You may now count me as an American who has changed his mind on whether to impeach the president of the United States, Donald Trump.
I had been in the camp of those who said impeachment was a potential political loser. I had joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in digging in against impeaching Trump. Why not wait until the 2020 presidential election? Why allow the Democratically controlled House to impeach Trump, only to allow the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him?
That’s all changed. In my view, the president has delivered impeachable offenses to the House and to the Senate.
We had that memo taken from the transcript of the phone call Trump had on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zellenskiy, when Trump asked Zellenskiy for help in getting him re-elected. Oh, and then he asked for that “favor, though,” when he indicated he would withhold shipment of arms to Ukraine until after Zellenskiy did as Trump had asked.
The president is not allowed to seek foreign government assistance in that manner. It’s in the law. It is implied in the Constitution. Trump has broken the law and broken faith with the oath he took to defend the Constitution.
The House must not wait any longer than it needs to wait.
As for the Senate, I remain skeptical about that body’s collective courage, doubting senators will be able to muster the two-thirds majority it needs to convict the president and, thus, boot his sorry backside out of office.
Trump won’t cooperate with the House committees seeking information about what the president said and when and to whom he said it. He keeps insisting that he did nothing wrong, that his phone conversation with Zellenskiy was “perfect.” OK, then, why does he dig in and resist at every turn? Why does Trump insist that he didn’t ask Zellenskiy for dirt on a political foe, Joe Biden, when the memo already published suggests that he did that very thing?
He blasts the media, Democrats and even the few Republicans who’ve shown the guts to criticize the president. Trump says the impeachment drive is “illegitimate” and calls it an attempted “coup” to reverse the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Come on! The House is pursuing a legal attempt to hold the president accountable for his own acknowledged actions.
And then we have the whistleblower, acting under the protection of a law that aims to protect these individuals who reveal corruption in our government. One of them has filed a report with credible evidence that Trump has sought to use the power of his office for personal political gain. He or she has “indirect” knowledge. Then we hear about a second individual with “direct” knowledge of what already has been alleged.
Trump wants to reveal the identity of this individual, or both individuals. He is threatening them with the same punishment we hand out to those convicted of espionage.
If that isn’t witness tampering, or obstruction of justice or abuse of power then there is no standard that fits any of those misbehaviors.
Donald Trump needs to be impeached. The House needs to act with deliberate speed.