Trumps Open Requests for Foreign Meddling Test Dem Impeachment Focus

House Democrats plan for the impeachment inquiry is simple: focus exclusively on President Trump pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to discredit Joe Biden. But the pace of new revelations, like reluctantly undertaken by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), many House Democrats worry that an expansive focus will distract from the straightforward account, presented in a pressuring [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to ban two members of Congress, he did it right out in the open. So it would frankly be malpractice for Congress not to seek records of other calls to determine what pressure may have been brought to bear by Trump against other foreign leaders to achieve political and possibly financial benefits for himself. A Senate Democratic staffer agreed. I …

Russia and Ukraine Swap Prisoners in a Victory for Diplomacy

MOSCOWWhat happened on Saturday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was a unique moment in the five-year long conflict and it was a real victory of diplomacy. The two politicians, one a former KGB officer, another a former comedian, managed to keep their promises to each other and swap 70 prisoners variously accused of illegal border crossing, espionage, murders, assassination attempts or terrorism. The significance lies in the high profiles of the prisoners both Kiev and Moscow released and offers a glimmer of hope that the two neighbors and former allies could eventually overcome the bloody division that has separated them since Ukraines Revolution of Dignity. For Zelensky the prisoner swap was a huge political risk: …