Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) pointed out Wednesday afternoon that the Democrats’ “expert” witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee were misquoting President Donald Trump’s key conversation with the Ukrainian president.
Earlier in the hearing, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, one of the witnesses, testified that when President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “do us a favor,” he meant the “royal ‘We’.”
“When the president said, ‘do us a favor,’ he was using the ‘royal W’ there. It wasn’t a favor for the United States. he should have said ‘do me a favor,’ because only kings say ‘us’ when they mean ‘me.’,” Karlan testified.
One of my colleagues wondered how this panel can opine as to the — as to whether the president committed an impeachable offense. And the answer, quite frankly, is because you came in with a preconceived notion, and already made that determination and decision. And I’ll give you a — for instance. Until the recent colloquy, several of you consistently said that the president said during that July 25th conversation with President Zelensky, you said the president said, “I would like to you do me a favor.” But that is inaccurate. It was finally clear in that colloquy. And I’m going to read it to you. “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot.” One of you said, well, that’s because the president was using the royal “‘We.'” Here the president is talking about the country. That’s what he’s talking about. It’s audacious to say he’s using the royal we. That’s “royal,” all right. But it ain’t the royal “‘We’.”
The relevant paragraph from the transcript, or readout, of the Trump-Zelensky is as follows:
I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the·whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
The word “us” appears to refer to “country,” as Biggs indicated, though it is frequently misquoted by Republicans as well as Democrats.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.