The president of the United States, Donald Trump, violated his oath of office by asking the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, for “dirt” on his political opponents. Asking Zelenskiy for information related to the potential acts of wrong-doing of former Vice President Joe Biden directly benefited Trump. Trump would be able to use this information from Zelenskiy against Biden either in a head-to-head matchup or to derail Biden’s campaign for the presidential nomination altogether.
In exchange for this information, Trump would release to Zelenskiy $400 million in aid already approved for Ukraine. He would also grant Zelenskiy an audience at the White House. These were done in a quid-pro-quo manner and thus constituted an abuse of power.
Following news of Trump’s phone call with Zelenskiy, in which the U.S. president was joined by other officials, Trump tried to dissuade those with knowledge of the call and his intentions from coming forward. He did not agree to testify in front of Congress nor did he allow his secretary of state, attorney general, and other members of his administration to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee. These steps further constitute obstruction of Congress.
For these crimes, President Trump must be tried in the Senate and removed from office immediately.
President Trump asked Zelenskiy to uncover wrongdoing. This was not in exchange for anything that would benefit Trump personally and the “favor” he asked for was a favor for the United States. The investigation into the illicit affairs of a former U.S. vice president benefits the U.S. as a whole and would allow for justice to be served should Biden’s influence-peddling be uncovered. The Democrats never got over Trump’s election and know that they have no chance to unseat him in 2020. The only way that Trump loses isn’t via democratic means but by using the power of Congress to remove him from office. This is a political witch-hunt, plain and simple.
The Democrats know for certain that the vote to impeach Trump, which will almost certainly be passed Wednesday after this column goes to press, will be along party-lines. They know that the Senate will vote to acquit Trump and will be against his removal. They know this because this is merely an exercise in politics, not an actual quest for justice. Trump will be acquitted and thus this will all be for naught.
Trump asked Zelenskiy for dirt on Biden. If there was dirt, Biden would be investigated by the Department of Justice. If there was not, nothing would have happened. Was Trump wrong to ask a foreign country for help in investigating Biden? Sure. Is it an impeachable offense? Relative to the wrongdoings of many of the 44 presidents who preceded Trump? No. Bush lied to the American people and the world and, as a result, millions died or were displaced. He got off scot-free.
If the Democrats truly wanted to punish Trump, they’d focus on the 2020 election. Impeachment will merely make a martyr out of Trump and allow him to claim he was absolved of any guilt. This will backfire for the Democrats and cement Trump’s 2020 election victory. It will also cause unnecessary uncertainty for financial markets which will most adversely affect the working-class, not the political elite.