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New York Times Quotes Trevor Potter on Foreign Influence on Elections

October 21, 2019, The New York Times

A July 25 call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine is the basis for an impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump withheld American military aid until Ukrainian officials investigated former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter.

. . .

Other countries have their own interests, and those interests don’t always match ours, said Trevor Potter, the founder of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group that works to ensure fair elections.

“Many countries are rivals of ours and of our democratic system,” Mr. Potter said. He listed as two chief examples China and Russia, countries that Mr. Trump has publicly suggested could help him achieve his political aims. “In some cases, they’re going to want policies that help them and therefore hurt us. In other cases, though, they just want us to fail.”

. . .

Doing this in private is especially alarming, Mr. Potter said, because the Trump administration’s decision to even temporarily withhold military aid for a country that needs to arm itself against Russia goes directly against American national security interests.

“If the president of Ukraine has agreed to do this, he has something to hold over the head of the president of the United States,” Mr. Potter said. “It indeed opens the president up to political blackmail.”

. . .

“We often consider ourselves and hold ourselves out as an example of how other countries should conduct themselves,” Mr. Potter said. “When we have internal battles or things have gone wrong here, it is much harder to do that.”

He added, “Countries can exploit that and say, ‘We may be bad, but the United States is no better.’”

Trevor Potter is also a Member of the Political Law Group at Caplin & Drysdale.

For the full article, please visit The New York Times’ website.

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