A sorry mess, indeed
In the 1/10/20 editorial entitled “This Sorry Mess” which focuses on the ongoing impeachment process, I found the following statement quite stunning: “Without evidence, Trump committed unconstitutional acts, majority Democrats in the House of Representatives impeached him last month.”
Say what? “Without evidence?!” Seriously?
First, let’s note that the specific articles of impeachment involved are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. And that the televised impeachment inquiry produced a multitude of witnesses and a range of documents all clearly demonstrating that Mr. Trump attempted to coerce an ally (President Zelensky of Ukraine) into helping him in his 2020 re-election efforts by announcing an “investigation” into his most likely opponent, Joe Biden. He withheld millions of dollars of desperately needed military aid already approved by Congress to aid them in their efforts to fend off Russia’s invasion of their country, along with a promised visit to the White House, using these things as leverage to pressure the newly-elected President Zelensky into doing what he wanted – the textbook definition of a “quid pro quo.”
Then, once this impeachment inquiry began, he flatly refused to cooperate and did all he could to keep anyone else from cooperating with this constitutionally-grounded process by ordering them to ignore legal subpoenas to testify or provide requested documents.
So. Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress? Sure looks like it, doesn’t it?
Indeed, the House actually had a wide range of impeachable offenses to choose from, ranging from those 10 instances of obstruction of justice described in the Mueller report (any of which could have resulted in charges were it not for an archaic DOJ policy protecting sitting presidents from being indicted), his ongoing stonewalling of efforts by Congress to exercise its constitutionally-mandated oversight duties, and his brazen violation of the emoluments clause by his ongoing abuse of his office’s powers to further enrich himself and his family.
And in the Senate where the impeachment trial is to be held, Senate leader Mitch McConnell has openly stated his intention to work closely with the Trump administration and to push the process through as quickly as possible without seeking testimony from any witnesses (even “first-hand” ones like John Bolton) or gathering any further documentary evidence bearing on this case, thus minimizing any chances that unwanted truths brought to light by such evidence might result in Mr. Trump’s removal from office.
Does this sound like it will be a fair and objective trial dedicated to finding the truth? Can you imagine any trial – let alone one of this magnitude – being conducted without questioning witness or considering all available evidence? Is it any wonder that Speaker Pelosi wants assurances that pertinent witness testimony and other evidence will be a part of this process rather than being brushed aside and ignored?
A “sorry mess,” indeed.
Dale E. Buonocore,