xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Kennedy: Trump’s urging of foreign investigations qualifies as ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’

As a wordsmith much more clever than I wrote recently, “Trump has opened his mouth and stepped on his tongue” one more time, and this time it might prove to be fatal to his desire to continue to be the ruler of America.

I refer, of course, to the “perfect” ⁠— Trump’s word ⁠— telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a call that’s reported to have included a request by Trump for the Ukrainian government to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter, about their involvement with an energy company in that country. The younger Biden was employed by that company for a time.

Advertisement

According to a former prosecutor for the Ukraine, there was such an investigation and nothing untoward was found. Trump’s calling on another country to find something that could damage the candidacy of a possible ⁠— and in all likelihood, probable ⁠— opponent in the 2020 election, much like he did with the Russians in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, is a violation of U.S. election finance laws.

And now he has encouraged the Chinese government to also investigate the Bidens about some business dealings in that country. Continuing on this path can, and should, be considered “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as delineated in the Constitution, and lead to his removal from office.

Advertisement

Unfortunately, as has been the case with other questionable activities by the Trump administration, several House committees are being stonewalled by the administration and the Republican leadership. Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, along with others before them, have pushed back against appearing before the requesting committees — or even refusing to — even after subpoenas have been served. This, on its face, appears to be obstruction of justice and probably contempt of Congress, both federal crimes.

As I’ve asked each time that another administration official — probably under orders of “King Donald” — defies a committee subpoena, “What are they trying to hide and what are they afraid of?” I believe that if nothing illegal, immoral or otherwise untoward is going on at the present and has not occurred in the past, they should answer the committees’ questions and be done with it.

Along with the president’s usual questionable actions, he is now attempting to discover the identity of the whistleblower who first raised a concern about the content of the phone call in question. That person’s identity, by law, is to be protected and no retribution of any kind is permitted. If Trump is successful in finding out the whistleblower’s identity, that person’s job — as well as their, and probably their entire family’s physical well-being — will possibly be put in jeopardy. This is simply another example of the abuse of power that Trump uses to get his way.

If the leadership of the House of Representatives decides that there is enough evidence to bring forward articles of impeachment against Trump and it comes up in that body I expect quite a few Republican members will vote against the articles, notably our own Trump toady Andy Harris, who seems to worship at the altar of his leader. Once passed by the majority in the House, the Senate will be forced to initiate an impeachment trial. Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham will, of course, be in the forefront of those Republicans who will deny that anything even a bit questionable has transpired during Trump’s term. Whether or not enough Republican senators come to their senses and break ranks and vote for the impeachment all depends on the evidence that the House investigations can come up with. I’m afraid that without totally compelling evidence of serious wrongdoing, Trump may survive the trial.

No matter what happens with the impeachment process, I’m hopeful that all of Trump’s shenanigans make his re-election unlikely. All we need is for the Democrats to settle on a more centrist candidate than those “wild-eyed liberal socialists” who are hogging all of the headlines. We can only hope.

Bill Kennedy writes every other week from Taneytown. You may contact him via email at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement