By D. Allan Kerr
Donald Trump is a lowlife scumbag.
Any illusion to the contrary was shattered last week when he Twittermocked a 16-year-old girl for having Asperger syndrome.
But that’s not why he’s being impeached.
Trump wants you to think the ongoing House proceedings are nothing but an attempt to undo the 2016 election. Don’t believe it.
There’s one reason Trump is facing impeachment right now, and it’s because he demonstrated in 2019 he really believes he is bigger than his office.
If all this fuss was really about 2016, impeachment would have already been under way even before Trump tried to coerce Ukraine’s president into sabotaging Joe Biden’s campaign.
Aware he couldn’t indict a sitting President, Robert Mueller laid out in his Russia report earlier this year a blueprint for impeachment, if Congress chose to go that route.
And a lot of Americans wanted Congress to do just that.
Lord knows there was enough to pursue, including Trump’s multiple admissions he fired FBI director James Comey because of the Russia investigation.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resisted those demands, frustrating members of her own party. And I’m willing to bet she never would have okayed impeachment if Trump hadn’t practically dared her to do so.
There’s one thing you’ve got to say about Trump – he never learns.
After undergoing public scrutiny involving foreign interference in a U.S. election, he proceeded to demand foreign interference in a U.S. election.
Then, right after being accused of obstructing an investigation into Russia’s election sabotage, he proceeded to obstruct an investigation into his attempt to solicit Ukraine’s election sabotage.
Back in March, Pelosi told reporters she didn’t support impeachment because the process could further divide the county. “He’s just not worth it,” she said.
But she added, “Unless there is some conclusive evidence that takes us to that place.”
The following month, Mueller released his report on the Russia investigation, and cited several instances where Trump potentially obstructed justice. Democratic lawmakers wanted to pursue impeachment then, but still Pelosi held off.
Meanwhile, in February and again in May, members of Congress were assured by Trump’s administration that Ukraine would receive nearly $400 million in approved military aid. But the funds weren’t transferred.
In July, Ukrainian officials met with Ambassador Gordon Sondland and then-national security advisor John Bolton, among others.
They were told a coveted White House meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinged on an investigation by their government of Biden and Burisma, the gas company where Biden’s son served as a board member.
About a week later, Trump officially halted any further security assistance for Ukraine. Right around this time, Ambassador Bill Taylor says he was told by Ukraine’s national security advisor that “Zelensky did not want to be used as a pawn in a U.S. re-election campaign.”
And a week after that, Trump had his infamous “I would like you to do us a favor” call with the Ukrainian president.
This was followed by a series of texts between Trump representatives and Ukrainian officials crafting the official announcement of these investigations in exchange for the White House meeting.
In August, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community received the whistleblower report which sparked these fireworks. On 9 September, congressional leaders were officially advised of the whistleblower’s complaint, although it didn’t become public until weeks later.
On 11 September, the military aid was finally released to Ukraine.
At the very least, impeachment boils down to a much-needed civics lesson for Trump – you don’t get to make up your own rules, even when you’re elected President of the United States. Those rules were put in place more than 230 years ago, by guys who wanted to make sure our country never again fell under a monarch’s rule.
See, being president doesn’t mean you get to coerce other countries for your own political benefit. The military aid wasn’t Trump’s money to withhold – it had been approved thru a bipartisan vote of Congress.
Joe Biden is campaigning for Trump’s job. People might disagree with Biden’s policies, but one of the strongest attributes he possesses is he is seen by most people as an honest guy.
A lot more honest than Trump, at least.
What Trump wanted to orchestrate was an event which would enable him to say, “See, Biden’s no more honest than I am – he’s being investigated by a foreign country!”
If there was no threat of impeachment, Trump would feel empowered to abuse his office even more egregiously. Believe me. Even as the Ukraine scandal unfolded, he publicly called on China to investigate Biden as well. For what, I have no idea.
Pelosi – who continues to prove she was made for this moment – laid it out brilliantly last week when someone asked if she hated Trump. She doesn’t hate him or anybody, she said, but she didn’t mince words about his character. The guy is cowardly and cruel and a climate crisis denier, she said.
“However, that’s about the election,” Pelosi added. “Take it up in the election. This is about the Constitution of the United States, and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office.”
Republicans who complain there is no hard evidence to prove wrongdoing by Trump don’t want to see hard evidence against Trump. That’s why they haven’t demanded vital documents and testimony withheld from the impeachment process at his direction.
As a result, they’ve been able to ram their heads into the sand and emulate Sgt. Schultz from the classic old TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” – “I see nothing!” Republicans become an entire party of Sgt. Shultzes.
Those now parroting Trump’s claims of pursuing “corruption” rather than bogus charges against Biden had no idea why the aid was being withheld all those months.
But what’s really shameful are the actions of those in Congress who served with and know Biden. Despite policy differences, they know in their soul of souls he’s no crook, yet they continue to pander to the ultimate political crook.
But now Trump has to answer for his stonewalling, thanks to the impeachment article regarding obstruction.
Personally, I think Congress should enforce subpoenas against Trump officials like Bolton to build their case even further, and pursue the Mueller report incidents as well.
Even presidents shouldn’t be allowed to hide in plain sight.
D. Allan Kerr wishes he had Greta Thunberg’s maturity.
(Dec. 14, 2019)
He can also be found on www.seacoastonline.com