"Quid pro quo" is a term being thrown around these days as the latest gambit to "get Trump" after everything else has been tried and failed. It's a Latin term meaning, "something for something," an exchange of acts or things of approximately equal value.
As value is in the eye of the beholder, the something being exchanged for another something may not be equal in value, instead skewed based on one's perspective.
Democrats and their media masters are salivating over now having what they believe is a smoking gun to take down President Trump. Notwithstanding that this must be their hundredth smoking gun, and that each previous one misfired, they are hot on impeachment over this Latin term "quid pro quo."
The Washington Post, happy to let democracy die in darkness while they endeavor to overturn the last presidential election, is giddy over quid pro quo. They published this recent headline, "Growing number of GOP senators consider acknowledging Trump's quid pro quo on Ukraine."
Big deal -- senators are considering something. Many are also considering whether to run for reelection or accept a large campaign contribution from some dodgy donor but "considering" is far from doing.
What are they considering? Voting to convict the President if such a vote ever reaches the Senate? No, they are considering whether to acknowledge that the President demanded a quid pro quo.
I will make it easy for them. Yes, he did, just as every member of Congress does, each and every day.
In politics, quid pro quo is standard operating procedure. Take campaign contributions, for example. I contribute to Senator X because I want Senator X to support legislation favorable to my business interests. My money, something of value, will be exchanged for a tax break or new regulation, which is usually of greater value to me, as a quid pro quo, and perfectly legal and acceptable.
A bundler for a presidential candidate raises millions of dollars for said candidate. If that candidate wins the presidency, the bundler may have a choice of any number of ambassadorships around the world. The value of the campaign cash is exchanged for a four-year stint living in the American embassy in London or Paris, attending parties and banquets. Something for something.
Members of Congress do the quid pro quo thing amongst themselves all the time. I'll vote for your bill to build a military facility in your district if you support my bill creating an NSA data center in my district. In Congress it's called "horse trading."
What about economic sanctions? The Council on Foreign Relations, also knows as Club Deep State, explains how economic sanctions work.
Governments and multinational bodies impose economic sanctions to try to alter the strategic decisions of state and nonstate actors that threaten their interests or violate international norms of behavior.
Economic sanctions are defined as the withdrawal of customary trade and financial relations for foreign- and security-policy purposes.
Sanctions take a variety of forms, including travel bans, asset freezes, arms embargoes, capital restraints, foreign aid reductions, and trade restrictions.
Quid pro quo, something for something. If you want American money in terms of trade or aide, you had better behave, meaning do as we tell you to do in your political and economic decisions.
Here are a few examples of quid pro quo economic sanctions.
Economic sanctions were put in place against Cuba in 1958. Similar sanctions have been in place against North Korea since the Korean War. Economic sanctions have been in effect against Venezuela since 2015 and Sudan since 1997. These are quid pro quo moves -- behave, give up your nukes, provide human rights, or we will punish you economically. Something for something.
Several of the ladies of the Squad hinted at cutting off aid to Israel after one of the gals was denied entry to Israel last summer. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders threatened, "Israel would have to ‘fundamentally change' its relationship to Gaza to receive aid if he is elected." Something for something, quid pro quo.
Three Democratic senators wrote a letter to Ukraine's prosecutor general,
Expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake.
They wanted something for something, quid pro quo.
Then Vice-President Joe Biden, in a now well-known interview, acknowledged, "I looked at them and said: I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch. He got fired." Quid pro quo, something for something.
So, what did Trump do? He asked the Ukrainian President to investigate corruption, specifically foreign interference in a U.S. election. Biden was an afterthought in the conversation, but his pay to play corruption is fair game, whether or not he is running for president. Until he secures the Democratic party nomination, he is not Trump's political opponent. What if Bernie or Pocahontas win the nomination?
Trump has a constitutional duty as president to investigate corruption. The U.S. and Ukraine share a treaty ratified in 1999 for "Mutual assistance in criminal matters."
There is also "The United Nations Convention against Corruption" of 2003, signed by both Ukraine and the U.S. And then finally is President Trump's Executive Order signed in December 2017, "Blocking the property of persons involved in serious human rights abuse or corruption." Note that last word.
Trump is doing his job as president, yet the Democrats and media howl in outrage over a supposed quid pro quo. But something for something is standard operating procedure in Washington, D.C., even to the point of corruption as Joe Biden illustrated in Ukraine, China, and possibly Romania.
The psychologists call this Democratic caterwauling "projection," accusing others of doing what you are guilty of. Trying to impeach President Trump over a quid pro quo would be like impeaching him because he didn't keep a campaign promise, something every elected official, past and present, is guilty of.
Quid pro quo is not a difficult concept to understand. Too bad the media doesn't endeavor to investigate and explain, rather than acting like barking seals as Adam Schiff tosses them a piece of fish from his super-secret Trump witch-hunt investigations.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician, freelance writer and occasional radio talk show host whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.