Now that the public hearings portion of the impeachment inquiry has ended, the process is moving forward toward an impeachment vote. Voting are 197 Republicans and 233 Democrats, plus one Independent. There are four vacancies in the chamber.
While most Americans have formed a view regarding guilt or innocence, many still want to evaluate the arguments from both sides.
House Intelligence Committee Impeachment House of Cards
At the base of the House Impeachment is that the President Trump withheld aid to Ukraine, demanding action before it was released. This would be a quid pro quo.
The fact is that US military aid to Ukraine was held up for at most 55 days by President Trump. The reason had to do with corruption investigations that have been a concern inside the beltway for years.
President Trump, even before he ran, questioned America’s taxpayer support of corrupt Governments. (KYIV / 2015 Corruption In Ukraine)
Democrat Basis for Impeachment
The Democrats’ view is that Trump held up the shipment in order to force the newly elected Ukraine government to “dig up dirt” on one of his potential political rivals. And that this was, in fact, a bribe. The claim is that Trump offered to release nearly $400 million in military aid in order to talk on the phone to the newly elected Ukrainian President. Thus giving President Zelesky credibility via a White House invitation.
The Dems say the offer was contingent on Ukraine guarantying to investigate Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. This investigation must also include the company called Burisma who has Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son as a board member.
And to investigate Joe Biden’s involvement with his son’s activities.
The Democrats further claim that Trump wanted to smear a potential political opponent. Ergo the meeting at the UN, the phone calls, the Military aid was arranged simply for Trump’s personal gain. Which would be an impeachable offense. If it was proven to be true.
Add to that Trump’s obstruction of justice, contempt of Congress and abuse of power and there are now four articles of impeachment.
Based on the vote that created the impeachment inquiry, nearly every Democrat in Congress agrees.
The Republican view regarding the President’s actions is much different.
In 2014, under President Obama, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The US did not offer military assistance. Trump changed the policy, asking Congress for military aid for Ukraine. Once approved and ready for release, Trump wanted to ensure that the newly elected Ukraine government, under President Zelesky would route corruption out.
Trump sought proof that the new government was committed to eliminate corruption and to investigate any illegal activities by Ukrainians during the 2016 election. It is widely known that the Russians interfered in that election. Since at least one Ukrainian citizen has already been convicted of tampering with the US 2016 election, Trump wanted to know if there were more.
There is also some evidence that former Vice-President Joe Biden may have some involvement in the highly corrupt company Burisma, where his son did receive extraordinarily large sums for seemingly doing very little.
“When the President’s talking to the president of Ukraine, that’s the issue he’s worried about: why did this corruption take place, and if they’re investigating what went on,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “He had every right to ask about Biden.”Reports confirmed Vice President Biden used his office to protect energy company Burisma from anti-corruption scrutiny. Documents showed the State Department was aware that Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky was involved in money laundering and the illegal off-shoring of at least $23 million from Ukraine.
Funds to Ukraine were released when US diplomats assured him that the new government was committed to cleaning up corruption. Trump was also pressured by Congress, who was set to freeze the money if not sent.
The GOP view is that this action was not a bribe.
Indeed Ukraine received all of the funds and did absolutely nothing in return. GOP would also argue that there is no crime called obstruction of Congress. Congress and the President routinely disagree on the release of information. The courts make the decision which is exactly what is happening here.
There was no obstruction of justice via executive privilege. Nor is there any abuse of power. The reason is that he didn’t want to investigate a potential political rival. Instead, he wanted to investigate a former Vice President. Just because Biden runs for president doesn’t mean he gets a Clinton pass for wrongdoing when in office.
So which argument is a House of Cards?
The answer is that they both do, but one side’s fallacy undermines their entire argument.
The Democrat’s argument is based on the premise that Trump only wants Biden investigated because he wants to harm a political rival. If that is a false argument, then their entire argument dissolves.
Trump says he is investigating corruption and the chance that a former vice president may have played a role. He might argue that the same investigation might reveal John Kerry’s stepson, formerly Hunter Biden’s business partner, culpability.
Suppose then, officials want to investigate John Kerry to see if any of his influence was improper.
That is acceptable?
But if Kerry Sr. chooses to enter the race for president would the investigation stop?
The question becomes whether Joe Biden is untouchable just because he is running for president.
To find the President guilty of the crimes alleged by the House, the Senate — must be convinced “beyond a shadow of a doubt” of his guilt. Since it is possible that Trump did just want to examine all corrupt activity in 2016, there is more than a shadow of a doubt as to the President’s motives. Meaning he is not guilty.
The truth is probably that Trump did want to target Biden, not because of any fear in future elections. But because, like most Americans, he suspects there has been wrongdoing by the former V.P. son, Hunter Biden. If not the former Vice President.
Since the day of his election as the 45th President, the Democrats continually utter degrading and untrue accusations about Trump. In a show of abstract-distract manipulations, Hillary Clinton and the DNC are the ones proven to have colluded with Russia and Ukraine to derail Trump’s Presidential aspirations. Clinton and the DNC are the ones that paid Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS to create the fully hoaxed Russia Dossier.
Re-elected in 2020, as history has shown the incumbent with a strong economy will be, Trump will approve further investigations on the Biden’s activity in Ukraine. And Clinton, Intelligence Community (FBI) and the Deep State involvement in the abuse of the FISA courts that did allow them to target Trump’s administration — both pre and post-inauguration.
In the end, the Democrat argument is built on an unstable House of Cards that will fall. There are no impeachable acts they can pin on the President. That was the case during the investigation into Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, finance campaign violations and now bribery.
Trump won in 2016. If the Democrats want him removed, in less than a year the only path is to beat him at the voting booth. That’s what they should be concentrating on, not the impeachment fallacy.
But the harm to America is done. And Democrats have less than a snowballs chance of taking over the White House in 2020
Michael Busler, Ph.D. is a public policy analyst and a Professor of Finance at Stockton University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Finance and Economics. He has written Op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 40 years. www.facebook.com/fundingdemocracy @mbusler