Few questions are more important to our democracy than the question of whether the President of the United States broke his vow to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Whether to impeach a president has been put to the House of Representatives only four times in our nation’s history — as near-certain impeachment closes in on President Trump this coming week.
It is the responsibility of Congress to investigate the President’s conduct with the seriousness it requires. Some representatives have done so many others clearly have not, preferring political dishonesty to fact-finding.
To us, the facts leading to this moment are not in dispute.
The President provided a call summary (not a word-for-word transcript) of his communications with the president of Ukraine. Those communications and other testimony and evidence presented to Congress show that he used the power of the Office of the President to solicit a personal, political benefit.
Here’s a quick recap: Trump called the new president of Ukraine on July 25. Someone within the intelligence community (the whistleblower) heard the call and was concerned enough to report it to his boss, who agreed that things said in the call were problematic, and kicked it up the chain to the director of national intelligence.
The reason for concern? In the call Trump pressures the Ukrainian president to investigate the family of a political rival, former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden. The president even delayed funds apportioned by Congress to support Ukraine’s military against Russian aggression to increase that pressure.
Federal elections law prohibits any person — including presidents — from soliciting, accepting, or receiving anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.
It is also undisputed that, once the Congress began its investigation into this conduct, the President not only refused to participate he prohibited others from doing so, withholding documents and information important to the inquiry. That’s obstruction.
That is why Trump is now facing possible impeachment.
The House of Representatives is the people’s house, and the Constitution gives it full responsibility for impeachment. When President Trump obstructed the impeachment inquiry, he made it clear that he doesn’t think the American people deserve to know what’s going on in the administration.
The president doesn’t own the government and he’s not above the law. He’s a caretaker acting on our behalf and when Congress demands an accounting, it’s the President’s duty to comply.
President Trump has been given every opportunity to answer the charges against him. He demands friendly witnesses, yet refuses to allow his most loyal supporters to testify. He complains the proceedings are unfair, yet refuses to allow his lawyers to participate in the hearings.
Our founders fashioned the exclusive power of impeachment so that Congress can act when a President abuses the powers of the office and the trust that we, the people, place in it. It is central to our very foundations that no individual, including and especially the President, is above the law.
President Donald Trump will be impeached this coming week — as he deserves.
It is clear today the Senate and its Republican majority will not seriously consider the charges against Trump and will look to quickly vote not to remove him from office.
So be it. All elections have consequences.
Trump is only the fourth U.S. president to face impeachment proceedings and the first to be running for re-election at the same time.
The deadline to register to vote in the next presidential election on Nov. 5 is Oct. 7. We encourage all eligible adults to vote. Vox populi.