By Craig Sandler, Program Associate, Congress Watch
From the day President Donald Trump took office—if not even earlier—it was glaringly obvious that he saw no duty to uphold our constitutional values. By putting his daily, flagrant corruption and abuses of power right in the open for all to see, he has flaunted his disdain for the foundational principles of our democracy. The Constitution has only one remedy for a president who betrays the country in this way: the U.S. House of Representatives must impeach this president.
The many revelations over the past several weeks of President Trump’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 election by extorting Ukraine into investigating a political opponent have been harrowing. When Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “do me a favor, though,” lest he withhold badly-needed military aid for Ukraine, he violated an American president’s most sacred responsibility: ensuring our national security. By extorting a foreign government to interfere in an American election, Trump was not only negligent with regard to our nation’s security—he actively endangered it.
American elections should be decided only by Americans, just as Vice President Mike Pence once said. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of any democracy; by not only welcoming but actively seeking Ukrainian interference in the 2020 election, and by using his foreign policy powers as president to strong-arm an ally into doing him a political favor, President Trump has betrayed the United States.
This only became worse when, several days after the initial reporting emerged, Trump publicly committed an impeachable offense by calling on China to investigate his political rival as well. It is clear that Trump feels empowered to abuse his office right out in the open, such is his disregard for the national interest.
Impeachment is a recourse our founders intended only to be used in the most dire of emergencies. Unfortunately, President Trump’s betrayal of the American people and the Constitution is just such an emergency, and impeachment is the only solution. By extorting an allied foreign government and calling on a rival foreign government to intervene in the 2020 election, Trump has so severely abused the power of his office that our loyalty to the Constitution makes impeachment not just an option but a necessity.
If Donald Trump is not impeached, there is every indication that he will continue to betray the American people by seeking foreign interference in American elections. He will continue to abuse the office of the presidency in order to put the wealth and political fortune of himself and his friends above the interests of the nation. He will also continue to behave with contempt for our constitutional values, flaunting the bottomless corruption that permeates his administration at every level.
Sign on to Public Citizen’s petition to urge the House to impeach the president, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Every day this president remains in office is a threat to our constitutional democracy.
No one is above the law—not even the President of the United States.