The Democrats have announced that they intend on opening an impeachment inquiry against President Trump for his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Over the past week, I have withheld judgment until more facts were presented.
Knowing what we know at this point, I have come to the conclusion that the president should not be impeached.
You all know the story by now. President Trump had a phone conversation in July with Zelensky in which he is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president into opening an investigation into Joe Biden. During his time as vice president, Biden allegedly threatened to withhold funding from Ukraine if they failed to fire a prosecutor looking into corruption allegations against a gas company that employed his son, Hunter Biden.
The media originally reported that Trump threatened to withhold military funding from Ukraine if they failed to investigate Biden.
However, we have yet to see any evidence that definitively proves this charge.
The president released the transcript of the call, and it showed that there was no mention of withholding aid from Ukraine if they failed to do Trump’s bidding.
The media failed to accurately report the contents of the transcript. They tried to claim that the president asked a “favor” of Zelensky (that favor being investigating Biden).
However, one only needs to read the transcript to see for themselves that this is an outright lie. Trump asked them to look into allegations that Ukraine helped Hillary Clinton and the DNC interfere in the 2016 election, something that is within his purview.
Trump spent very little time talking about Biden. In fact, he spent only a few sentences discussing the Biden case. It is apparent from the transcript that Trump brought up the Biden investigation in the context of the wider discussion of corruption in Ukraine. Biden was not the purpose of the phone call.
Putting all that aside, Trump is within his rights to ask for information on an American citizen accused of committing a crime or breaking government ethics.
I am not naïve enough to believe that Trump didn’t have some personal reasons for requesting that Ukraine look into the matter. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Biden is not above the law.
Asking a foreign government for information related to possible criminality of an American citizen is perfectly legitimate.
What wouldn’t be legitimate is if Trump threatened to withhold defense funding from the Ukrainians because that funding was approved by Congress. However, as of now, there has still been no evidence to prove that this occurred.
Asking a foreign leader for information is what presidents are supposed to do. That is not the same as asking for personal dirt on an opponent. The allegations against Biden have been floated before and Trump stuck to those allegations and didn’t ask for personal dirt outside the scope of the previously known accusations.
There are a few ways Trump could have violated the law, however, once again, there is no evidence that shows that he did.
Writing at National Review, Luke Thompson wrote the following:
“Were Trump to pass documents to his campaign, that would blend his official powers with his electioneering apparatus, which is against campaign-finance law. Were Trump to tell Zelensky to leak whatever damaging information he might find about Biden, that too would constitute election interference.
Obviously, if Trump asked Zelensky to target Biden or his campaign with hacking, it would be a crime. If he asked Zelensky to fabricate information and leak it to the public, this impeachment talk would be completely justified.”
Unless information is found that proves otherwise, the Democrats are wrong to push for impeachment.
They will be unnecessarily wasting taxpayer dollars and time by staging a show trial that is nothing more than a political hit-job. They have been trying to impeach the president since his first day in office.
Their motto has become “If you can’t beat him, then impeach him.”
The American people have no appetite for a drawn-out impeachment investigation and the circus will likely boomerang back in their face.
Impeachment might be a blessing in disguise for the president.