On HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, former Democrat Congressman Barney Frank bizarrely insisted Donald Trump should be impeached for being an accessory to "murder," since he held up aid to Ukraine for "self-defense." Somehow, Frank forgot that Russia took Crimea by force and bombed Ukraine five years ago, and Obama wouldn't send lethal aid. Trump has.
When liberal journalists complain about "misinformation," send them to HBO for evidence. Bill Maher introduced Frank as "my favorite congressman."
BARNEY FRANK: What he has done -- let me put it this way. Some of the stuff that they were talking about impeaching him for before, trying to cover up, that he paid to cover up his sex with Stormy Daniels, or being rude to James Comey, which almost everybody wants to be. I always got the feeling it was like trying Al Capone for tax evasion.
But now we’ve got him for extortion and being an accessory, I believe, to murder. I mean, let's be clear. Murder by the Russians of Ukrainians. We forget what the context is. The Russians, his friend Putin, are invading a peaceful, democratic country. Congress voted to give weapons to that country to defend itself against an attack. He was withholding those until he got threatened even by Lindsey Graham, that was too much even for him. But what he was saying basically to, uh — he was delaying the self-defense weapons that Ukraine needed.
This week, when Trump met with Ukraine's president and mocked Team Obama for sending "pillows and sheets," CNN's fact checkers acknowledged the Obama administration never provided lethal aid, but hey, they provided "security assistance" like night-vision goggles and armored Humvees:
Trump appears to be echoing a critique leveled at the Obama administration by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. "The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending blankets and meals," McCain said in 2015. "Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks."
While it never provided lethal aid, many of the items that the Obama administration did provide were seen as critical to Ukraine's military. Part of the $250 million assistance package that the Trump administration announced (then froze and later unfroze) included many of the same items that were provided under Obama, including medical equipment, night vision gear and counter-artillery radar.
The Trump administration did approve the provision of arms to Ukraine, including sniper rifles, rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank missiles, something long sought by Kiev.
Frank also compared the vagueness in the transcript of Trump's phone call to the president of Ukraine to an armed robbery: "You're walking along, and a man comes up and points a gun at you and says 'I'd like you to do me a favor. I really need money,' nothing more. He doesn't say, 'if you don't give me yours, I'm going to shoot you.' I don't think that makes a difference in any kind of criminal case, and that's where we are."
Like most liberal journalists, Frank in effect skips over President Trump asking for a "favor" about the firm CrowdStrike and skips ahead five minutes to where Joe Biden is mentioned.
Linette Lopez of the Business Insider seemed to fluster Frank by insisting that impeaching Trump is "the right thing to do," and if it doesn't happen, "we're done" as a country.