Foreign policy is the purview of the President. Congress has an advice and consent role in some cases. If the president of the United States asked for information on a political rival who may have broken the law that is his right. If the request was conditioned on the US providing aid that is unethical. The Democratic leadership in the House has called this an abuse of power and an impeachable offence. My take.
To begin I believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty. In criminal procedures guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The question then becomes is acting unethically an impeachable offence or just a political problem. Did the president abuse his power, I do not know?
What bothers me most is that there has been an unending attempt to prove Trump did something wrong. The call for his impeachment started even before he took office.
In December 2016, Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Chris Coons, Ben Cardin, and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill that would require the president of the United States to divest any assets that could raise a conflict of interest, including a statement that failure to divest such assets would constitute high crimes and misdemeanors “under the impeachment clause of the U.S. Constitution”
In their book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign’ Jonathan Allen and Arnie Parnes, two journalists with access to the Clinton campaign discuss the meeting within 24 hours of the loss on how to spin it, in part, to Russian collusion. The FBI also did their part by opening a counterintelligence investigation on some of Trumps campaign officials. All of this came to nothing after the Mueller report found while there was Russian interference there was no collusion. The next thing we hear about is the potential of obstruction of justice by Trump. While this is still out there it also appears to have hit a dead end. Now we have abuse of power.
If you were accused of murder you would be allowed to mount a defense and question potential jurors to see if they were impartial. How is Trump to get a fair hearing when those in charge of the investigation are also the prosecution and the jury? Had the Democrats waited until they had a solid case then maybe this would be considered a legitimate impeachment process, but its not. On the other side Trump is not doing himself any favors by making ridiculous and petty statements and lashing out at anyone he does not like.
With all the emotion surrounding the case I am reminded of the George Zimmerman-Travon Martin case in Florida in 2012. If you recall Zimmerman, a security guard shot and killed Martin and was accused of second-degree murder. He was acquitted because he was overcharged amidst a politically charged atmosphere and high emotions. Had he been charged with first-degree manslaughter he likely would have been found guilty.
I don’t know what the truth is in this regard. I know that there is too much emotion and political intrigue for the truth to come out until historians get a look at it in the future. I just hope the country is not torn apart while the politician’s fiddle.
I hope we can all Pleasethink about what we are doing and get back to normal lives.