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December 14, 2019

What is this quid pro quo?

Granted, not every American has a solid knowledge of Latin or a deep understanding of legal jargon. So, since the future of our country is really at stake here, let’s think together about a few analogs to bring home the crucial issue pertaining to Pres. Trump, his lawyers, and the secretaries of his government. Case no. 1: a highschool student is in danger of not passing a class because his or her grade is far below par. The student finally visits the teacher in his/her office and pleads for a better grade so that s/he would not be held back for a year. In order to sweeten the deal, the student has brought some gifts for the teacher and offers those, first of all, emphasizing how much everyone admires this teacher and that the students learned really so much in the class, true lessons for life. Then comes the subtle request to improve the grade; there were so many circumstances that would really explain the student’s poor performance, and s/he would certainly do much better the next year if the teacher just would have some pity and add a few points here and there. If this does not work, there might be the offer that the rich parents could express their gratitude to the teacher’s kindness by means of an all-paid weekend trip for the teacher and his/her family. Still, the teacher is adamant, denies the request, fair is fair, the rule of the law must be upheld, and this very much in a school setting as well. Then the student turns to threats, s/he would go and see the principal and complain, the grading was really biased, other students had also felt angry, so the teacher’s tenure might be in danger. You get the picture.
Case no. 2: a high-ranking police officer is caught speeding but does not get a ticket because the patrol officer recognizes his/her boss and fears reprisals if s/he proceeds with issuing the ticket (hmm, sounds familiar, right?). Case no. 3: a criminal defendant approaches the bench during the trial and whispers to the judge that his/her company would certainly support the judge with a considerable sum of money if he were to dismiss the trial due to lack of evidence. Or the defendant reveals to the judge that his companions know where the judge’s son goes to school, and he would certainly not want to fear for the son’s well-being.
Case no. 4: in the Ukraine hearings, virtually every witness confirmed that there was a quid pro quo, and now you know what this term means, exerting undue pressure on a foreign entity for personal gains which the Pres. hopes to secure for himself. What is then the difference between cases 1-3 and case 4? I do not see any. How can the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee defend the Pres. with such vehemence, resorting to every possible rhetorical trick, when the fairness and justice of our political system are at stake? Maybe they all stand to profit from the person at the helm who has either promised them something of value (again, a quid pro quo) or has some incriminating information against them, although the evidence against the Pres. is so overwhelming. Apparently, all the witnesses have lied, and this great President is an angel anyway, the best in the history of the USA. The next thing: women stand ready to be groped; His Majesty feels so inclined to demonstrate his masculinity in public.

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