The Impeachment of President Trump

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I believe there is enough evidence to warrant Trump’s removal from office. The twelve witnesses from various government agencies testified under oath for more than 30 hours that “the favor” that was asked of the President of Ukraine by President Trump was unhelpful if not outright damaging to US security interests and as Former National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill described as a “domestic political errand.” The twelve government witnesses presented a significant body of evidence indicating Trump demanded a quid pro quo of political favor for official action, the release of military aid to Ukraine, or a White House meeting with Zelensky, or both.

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President Trump abused the power of the presidency by pressuring the President of Ukraine, in a phone call made on July 25, to help himself in the 2020 election by announcing investigations into his political rival Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the Ukrainian company Burisma, and support a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind interference in the 2016 presidential election. Members of Congress began discussing the potentially impeachable offenses that could apply to President Trump's conduct regarding Ukraine. Lawyer and journalist Ari Melber wrote in the Washington Post on October 19, 2019, that the evidence in the Ukraine plot provided a strong case of bribery, an impeachable offense in the Constitution.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo listened in on that call. Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to European Union, testified Pompeo gave him the green light in emails detailing an effort to seek Zelenskiy’s backing for investigations inquired by Trump in hopes of breaking a “logjam” that was preventing them from obtaining diplomatic concessions. 'Everyone was in the loop,' Sondland testified. 'It was no secret.'

Some of the most interesting testimony came from David Holmes, the State Department staffer, who testified to overhearing Trump in a private phone call with Sondland in a restaurant in Ukraine. Holmes, who said he could hear the president’s voice ask about 'the investigations,' said Sondland responded that Zelenskiy will do what he wants because he 'loves your ass.' Holmes also testified to later being told by Sondland that Trump didn’t care about Ukraine, 'only big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing.'

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, gave several media interviews and wrote tweets pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden’s. Trump told a trio of aides to listen to Giuliani on Ukraine, effectively bringing the pressure campaign inside his administration. Giuliani’s name came up in the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy. The State Department’s Kent also described a 'campaign of lies' pushed by Giuliani intended to unfairly tarnish the reputation of Ambassador Yovanovitch. During her sworn testimony, Yovanovitch testified that Giuliani was talking to 'individuals with questionable motives' who she said made 'suspect' claims, an apparent reference to the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General that the State Department regarded as corrupt and two associates of Giuliani who have since been charged with campaign finance violations. 'I do not understand Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me,' she testified. 'Clearly, no one at the State Department did.' Giuliani insisted on Twitter that the witness testimony is part of a Democratic cover-up and that he has 'no policy agenda other than to defend my client,' the president.

John Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, is perhaps the most dangerous potential witness for Trump. Bolton’s aides testified that he referred to Giuliani as a “hand grenade” and disdainfully labeled Ukraine interests a “drug deal.” All four, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Guiliani, and Bolton, were mentioned numerous times in impeachment testimony to date, and all four had direct lines to the president. For now, Mulvaney, Pompeo, and Giuliani have said they would follow Trump’s directive not to take part in the inquiry. Bolton has said he wants a court to decide.

To reiterate my position that Trump should be removed from office, I have presented factual and direct testimony proving the crime of bribery which is an impeachable offense. Twelve witnesses swore under oath against Trump, yet not one swore under oath in his defense. Trump knows that if Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani, and Bolton were to testify, there would be no doubt that an impeachable crime has been committed. As the honorable, and now deceased, long-time Maryland Democrat, Elijah Cummings said, “We are better than this. We really are. As a country, we are so much better than this.”

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