Abuse, Obstruction: The Case Against President Trump

UPDATE: Statement from Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver:

Public office is a public trust. And those who violate that trust must be held accountable. The evidence is clear: President Trump has abused the power of his office, put our national security at risk and blocked Congress’s attempt to investigate his actions. No one in this country is above the law, not even the president. In order to protect the strength of our democracy, Congress has a duty to act.

—–

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D).

The New York Times reports on today’s announcement that two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, will proceed to a vote in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House:

House Democrats announced on Tuesday that they would move ahead this week with two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, as they accused him of violating the Constitution by pressuring Ukraine for help in the 2020 election.

Speaking from a wood-paneled reception room just off the floor of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leaders of six key committees said that Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine, and his efforts to block Congress’s attempt to investigate, had left them no choice but to pursue one of the Constitution’s gravest remedies. The move will bring a sitting president to the brink of impeachment for only the fourth time in American history.

“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution, and to our country, the House Committee on Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the panel’s chairman. He stood before four American flags and a portrait of George Washington.

With a nation not only divided politically but unable to reach consensus on a common set of facts from which to argue our respective cases, the heart of the matter with regard to the case against Trump–that American leaders must not use the power of their office to manipulate foreign policy for domestic political advantage–has itself become a partisan political question when it should never have been.

The Republican defense of Trump relies on the idea that Trump’s actions toward Ukraine are not an impeachable offense, or even a problem at all. After the precedent set by Russia’s assistance to Trump in 2016, which Republicans have consistently sought to downplay and deny despite overwhelming evidence, the defense of Trump against articles of impeachment over pressuring Ukraine to help Trump in 2020 boils down to such actions constituting an acceptable “new normal” in American politics–despite being clearly illegal under federal law and troubling to a majority of Americans.

This is why Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who opposed the push to impeach Trump for a controversially long period of time, has now committed the House to impeachment no matter what the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate does. Because there are fundamental nonpartisan principles at stake. Were it not for the political requirement of Republicans to defend a President who has repeatedly proven himself either ignorant of or indifferent to the law, this would not be nearly as divisive a question.

Whatever happens next, Trump is about to join a very small and ignominious club.

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6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    I'd like to see the articles voted out of Judiciary, and then have Speaker Pelosi sit on them as the court cases to force staffers to testify or plead the 5th in front of Congress work their way through the courts.

    Trump's obstruction is a constitutional crisis that must be answered, and I'd like to know if we're going to be a banana republic cult of personality sooner rather than later. 

    Obstruction can be added as another article at the time of Pelosi's choosing, and the Senate trial can be on the prosecution's time frame, not the defense.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      The Senate trial and inevitable acquittal will be on Moscow Mitch's time frame.

      • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

        Starting no earlier than when the House sends them the articles.

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Interesting accounts of internal bickering amongst The GOPranos,

        • Trump wants it good and fast. 
        • A number of the Republicans in the House and some in the Senate have said they want to have it last and last, giving them a chance to bring in the Bidens, the whistle blower(s), Rep. Schiff, and anyone else they can think of, hoping there will be nuggets forced out under oath. 
        • Some Senators want no witnesses, but want to drag out the process to keep Democratic Senators from running for President. 
        • another group wants no witnesses and no trial beyond the House managers' opening statement followed immediately by a motion to dismiss.
        • Early WormEarly Worm says:

          I have no idea how this will work, but how can the repubs insist on calling either of the Bidens, Schiff, the whistleblower, etc., and not allow the house prosecutors to call Mulvaney, Pompeo, Barr, and Perry? The prosecution always goes first in court. I know this is not a courtroom, but it is a trial. If the Trump administration flunkies refuse to show up, either the Senate (or Supreme Court) makes them show up, or not. If McConnell and company decide that they are not going to require witnesses to appear, how are they going to make Hunter Biden appear?  

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    I’m somewhat bothered. As hard as he has worked over the past three years at it, I personally think that this President has earned, and is fully deserving of, way more than just two flushes . . . 

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