With the announcement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that Congress is officially opening impeachment proceeding into the president, we’ve entered a crucial new phase of the Trump era. As the president’s misdeeds and alleged crimes are exposed, the American people will get a much fuller picture of the crook they elected to lead them. In doing so, not only will Trump finally be held accountable for his actions, but his chances for reelection could be irreparably damaged.
The White House has now released a nonverbatim memorandum detailing the phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky during which the former requested that the latter “look into” Joe Biden and his son Hunter as a “favor.” It’s actually rather surprising that the administration decided to release the memo since the contents are so incredibly damning. President Trump used the power of the Oval Office to pressure a foreign leader to damage a domestic political enemy, only a short time after he froze some $391 million in aid to war-torn Ukraine. It’s a gross, impeachable abuse of power.
The Hill is reporting that even elements of the president’s favorite propaganda network are calling him out for his felonious behavior. Last night, before Pelosi even made her impeachment announcement, Fox’s senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in on the scandal. He told host Shepard Smith that Trump’s behavior during the Ukraine call constituted a crime.
“It is a crime for the president to solicit aid for his campaign from a foreign government,” Napolitano told Smith. Napolitan pointed out that the Ukraine incident is the same kind of crime that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was originally tasked with investigating and that Trump’s actions run afoul of FEC regulations. “If that was done in order to enhance the president’s reelection campaign, yes, it’s the same crime that the president would’ve committed,” said Napolitano.
House Democrats have demanded that the Director of National Intelligence hand over the original whistleblower complaint that first exposed this entire story by Thursday. Napolitano observed that the White House “is on very thin ice” if they continue to try to block its release.
After Smith once again went over Trump’s behavior, specifically his request for Ukraine to investigate a possible 2020 rival, Napolitano made his point explicitly clear: “bribery is absolutely an impeachable offense,” if that’s indeed what occurred.
The American people still need a clearer picture of what Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine and what he said to Ukrainian officials as well as what specifically is contained in the whistleblower complaint but things are looking increasingly grim for the worst president in American history.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.