A Phone Call In Pursuit Of Truth

It may be months before it becomes clear what effect the transcript of President Donald Trump’s phone conversation with newly elected Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will have on former Vice President Joseph Biden’s chances in the Democratic Primary and in the general election.

Trump’s clear objective was to dig up dirt on Biden’s son, Hunter, who had some dubious Ukrainian business connections. By withholding a $400 million military aid package, President Trump put great pressure on President Zelensky to open an investigation of Hunter Biden’s business activities, and any possible ways that his father tried to cover up his son’s wrongdoings. And as an incentive for that cooperation, he would unblock the aid package that Congress had authorized.

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How will all this impact on Joseph Biden’s presidential candidacy? Ostensibly, it makes him appear to be the wronged individual. While he may have been guilty of allowing Hunter to take advantage of his father’s political connections to advance his career, what good father would not have done the same for his own son?

But Trump’s demand for a Ukrainian investigation – at a very minimum – implies that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And Biden, himself, is probably second-guessing whether he should have demanded the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter Biden.

How will these revelations play out in the minds of the American voters? Will some be more sympathetic to Biden for having had to endure Trump’s false accusations? And to others, will these same accusations plant some seed of doubt about whether Biden went too far over the line in promoting his son’s business career?

As we all know, Biden’s strong suit in the general election is the belief that he may have the best chance of defeating Trump. How has this infamous phone call changed Biden’s chances?

To prove the purity of his intention to pursue the truth, Donald Trump should have made it a conference call and let Joseph Biden speak for himself.



About the Author

Steve Slavin
Steve Slavin has a Ph.D. in economics from NYU, and has written twenty math and economics books, including “The Great American Economy: How Inefficiency Broke It, and What We Can Do to Fix it.” The 12th edition of his introductory economics text came out in September.