Hume took to Twitter to argue that the president did nothing wrong during his contacts with the Ukrainian government. The FOX News personality quoted a Wall Street Journal article which appears to suggest that an attempted crime is not a crime.
The article argues that House Democrats want to impeach Trump “for asking a foreign government to investigate his political rival for corruption, though the probe never happened, and for withholding aid to Ukraine that in the end wasn’t withheld.”
Mimi Rocah, who served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, pointed out that the assumption Hume is amplifying is inherently flawed.
“Guy who failed to rob the bank because he got caught is still a bank robber,” she said.
Hume doubled down, however, describing Rocah’s response as “dumb.”
“Failed crimes don’t get the ultimate penalties,” he wrote, suggesting that impeachment is the ultimate penalty in this case.
Rocah argued that Trump’s was not even a “failed” crime, given that he “got caught after he’d already done the act and abused his power.”
“And anyway — you’re basically admitting the crime but asking for leniency because it wasn’t so bad which is remarkable,” she added.
CNN legal analyst and former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa then joined the conversation, posting a multi-tweet thread meant to dismantle Hume’s argument.
“Conspiracies are often caught and punished severely before they are completed,” Rangappa began, explaining that the outcome of a criminal conspiracy does not negate the fact that there is a conspiracy.
She argued that Wall Street Journal and Hume’s argument is nonsense, because it posits that criminals can easily avoid punishment as long as their effort is thwarted, or if they fail.
In other words, Rangappa explained, whether Trump’s plan worked or not is irrelevant — what matters is that he had a plan and attempted to execute it.
Brit Hume calls the President’s authoritarian behavior “bluster” and suggests the actions by Trump on the phone call with Ukraine was due to inexperience in foreign affairs pic.twitter.com/tEHEknB6fa— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 30, 2019
Trump’s plan, according to an anonymous whistleblower, was to damage former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign by pressuring the Ukrainian government to launch investigations.
Trump reportedly wanted Ukrainian authorities to investigate Biden and his son Hunter’s alleged corruption, and threatened to cut military aid unless the Ukrainians do as he says.
A transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky corroborates the whistleblower’s claims, according to Democrats in the House of Representatives, who have launched a formal impeachment inquiry.
The president claims to have done nothing wrong.