Sunday, December 22, 2019


OK, nobody asked for my opinion so here it is.

As I understand it, president Trump is being impeached on 2 articles. First, that he abused power, seconds that he "obstructed congress."

On the first charge, the claim is tampering with the 2020 election:
He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage. 
Let's take a closer look at that. The transcript of the call was made public because the Democrats demanded it.I see nothing in the transcript where he asks that the investigation be made public, only that the investigation continue. So, isn't it the Democrats who made it public, and are therefore culpable of the transgression? Or maybe I am misconstruing something... but let's grant that the claims are correct for a second.

It is not a crime for the president to ask a foreign government to investigate crimes; President Trump's "crime" according to the article of impeachment, is that the investigation would embarrass a candidate in the 2020 election... but isn't that exactly what the Democrats are doing? Making a very public investigation into a candidate in the 202 election to benefit their candidate, harm the election prospects of their political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to their advantage? I mean if investigating a political rival in a way which can humiliate them and influence the next election makes one unfit for office, then every Democrat who called for Trump's investigation and impeachment is equally unfit for office using the same criteria.
The second article of impeachment claims that president Trump "obstructed congress" - what does that mean, exactly? According to the Congressional Research Service, obstruction of congress consists of:
obstruction of judicial proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1503), witness tampering (18 U.S.C. 1512), witness retaliation (18 U.S.C. 1513), obstruction of congressional or administrative proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1505), conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. 371), and contempt (a creature of statute, rule and common law).
On the face of it, it looks bad. President Trump is accused of ignoring lawful congressional subpoenas. But is that what happened? No. President Trump claimed that the subpoenas were not valid, and that he would comply if a court ordered him to. Rather than appealing to a judicial process, congress ignored his request and accused him of ignoring their request.
IANAL, but I know that there are limits to what one can subpoena, and particularly when a branch of government is involved. According to this article, SCOTUS is ruling (likely in Trump's favor) on a very similar issue of subpoenas.
Ultimately this is a matter for the impeachment court to decide, which is the senate. The fact that the Democrats won't release the charges to the senate so that the president can be tried is a clear indication that the impeachment proceedings are intended to humiliate the president, rather than to actually redress a crime. Of course, that brings me back to the first article of impeachment.

It is unlikely that 2/3 of the senate will vote to remove the president, considering that not even all the Democrats in the house voted for impeachment. I don't know if any of these things are objectively impeachable, but if they are, there's clear evidence that the house Democrats are as guilty as the president, if not more so.

On the other hand, the Democrats have "won" this round. The government is in shambles and the country is divided under the Trump administration due to their actions. And maybe the Republicans won something too. I don't personally like president Trump, but this circus is so far out of the bounds of decency it makes me almost want to vote for him, just to not appear to support this kind of contempt for Constitutional procedings.