A Million-Dollar Donation From Ukraine to the Trump Campaign Would Be Corrupt. So Why Isn’t a Million-Dollar Investigation?

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The House is currently hearing from constitutional scholars about whether Ukrainegate constitutes an impeachable offense. I would like to offer up a hypothetical. Consider the following two demands from the Trump team:

Demand #1: The president won’t release military aid until Zelensky goes on TV and commits to opening a serious investigation of Burisma and the Bidens.

Demand #2: The president won’t release military aid until Zelensky commits to spending at least $1 million for an investigation of Burisma and the Bidens.

Practically speaking, these are identical. Both demand an investigation of the Bidens that would benefit Trump personally. Both demand a way of binding Ukraine to carry out the investigation: the first with a public announcement, the second with a budgetary outlay. And both say essentially the same thing since any serious investigation of the Bidens would certainly cost Ukraine at least $1 million.

The only difference is that demand #2 actually states the dollar amount out loud. In demand #1, it’s merely implicit.

And yet, in much of the public’s mind, this minuscule difference seems to be key. As long as you take care never to be caught actually mentioning money, it’s not corrupt. Discuss.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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