Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“Though” and “the other thing”

From a Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation:

Zelensky: We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike . . . I guess you have one of your wealthy people . . . The server, they say Ukraine has it.
And so on. So the favor, at least at first, is about a search for a server. If you’re puzzled, as I am, by “Crowdstrike,” here’s an explanation. Trump seems to be laboring under the delusion that a server belonging to the Democratic National Committee is hiding in Ukraine. From there the conversation shifts to William Barr’s participation in the search, a visit by Rudolph Giuliani to Ukraine (no question that Zelensky is to welcome that visit), and an investigation of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden:
The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it . . . It sounds horrible to me.
The talking heads on cable news are quoting “I would like you to do us a favor,” which looks bad enough as is. But we would do well not to overlook the word that follows: “though.” You need money for military equipment. But Trump needs something too.

And — if we read carefully — it becomes clear that the favor has several parts: a search for a mythical server, receptiveness to overtures from Barr and Giuliani, and an investigation (with Barr) into the Bidens. The words “the other thing” tie the parts together and point back to “I would like you to do us a favor though.”

If the Trump administration thought that putting this document out would help their case, I can only imagine what’s in the whistle-blower’s complaint that they’re not revealing.

[This document is not a transcript. It is identified as a reconstruction made from “notes and recollections” of those who “assigned to listen and memorialize.” The Associated Press cites “senior White House officials” as saying that the reconstruction “was prepared using voice recognition software, along with note takers and experts listening in.” All infelicities of punctuation and spelling are as in the original.]

comments: 2

Pete said...

Someday I hope to read a history titled, “Though: The Conjunction That Brought Down a Presidency.”

Michael Leddy said...

Ha! I am cheered to see other people noticing “though.”