Was The “Favor” Asked Of The Ukrainian President An “Offer He Couldn’t Refuse?”

Was The “Favor” Asked Of The Ukrainian President An “Offer He Couldn’t Refuse?”


Leonard Zwelling

Every day, as the news leaks out about who President Trump spoke to about Ukraine, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Burisma, the narrative appears to be a cross between The Keystone Kops and The Godfather. If Lev Parnas is not Clamenza, I don’t know who is. “Leave the gun, take the red hat.” I know Trump says he doesn’t know him, but the pictures suggest otherwise as does Trump’s explicit permission to allow Parnas to use a Trump lawyer, John Dowd, for himself.

More and more it appears that Donald Trump has run his life prior to the presidency and his administration since his election along the lines of Vito Corleone, only less efficiently, and perhaps with more colorful characters.

Once you accept Trump as The Godfather, everything else falls into place. Don Junior is Sonny. Eric is Fredo. Jared Kushner is Michael. Lindsey Graham is Tom Hagen only not as smart. Ivanka is Connie and Melania is Mama Corleone without the sauce. Devin Nunes is Moe Green and you know how he wound up. Giuliani aspires to be Tom Hagen, but he’s way too sloppy. More like Luca Brasi.

Apparently the Trump family has a history not unlike that of the Corleones. Trump’s grandfather came to the US from Germany and actually traveled all the way to the Yukon to chase his fortune before returning to Queens. There father Fred made the big money as a real estate developer using techniques later perfected by his son of overvaluing properties when they were to be sold, but undervaluing them when they were to be taxed. Fred Trump was also prosecuted for racial discrimination in his renting practices and it is pretty clear that his son has not found a minority he will not prompt his followers to ridicule. Trump has managed to pit more Americans against more other Americans than anyone since Jefferson Davis.

And the next election appears to be America “going to the mattresses.” Any candidate will do or say anything to get elected and that’s not just Trump. Elizabeth Warren is now waging war on Bernie Sanders. How could you attack a nice guy like Bernie for saying he doesn’t think a woman can be elected? Many Americans agree with him even if they are the same people who never thought a black man could get elected before Mr. Obama did it.

The country is coming unglued with the pot stirred by a story-hungry media with a leftward slant battling with Fox for our attention. There is still controversy about The New York Time’s 1619 project that identifies America’s innate racism beginning four hundred years ago with the coming of the first slave ships and persisting to this day. That’s one point of view, but not one shared by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages which think the 1619 Project undermines the true progress made by African-Americans by relegating today’s blacks to victimhood—the exact opposite of the truth.


There is no doubt that the country is in a state of turmoil and that neither Mr. Trump nor any of the Democratic contenders will do anything to quell it any time soon. This makes sense. The Mafia thrives on turmoil. The Godfather had the judges and the police in his pocket. Doesn’t Mr. Trump? Although Mr. Trump does not kill his internecine rivals a la Tessio, he certainly fires them at an astounding pace. Being Trump’s National Security Adviser is clearly a short-term assignment.

The Trump family is firmly in control of the country and may be able to strong-arm its way out of a real trial in the Senate. It was no mystery who put the horse head in Jack Woltz’s bed and it is no mystery who fired Jim Comey and why.

The offer to the new Ukrainian president of $391 million in aid in exchange for an announcement of an investigation of the Bidens was an offer the Ukrainians couldn’t refuse. The fact that events conspired so that they could does not detract from what happened. Now we know that the GAO thinks it was a crime. Will the Senate do anything about it or is Mitt Romney an adherent to omerta? Time will tell.

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