Last week the House Judiciary Committee voted along partisan lines to bring two counts of impeachment to the full United States House of Representatives for a full vote. These two counts, which are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, are not only clearly based on the evidence presented over the course of months of hearings, but on the actions of Donald Trump, who in his three years as President of the United States has demonstrated his inability to lead this country effectively, and has continued time and time again to abuse his power in all manner of situations. Of the two counts, it is extremely likely that abuse of power charge is the stronger of the two, and President Trump’s history of abusing power is clear throughout his administration. In the abuse of power charges, the argument is simply made that President Donald Trump, in delaying $400 million in vital military aid to Ukraine in exchange for President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, effectively abused his powers. This is a clear example of a quid pro quo as well as a politically motivated investigation into a likely opponent in the 2020 Presidential election. Rather than going through official channels to allow for an investigation to naturally take place without political interference, Trump instead created a political firestorm, igniting an impeachment process that will tarnish his already weak legacy. Through the evidence presented by multiple hearings as well as evidence clearly indicating abuse of power, a clear argument is made for President Trump’s impeachment in the House and removal from office by the Senate.
In this particular instance, on July 25, 2019 President Trump contacted President Zelensky by phone to congratulate him on his victory in being elected to high office. During this phone call, which took place just weeks after $400 million in military aid was frozen, Trump pressured Zelensky to discuss opening an investigation into the Bidens. The call in fact only took place because Zelensky agreed to allow Trump to discuss a possible investigation into the Bidens and out of fear that not talking to Trump would lead to the loss of future military aid. Later, fearful that he would lose vital military aid and with pressure mounting to bend to the Trump’s demands, Zelensky on September 13, 2019 planned to announce an investigation into the Bidens and their role in Burisma on Fareed Zakaria GPS. It was assumed that in exchange for this announcement Ukraine would recieve nearly $400 million in financial aid from the United States, which would have been unrecoverable by the September 30, 2019 deadline to recieve the aid. Through the testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland and other evidence, Zelensky felt pressured to step into American politics despite Ukraine’s standing policy not to do so as both political parties in the past supported Ukraine in their civil war against Russian-backed forces. It was only when word leaked to the public of the frozen military aid when Zelensky decided not to announce the investigations, and with public pressure mounting against the Trump administration, the freeze in aid was lifted. Perhaps most damning, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in an October 2019 press conference effectively admitted that witholding aid to Ukraine was in fact a quid pro quo, and simply stated that such actions occur frequently in foreign policy. Although there is certainly some degree of politicking in foreign affairs, the Ukraine situation is perhaps one of the most blatant in recent American history. To put it simply, Donald Trump froze aid to Ukraine, and would only lift it if Volodymyr Zelensky announced an investigation into the Bidens, one of which is seen as his most powerful political opponent going into the 2020 Presidential election. This is a clear example of quid pro quo and is an abuse of power, not only in bypassing law enforcement and running roughshod through traditional means of investigating corruption, but also an attempt to interfere in the 2020 Presidential election.
It is likely that on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 that Donald Trump will be the third United States commander-in-chief to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The vote will very likely be along party lines, and will be one of the most divisive political events of our time, but it is a necessary duty for Congress to impeach him. From the testimony made by by patriots such as European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, Vice President Mike Pence’s security adviser Jennifer Williams, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, and countless others, as well as the statements made by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, a clear argument is made that President Trump engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, dangling military aid in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into Hunter Biden and his role in Burisma. Although this investigation does not exonerate Biden, and a separate inquiry into that matter should be launched, it is clear that the President’s motives were political in nature, and his actions clearly constitute an abuse of power. Although a conviction by sixty-seven Senators is highly unlikely as the Republican Party has proved to lack a backbone when enforcing laws against President Trump, it is Congress’ duty to see to it that a President cannot flagrantly abuse their powers. In a recent letter, over seven hundred and fifty historians that include Kevin M. Kruse, Robert Caro, Ken Burns, Ron Chernow, and countless others made a clear case for impeaching President Trump. These historians with their background in the Constitution and centuries of precedent to pull from, as well as witnesses who clearly showed that Donald Trump abused his power as President of the United States makes it extremely clear that he has abused his powers while in office. In Federalist No. 65 Alexander Hamilton wrote of the impeachment process that “The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Donald Trump has abused and violated the public trust, and must be impeached and removed from office.