The articles of impeachment announced by the Democratic U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday stand as an emergency action to stem attacks on our democracy.
The U.S. Constitution says the House “shall have the sole power of Impeachment.” So the articles are clearly valid and protected. The Constitution also calls for the president to be removed upon conviction by the Senate of treason, bribery or other “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The House has laid out a case that provides evidence Trump has committed those acts that call for removal from office. The House has proposed two simple articles: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.
Trump abused his power by fashioning through himself and others a bribe-like deal to the president of Ukraine: if Ukraine would announce an investigation into a significant political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, the U.S. would release some $391 million in military and security aid to Ukraine. Ukraine was facing serious threats to its security from our longtime foe, but recent Trump friend, Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
Trump and his associates also asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to announce, in exchange for the money and other things, an investigation into Ukraine interfering in the 2016 U.S. election instead of Russia. This theory was thoroughly debunked by U.S. intelligence.
Trump also sweetened the pot by offering a visit to the White House to Zelenskiy, again, if such actions were “deliverable.” Numerous Trump officials and longtime career diplomats with stellar records testified before the congressional investigative committee that there indeed was such a bribe-like deal and “everyone was in the loop” about what this all meant.
The second article of impeachment is as simple as it is clear. Trump simply told subordinates and cabinet members to reject and ignore congressional subpoenas in the impeachment process. These subpoenas were indeed legal tools that were part of the “sole power of impeachment” given to the House by the Constitution.
Violating the laws dictated by the Constitution can be nothing but a high crime.
It has been proven that Trump was acting to benefit his personal interest in winning the election and was putting at risk the security of the United States. House leaders filed for impeachment immediately out of fear Trump would work with foreign powers to disrupt the 2020 election, as his surrogate Rudy Giuliani continues in this vein.
The House impeachment articles are rock-solid and just. Senators must follow their oath to “support and defend” the Constitution by removing Trump from office.