Impeachment: Our Vichy Republicans

During the German occupation of France from July 1940 to September, 1944, France was ruled by a Nazi puppet government that was known as Vichy France.

Vichy France, officially known as the French State, was a Nazi puppet government that ruled France between July, 1940 and August, 1944. Philippe Pétain, a former field marshal in the French Army and the hero of the World War I battle of Verdun, became ruler of the country during this period and actively collaborated with Nazi Germany, including assisting them in carrying out the Holocaust. In theory, Pétain’s rule extended across all of France, but in reality, northern France and the Atlantic coast were under military occupation by Nazi Germany, with Pétain’s regime only ruling over southern France and most of France’s colonies. The reason the Nazis allowed a French rump state to exist rather than occupying the country completely was to prevent France’s vast colonial empire from falling into Allied hands; regardless, most colonies would either rally to the Free French or, in the case of Indochina, fall under Imperial Japanese occupation during the war.

The name Vichy France is used because the seat of French government during that time was temporarily moved from Paris to the resort and spa town of Vichy, and also to distinguish Pétain’s collaborationist regime from the French government in exile led by Charles de Gaulle. When writings about World War II refer to “France” or “French troops” those usually refer to the Free French resistance led by de Gaulle, and “Vichy France” is used to refer to Pétain’s regime.

A copy of a report prepared by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee repeats the Russian propaganda that Ukraine was responsible for the 2016 election interference and Trump’s illegal hold on much needed military assistance was not political. The 123 page report is meant to counter the Democratic report by House Intelligence Committee that will be given to the House Judiciary Committee this week.

The House Republicans may have a problem defending these claims after the Senate Intelligence Committee found no evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

With the impeachment inquiry charging forward, President Donald Trump’s allies have defended his demand for political investigations from Ukraine by claiming that the government in Kyiv tried to sabotage his candidacy and boost Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“Russia was very aggressive and they’re much more sophisticated, but the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton,” Republican Sen. John Kennedy claimed on Sunday in an interview with NBC, referring to the former Ukrainian president.

But the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee thoroughly investigated that theory, according to people with direct knowledge of the inquiry, and found no evidence that Ukraine waged a top-down interference campaign akin to the Kremlin’s efforts to help Trump win in 2016.

The committee’s Republican chairman, Richard Burr of North Carolina, said in October 2017 that the panel would be examining “collusion by either campaign during the 2016 elections.”ording to a source familiar with the briefings, which were first reported by the New York Times. [..]

The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a bipartisan report—after conducting “interviews of key individuals who have provided additional insights into these incidents—that Russia hacked the DNC, and agreed with the intelligence community’s 2017 assessment that “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton.”

Two volumes of the committee’s final report, entitled “Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election,” have been released so far, and neither address the theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

These finding will have little impact on the GOP argument that Trump did nothing wrong in his bribery attempt, as has already been seen in the release of the House Republican’s rebuttal of the Democratic report, which is yet to be released. It will have little impact on Senate Republicans who will inevitably vote in lock step against removing Trump from office.

Lately, some Trump’s strongest defenders have seen the light. Short -lived Press secretary and lawyer Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci called into question the rational for this defense:

“I understand the strategy. I understand why they’re doing it. But again, what I’m calling into question is the rationality,” [..]

“Five years from now, people will look back and say, what were you doing? You had a fever going on related to President Trump. The guy broke the law. He’s a traitor to the Constitution of the United States. You took an oath to the Constitution you’re going to disavow for him? Why are you doing that?” [..]

“What’s at risk right now is the American voter,” said Scaramucci. “50 percent of them right now say they want him impeached and removed from office. More information comes out, I think Speaker Pelosi is going to be correct about this. As more information comes out, I think it has to go to 60 percent or 65 percent. I would have thought — and this was my surprise because I’ve read the Constitution, took constitutional law — I thought that these guys took an oath to that Constitution. It’s been so sacred and it’s worked so well for so many years for so many people, I would have thought those people who took that oath would have said, you know what, I’m not going to disavow the oath to the Constitution, but now you’ve got a group of — they’re like Vichy Republicans.”

They cannot argue the facts or the law and there is no defense for Trump, instead they fall back on lies and Russian propaganda. The Republican Party, ruled by Donald Trump, has become the “Vichy government” of America under the thumb of Russian President Vladimir Putin.