Over the past couple of weeks, the House Intelligence Committee has heard from several fact witnesses that support the contention that Trump did, in fact, offer Ukraine a quid pro quo—a White House meeting and military assistance for dirt on the Bidens and investigations into the 2016 election. In other words, a shake down bribe. Now the walls are closing in and someone’s goose is starting to cook.
Republicans on the committee rarely took on the substance of the witnesses, but instead used their time to harangue and divert. “What about Hunter Biden? What about Cloud Strike? What about the Steele dossier? Where is the whistleblower? How come the Democrats are being so unfair? Etc.” They say if you can’t argue the facts or the law pound the table. I saw a lot of table pounding.
One Republican member predicted the House would impeach, but the Senate would not convict. Odds are he’s right. Time will tell. Some say it is foolish to hold impeachment proceedings during an election year. But experts say Russia is now and will continue to meddle in our election process. That doesn’t guarantee a Trump win, but with gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the electoral college can we really say that the principle of “one person, one vote” can be sustained? My question is what are the consequences of not impeaching? It would be a shirking of congressional responsibility for oversight, an acquiescence to the evolution of an imperial presidency, and an invitation to this and future presidents to do whatever they want because they are above the law and can get away with it.
It is unlikely Trump will be convicted and removed from office. This will mean he crows about being exonerated, that the whole thing was a hoax and presidential abuse, and he will accuse the Democrats of being socialist human scum. But even if he’s not removed, I wonder if the taint of impeachment will convince swing voters to mark ballots for someone else. I wonder if they smell Trump’s goose being cooked and say give me something else?
As someone asked Ben Franklin when he was leaving the constitutional convention: what form of government do we have. Franklin’s reply: “a republic, if you can keep it”. Can we keep it?