Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces that the House will continue with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Thursday, December 5, 2019. – (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House of Representatives will file impeachment charges against President Donald Trump for alleged abuse of power: betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain. All of this because of the complaint of the July 25 phone from the whistleblower — if he or she does actually exist. By the way, Trump has already been impeached by the House and has also been vindicated by the Senate. That being said, it merits to review the evidence provided to the
The July 25 memo is the only primary source in this entire case. Aside from Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who was on the call and has testified (uncorroborated by anyone else on the call) that certain words and phrases he heard were missing from the memo, the so-called witnesses have only talked about what they think happened, or their opinions of what happened, or what someone else told them happened. Remember, NONE of the 12 impeachment hearing witnesses, including Vindman, have testified that they actually heard Trump explicitly tie security aid to an investigation. Another essential factor to look at is the portion of the memo that explicitly ties the security aid to an investigation, which after all is the crime the president is accused of. The House has not been able to prove that as of yet.
And by the way, was any aid actually withheld? Delayed is not withheld. And since no one seems to know when the Ukrainians learned of any delays, even that does not seem to have mattered. There were also no investigations that took place, at least none were provided by the House panel.
In sum, there were no witnesses to “the crime.” The only primary document has no explicit evidence of “the crime.” No aid was withheld and no investigations took place. A smoking gun requires there to be a dead body on the floor. Instead we have accusations backed up by suppositions. Without the media artificially keeping this all alive, you would be left wondering exactly what it is we are still talking about.
As State Department veteran, Peter Van Buren said, it is always easy to forget the basics. First, quid pro quo is not Latin for bribery. The president is to conduct foreign policy with extraordinary latitude to say what the national interest is, not the State Department and its ambassadors, no matter how smart they think they are. Foreign aid is a policy tool and is offered in return for something. As an exasperated Mick Mulvaney told us, of course there is always a quid pro quo — vote our way at the UN, let us have a military base, help us negotiate with your neighbor. Presidents often delay aid to get what they want. An investigation is not meddling. Foreign governments work with us on criminal, financial, and other investigations all the time. The Democrats asked Ukraine to investigate Trump in 2018. Providing information is not interfering in our democracy.
What needs to be looked at is not only at what was done, but whether it was serious enough to warrant impeachment. The Constitution is vague on what exactly is an impeachable act, but we do have precedent.
Just in the last two decades, we have had a president who lied us into war, i.e., George W. Bush, who also set up a torture program, spied on Americans, and sat on his hands while the economy crashed. No impeachment. President Barak Hussein Obama led military incursions into Libya, Syria, and Yemen, thereby creating the worst refugee flows Europe has seen since World War II; he also who illegally spied on Americans, assassinated his own citizens by drone, and gave trillions to Wall Street while Main Street floundered. No impeachment. But an internal power struggle between careerists and political appointees over Ukraine supersized into a made-up crisis, now that is what the American Founding Fathers had in mind?
To quote Peter Van Buren, “That’s where I’m stuck. Because if we can’t resolve those questions, we can only conclude that this is a political hit job by a bunch of sore losers who see impeachment as a way for them to meddle in the 2020 election. Weigh that carefully, ladies and gentlemen of the real jury, as you vote tomorrow.”
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