Impeachment of a president is a question of enormous magnitude, not to be undertaken lightly. Under our Constitution, it is an essential tool to check abuse of presidential authority and ensure one-person rule does not replace our system of checks and balances. Our founders did not intend for anyone to be above the law — certainly not the executive wielding the greatest power.
In late May, I called for an inquiry to determine whether President Trump had committed impeachable offenses in his reaction to the Mueller report. He insisted that, while president, he could neither be investigated nor prosecuted, that he is empowered to ignore Congress and declared the Constitution allows him to do “whatever” he wants. Beyond shattering norms, Trump seems intent on breaking the law many days; on others, he tries to break us with hate speech.
This inquiry has reached a more ominous level. Trump attempted to shake down the president of Ukraine — a country under dire Russian threat and partial occupation. He did so in a call shortly after inexplicably suspending about $400 million in military assistance.
In response to the Ukrainian president’s interest in acquiring additional U.S. weapons, Trump replied: “I would like you to do us a favor, though.” He wielded the full force of the presidency not to protect America, solely to advance himself. Compromising the integrity of our elections and our national security for personal gain represents betrayal of his oath of office.
Our reaction to this lawless president sets the precedent for any president, of either party, who threatens our democracy. We act because of danger from one who has lied so much that, perhaps, he cannot distinguish right from wrong.
Responding to this unfit president with words alone is insufficient. Putting partisanship aside, only impeachment will preserve the rule of law. Trump should be impeached for crimes he has confessed: using your tax money for himself. When caught extorting a foreign country to interfere in our election, he first tried to cover it up, bragged about it, and did it again. The most incriminating evidence may come from the most compelling witness: President Trump himself, openly requesting foreign governments to interfere in our election for his personal benefit.
It is time to impeach: for abuse of power jeopardizing our security in favor of personal gain, and for obstructing justice through cover-ups, witness intimidation and refusal to disclose evidence regarding the extent of his harm to our security.
Congress must do more than consider the next election. Averting our eyes would abdicate our responsibility. There is no cause for celebration here. Only the solemn responsibility to safeguard our national security and our constitutional system of government.
It is time to enforce our Founders’ boundaries on a president who respects none.