A Case for Drafting Articles of Impeachment
By: Lottie Gonzalez-Habes
Two distinct inclinations appear to separate Democrats across Monroe County just like throughout the nation after the release of Robert Mueller’s report. The much-awaited document laid out many instances of evidence demonstrating that Donald Trump engaged in acts to obstruct justice and more disturbingly, attempted to hide and obscure similar actions using and pressuring aides and advisors. The questions posed by the talking heads on television, as well as, print and social media have changed from: When will the duly elected Congress be “allowed” to read the un-redacted text of the investigation conducted by Mueller? to: What will the duly elected Democrats do with the results of the report? The narrative has morphed to suggest or predict a splintering democratic unity. However, as true blue democrats, the writers of this article announce that much to the chagrin and irritation of Republicans, we don’t agree with that divisive premise. We each see the Democratic Party as the big tent institution in which diverse opinions and analysis can be debated and considered without fear of retribution. The varied principles of pursuing social justice, fighting against economic inequality, defense of the environment and defense of Democracy prove that voters are united by more than one issue.
The Mueller report lists clear findings in support, at minimum, of drafting articles of impeachment and recording the action for the benefit of future generations of voters to come. These facts are substantiated in the 2nd volume of the report: a) President’s conduct toward Flynn and his questionable Russian connections, b) President asking for Comey’s loyalty and to let go of Flynn’s investigative effort, C) Unsuccessful Efforts to fire Mueller, d) Efforts to force Sessions to un-recuse himself and take over the investigation, e) Orders given to Don McGhan ( White House Counsel) to fire or pressure others in the administration, f) Statements in favor of Manafort, lamenting legal process against his convicted campaign manager and g) Actions to prevent disclosure of Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives, to mention only six of many contained in his report.
The report also reveals the Special Counsel’s quiet disagreement with the premise that a seating president cannot be indicted. Granted, the numerical reality is also clear. There is a lack of enough principled Republicans in the Senate; who would vote “Yes” to denounce and record their outrage for Donald Trump’s unethical, corrupt and unpatriotic actions. Republicans will not show a spine to achieve removal from office.
Regardless, this Democrat believes that defending America’s style of democratic government is worth the effort. It is imperative that we teach future candidates, like Trump, that Americans of diverse political views, will never overlook and will not give a pass to the public or veiled attempts of decimating democratic institutions. It is indeed worthwhile to at minimum draft articles of impeachment, and to introduce those articles into history’s record. Democrats, in the 2020 election cycle will not only have the opportunity of winning seats in Congress with hard-fought senatorial and house of representatives campaigns. We will have the ability to win the White House, plus additional seats in Congress because that power will come from voters, tired of the dishonesty and corruption in plain view at the Trump White House. Whether voters come from rural districts in the heartland, the rust belt, or the big urban centers in the east or west coasts; they all want to elect principled leadership for the country.
The United States wants to elect leaders who commit to legislating in favor of American families, our economy, leaders who want to protect the environment and leaders who have public safety in mind. Where our candidates stand on the “bread and butter” issues is a priority, but just as important is the priority, to support leaders committed to returning respect to the presidency, and those who defend the idea of shared government responsibilities among the three equal branches of government. Americans will reject Trump’s authoritarian attempts at the ballot box. More importantly, American citizens will not be kind to those who ran for cover and did little to reject Trump’s damaging administrative policies and his executive and moral deficits.
“Not Worth It,” A Case for Not Initiating Impeachment Proceedings
By: Briana Scott, MCDC’s Press Secretary
“Whether it’s articles of impeachment or investigations, it’s the same obtaining of facts,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to her Democratic constituents, citing a clear divide within the Democratic party since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on April 18th, about deciding whether to proceed with filing the articles of impeachment would be a proposition that politically would harm the prospects of victory for Democrats in the 2020 presidential election. Pelosi continued stating, “We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”
House Speaker Pelosi is correct: The Democratic Party should not rush into PURSUING impeachment and should only focus on getting President Trump out of office in next year’s election. Filing articles of impeachment will only further divisiveness within the party and even nationally, possibly costing the Democrats a very likely electoral win. Wasting time and energy on impeachment proceedings would not only be a mistake. It would also provoke a political implosion, especially since the Republican-controlled Senate under Mitch McConnell will not pursue the required next steps following impeachment, which is a trial in the Senate.
Additionally, the Washington Post-Schar School conducted a poll last month and found that half of U.S. adults say the Mueller report will make no difference in which candidate they will vote for in 2020. According to Vox.com, 36 percent of voters were in favor of President Trump’s impeachment. Since the release of the Mueller report, that number dropped to 34 percent. Democrats fear if they pursue the articles of impeachment, they will not have public support, once again raising the concern of losing next year’s election. This hesitation stems from the consequences the Republican’s experienced after impeaching a President Bill Clinton, costing the party House seats in the 1998 midterm election.
Furthermore, Democrats have at their disposal many mechanisms besides impeachment for holding President Trump accountable. Currently, House Democrats have launched investigations into Trump’s history of lying, which according to the Washington post, as of April 26th, has crossed the 10,000 lies mark; his net worth and debts on official financial documents; allegations that he made foreign policy decisions to enhance his personal wealth; and concerns that personal confidants, like Jared Kushner received security clearances despite being susceptible to foreign influences.
2020 Presidential candidate Eric Swalwell is one of the few Democrats siding with Pelosi opposing moving forward with impeachment. He explaining on Fox News Sunday, “you only get one shot at this. I want to make sure we get it right. I think that means first getting the full Mueller report unredacted, getting Mueller to testify himself, getting people like Don McGahn in,” said Swalwell. He continued “we are winning in the courts right now. The president is outnumbered with the subpoena power and the court rulings that are on our side. I think that’s a road would go down, but we are not going to do Donald Trump justice here because we only get one shot to make sure the rule of law still stands in America.”
Democrats must continue to investigate and unveil the wrongdoings by President Trump and the complicity of his Republican Party. And the best course of action is to continuously report their findings to the American people, remaining transparent in their course of action and continuously make strides of making Pres. Donald Trump accountable for his unprecedented actions during his administration.