House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi came out today with the specific charges on which Donald Trump will be tried for impeachment as President of the United States.
The charges, formally known by the constitutional term “Articles of Impeachment,” were drafted after careful deliberation among members of the Democratic caucus. Although many House Democrats were in favor of including charges based on the Mueller Investigation Report, it was eventually decided that the “Articles of Impeachment” be narrowed down to two major impeachable offenses:
- Abuse of power, and
- Obstruction of Congress
Abuse of Presidential Power in a Manner that Compromised U.S. National Security
The first article of impeachment states that Donald Trump was found irresponsible in the exercise of his presidential power, which he himself admitted. Trump in his capacity as POTUS, had solicited as well as pressured the President of Ukraine to look into the alleged corrupt activities of Joe Binden and his son Hunter, during the older Biden’s term as Vice President of then President Obama.
Joe Biden as everyone knows, is the Democratic candidate that could emerge as Trump’s strongest political opponent in the 2020 Presidential election. Discrediting Biden potentially increases Donald Trump’s chances of getting re-elected as POTUS for another 4-year term.
The “abuse of power charge” is supported by testimonies and documents furnished by top government officials coming from the State Department, the White House Budget Office and the National Security Agency.
According to Jerrold E. Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the president abused the power of his office in order to gain a personal benefit, at the risk of compromising national interest, whilst undermining the integrity of the forthcoming presidential elections.
Moreover, the act of soliciting cooperation from a foreign government, combined with using as leverage, the release of a Congressionally approved military financial aid, is an outright violation of Trump’s oath to defend the Constitution and to ensure the welfare and security of the entire nation.
Obstruction of Congress by Forbidding Subpoenaed White House Officials to Testify
Rather than label Trump’s act of barring White House officials from testifying, an obstruction of justice, House Democrats decided to narrow down the charge to “obstruction of Congress.”
The House of Representatives, which represents the lower chamber of Congress, has the constitutional duty to investigate allegations that the POTUS and/or other elected government officials have been committing “misdemeanors and high crimes” while serving as highly placed government officials of the land. The purpose of such investigations is to ensure that there is a check-and-balance in governance and to prevent unscrupulous politicians from usurping key government positions.
During the course of the Congressional investigations, Trump barred White House officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton and many others subpoenaed by investigating House Committees, from testifying and furnishing documents.
Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee commented that
“Allowing Trump’s direct defiance of the subpoenas would decimate the ability of Congress to perform its oversight duty over the incumbent president or any other president in the future — leaving Trump and other future presidents to freely commit acts of corruption, malfeasance and incompetence as they would be free from accountability.”