I wrote today about how Ukraine is basically an extension of the Russia collusion story.
One thing I glancingly note, but is worth taking dwelling on to understand where Trump is coming from, is that Ukraine was a theater in the Russia wars of 2016.
Here was a Politico piece from 2017 titled, “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” It reported:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
Also, see Andy’s book on this.
There’s a reason Trump is angry over the Russian investigation and would like to find out more about how it began. As I’ve said to Trump critics a couple of times this week when discussing the element of the Ukraine story that involves looking back to 2016, it’s very easy to be blasé about someone else being falsely accused of something — in this case, something very big actually, a treacherous conspiracy with Russia — when we all get very angry when we ourselves are falsely accused of something, even when very minor. It’s also got to be irksome to watch the same people all over cable TV who leaped to the darkest conclusions about Russia, and who expressed not a hiccup of regret or self-reflection over it subsequently, now leap to the darkest conclusions about Ukraine.
This doesn’t excuse any impropriety on Trump’s part or his wild and abusive attacks on his critics (lowlife, traitor, etc.), but there’s no way to understand his opponents’ or his own reaction to this without fully grappling with what come before.