Speaker ups the ante; now it’s ‘bribery’

Oh, brother. Here we go. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now is tossing out the “b” word in connection with the impeachment inquiry under way in the House of Representatives.

She believes Donald Trump has committed an act of “bribery,” one of two crimes mentioned specifically in the U.S. Constitutions as grounds for removing the president from office; the other crime is “treason.”

So, where do we stand? Pelosi has stated out loud that Trump’s attempt to obtain a political favor from Ukraine in exchange for sending weapons to Ukrainians who are fighting Russia-backed aggressors is a bribe.

I am left to say, um, wow!

The Constitution states that the president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

OK. You got that? What does the handy-dandy American Heritage Dictionary say about what constitutes a bribe? “Something, such as money or a favor, offered or given to induce or influence a person to act dishonestly.” 

As I try to connect these dots, I conclude the following: Donald Trump’s asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksiy for a “favor, though” falls directly into the definition of a bribe. He wanted dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; in return for the dirt, the president would release weapons slated to go to Ukraine.

Hmm. Is that a bribe? I believe it is.

The more troublesome question rests with how congressional Republicans are going to act on this conclusion. I fear they won’t consider it a bribe. They likely will insist that it’s done “all the time.”

But … is it?

I often have written about how “elections have consequences.” Well, consider this little observation: We are now reaping the consequence of electing someone with zero understanding of what the United States Constitution allows and prohibits.

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