So we all woke up to the announcement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has instructed the chairs to draw articles of impeachment on Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States. She was extremely reluctant to do this because she knows impeachment is divisive by its very nature.
The trigger to this was not the Mueller report, even if there is plenty in there to possibly warrant it. It was a phone call a partial transcript. In this President Trump asked his counterpart in Ukraine if he “could do us a favor though.”
Republicans have not countered this in any way. If anything, they admit it was wrong, but in their mind bribery is not impeachable. Never mind that it is one of the few things mentioned by name in the Constitution.
The hearings revealed corrupt intent, as well as something for something. Ambassador Gordon Sondland said that all that needed to happen was for the announcement of investigations to happen. These were to affect both Joe and Hunter Biden and were going to clearly benefit the electoral prospects of the president. This was not done to benefit the nation.
Professor Pamela Kaplan went deeper into this aspect.
Karlan said during Wednesday’s initial House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing that the “most chilling” aspect from previous testimony before the House Intelligence Committee was when U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky needed only to announce, but not necessarily execute, anti-corruption investigations.
In Karlan’s eyes that debunks the idea that Trump and his allies like Rudy Giuliani were legitimately concerned about corruption in Ukraine and were only focused on going after the president’s domestic political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
We also know that Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine still seeking dirt as these hearings continue. The behavior, we can argue, has not stopped. And I will say it now, it will not stop after the vote or the Senate trial.
This president is positive the law does not apply to him. However, it is not just the president. His part is just as daft, it seems. We must seriously ask how many in the Republican Party are compromised by foreign funds? How many are corrupted by a will to power that is almost irrational? How many are not faithful to their oaths of office?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew inspiration from the Declaration of Independence in the morning. Her announcement followed the form of the Declaration. This included an airing of grievances. They may point to some of the articles to be drawn. In my mind, the obstruction of congress is a given, as well as bribery.
What is striking is that she was hesitant, and now gave a reason at the core of this.
“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our constitution,”
“Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act.”
“If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so at the peril of our republic.”
These words are not empty, nor insignificant. Democrats are following the oaths they took, and see Trump as a clear and present danger to the nation. In fact, he is a clear and present danger to the republic.
In time it will be clear who was right, or wrong in this saga. I suspect many of the modern-day Republican leadership will rue the day they allowed their party to be taken over by this president. They will also realize that following an authoritarian down this path has ruined them.
As I write this, I realize many in his base still are blinded by whatever principles drive them. This president would gladly become a dictator if he could. His attacks on media, the other party, those who are not like him, are divisive and dangerous. His party has chosen to follow him down this destruction because they have been able to capture many court seats and pass legislation that is damaging.
This president is not respected around the world, but that is malfeasance, not impeachable. He has also helped create a deficit that will take decades to fix. The trade war is hurting people who voted for him. All these are not impeachable. What is, is trying to have a foreign power interfere in American elections.
Now, impeachment does not mean he will be immediately removed from office. This will be referred to the Senate for a trial, presided by the Chief Justice of the United States. Given the political realities, I do not expect him to be indicted and thrown from office. That would be a very pleasant surprise.
But this has exposed the nation to the kind of malfeasance that is damaging to the Republic.
And remember, as you watch this. The facts are not even in question. The remedy is.