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The case for Trump's impeachment - and the case against it

11 Comments
By Andy Sullivan

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted on Dec 19 to formally charge President Donald Trump, a Republican, with "high crimes and misdemeanors," making him only the third U.S. president in history to be impeached.

That sets up a trial in January in the Republican-run Senate, where he is expected to be acquitted.

Here is the Democrats' case for removing Trump from office, and the Republican counterargument.

THE CHARGES

In their articles of impeachment, Democrats charge that Trump abused his power as president by pressuring a foreign government, Ukraine's, to help him win re-election. They accuse the president of endangering the U.S. Constitution, jeopardizing national security and undermining the integrity of the 2020 election.

At the heart of the impeachment case is testimony by current and former officials alleging an extraordinary effort that went outside official channels to pressure Ukraine to announce a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

The allegations by Trump allies against Biden - that he used his position as vice president to force the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to stop an investigation of an energy company of which his son Hunter Biden was a director - have been discredited. Neither Trump nor his allies have provided evidence to support them, and Biden has denied them.

Trump pressed Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a July 25 phone call to work with his attorney general, William Barr, and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate the Bidens and also a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats allege that the evidence they have gathered in their inquiry shows Trump withheld a high-profile White House meeting and nearly $400 million in security aid to pressure Zelenskiy to announce the investigations. Trump ultimately released the money after news of the delay became public, although the White House meeting has yet to take place.

Democrats also charge Trump with obstructing Congress by preventing members of his administration from cooperating with the probe, in defiance of the U.S. Constitution.

The Democrats' case rests in large part on a rough transcript of the July 25 call, in which Trump asks Zelenskiy to "do us a favor" and work with Barr and Giuliani in carrying out the investigations he sought. Current and former U.S. officials testified that Trump directed them to work with Giuliani on Ukraine issues, despite the fact that the former New York mayor was a private citizen.

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, provided some of the most damaging testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He said he spoke directly with Trump about the effort to pressure Ukraine and said other top administration officials were involved. He testified that Ukrainian officials understood they would have to announce the investigations in order to get the withheld security aid.

REPUBLICANS CRY FOUL

Trump says he has done nothing wrong, and his Republican allies in the House agree with him -- not a single one voted for either of the two articles of impeachment.

Republicans have coalesced around the argument that the Democrats' case amounts to hearsay because it relies mostly on the testimony of officials who did not deal directly with Trump. They say Democrats should have gone to court to force the testimony of senior officials who were directly involved in the matter after Trump ordered them not to cooperate -- a process that could take months to resolve.

Republicans say no actual exchange of favors took place, because Zelenskiy ultimately did get the delayed aid and the meeting with Trump that he sought - albeit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly - even though the Ukrainian president did not agree to the investigations Trump wanted.

They argue that Democrats are subverting the will of voters who elected Trump president in 2016 simply because they do not like his policies or his personality, turning the impeachment process into a partisan tool.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
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I hope this farce of an accusation and 'trial' will end soon so that the president and Congress can get back to focusing on what they were elected to do, serve the people. The economy, job creation, poverty, etc need thier attention.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Reasons for impeaching him: he has grossly violated his oath of office, violated the mandates of the Constitution, and is an all-around terrible human being.

Can't think of any reasons not to impeach him.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Reasons for impeaching him: he has grossly violated his oath of office, violated the mandates of the Constitution

He did not.

and is an all-around terrible human being.

Thanks for your opinion. That's not a reason to impeach him.

Can't think of any reasons not to impeach him.

Can't think of any reasons to impeach him. Calling Ukraine's President Zelensky to ask him to look into corruption, with Zelensky himself saying there was no pressure, is no reason to impeach. Plus the U.S. is far better off than it was 3 years ago.

By the way, whatever happened to the charges of bribery? They are not included in the articles of Impeachment Lite. And when is the Senate going to receive them? Democrats are clowns.

Anyway, this is all moot. He's not going to be removed from office, he's going to continue to work for the American people and he's going to be re-elected in a landslide in Nov.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

and is an all-around terrible human being.

Thanks for your opinion. That's not a reason to impeach him.

I loathe Trump, and I don't know how you people can continue to hold him in such high regard in the face of all the evidence. But on this I have to agree with you. The reasons stated for going ahead with the impeachment action are, imo, exaggerated, and it's a tactical mistake.

I hope I'm wrong, though.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The radical Dems have shot themselves, repeatedly, in the foot since day 1 of the inauguration. So funny watching them cannibalize each other during their joke debates. This queen loon Warren takes the prize.

Buffoonery and incompetence; nothing like those traits to help get you elected!

nobody likes a loser.

Trump for 2020!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

At the heart of the impeachment case is testimony by current and former officials alleging an extraordinary effort that went outside official channels to pressure Ukraine to announce a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden,

Not paying too much detailed attention to this clown show, but is this claim not false right off the bat? I have read the transcript. He is NOT asking to investige Biden, he is asking to restart the investigation of the corrupt Berisma company. If Biden is involved with Berisma, that would be Bidens problem, not Trumps. Why is nobody pointing this out?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Trump gets to own his impeachment

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It won’t mean anything and this will blow over so quickly. This might be the best thing that could happen to Trump, boosting his popularity, galvanizing the Republican bass, economy is looking fantastic.

Thank you, Nancy and Schiff.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why do so many Americans support the impeachment?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do so many Americans support the impeachment?

As many do not.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-15/trump-approval-rises-impeachment-support-at-50-in-fox-poll

0 ( +0 / -0 )

47% of all Americans support impeachment.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/impeachment-polls/

Fox News poll released Sunday morning found a majority of Americans, 54 percent, said President Donald Trump should be impeached, 

https://www.newsweek.com/fox-news-poll-majority-americans-support-impeaching-donald-trump-removed-office-1477340

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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