call story between Trump and Ukraine to discuss acquiring dirt Bidens child, because they didn't have anything else after their sorry performance at their "debates." Yes, that makes total sense. How could I have been so stupid?!



Do you know why the republicans are so stuck on "McFeelThemUp (little girls and women) Biden"? Because Trump is a sexual predator and the only way to negate that fact during an election is to try and put him up against another sexual predator. Biden is/was never going to win the nomination, regardless of what FOX news says, and Trump asking foreign governments for dirt on his children is SAAAD. Your continued blind support is also SAAAD! Biden's party never "did him in" because he was never "in" to begin with! LOL.

SnowGypsy

The Dems are insanely desperate. Did you see the debates? They were hilarious! Comedy at its greatest! Don't feel stupid, they are fooling a lot of people.



There is no proof of Trump being a sexual predator. Do you have a youtube on Trump groping, raping, feeling? If so, I'd appreciate the link. I can provide that for McFeelThemUp Biden. Exactly, Biden was never going to get the nomination, so why would Trump need dirt on him? He was said to be the best bet to beat Trump because the other candidates are so pathetic. The Dems have realized that, and have now turned to the only avenue they could have (1 chance in a zillion) to try to impeach Trump. But even impeachment is a long way from removal from office. Again, Biden was the Dems best chance, and even that was 1 chance in a zillion. You really need to watch the highlights of those debates, especially if you need a good laugh or cry, which ever way you fly! HaHaHa Trump 2020! You said it yourself, there would be no reason for Trump to consider old Biden a threat. Biden is a threat to himself, and of course, women and girls who don't like to be groped!

Justice81

It is a Real Fact. There is no concoction. Trump is a Liar, Trump is a Crook. Trump should be Locked Up! Now! We are hearing these same Republican Lies we heard about Nixon. Democrats and the Media were EXACTLY RIGHT, as they are now! NIXON'S TAPES CONFIRMED ALL OF THE CHARGES AGAINST NIXON. Your boy, Crooked, Lying Trump should be Locked up!

aulani

Wow, just wow. It's an INVESTIGATION, Snow, and as such it is designed to obtain information. You are doing what typical Trump supporters do, taking it to other subjects. I'm surprised you haven't brought Hillary up. I see you are name-calling just like your idol. Why not try to find out why those Trump phone calls have been placed in that secret server? That alone is troublesome. In fact, why not stick to the Trump problem.

SeanRanklin

Fake news

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