Impeachment is an inherently political act. But it can also be, unfortunately, an overtly political act as well. As a non-profit non-partisan news organization, Divided We Fall has lamented the state of partisan politics in the United States extensively, advocating for unity and opposing the impeachment of President Trump. However, there comes a time when the value of unity must be relegated to other values—the rule of law, justice, and truth—regardless of the political consequences. Today, given the seriousness of the infractions outlined in the Ukraine whistleblower memo, we have changed our mind and now support the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Here’s why.
I am a registered Democrat (although I consider myself more of an independent Democrat in the mold of another Joe from Connecticut, Senator Joe Lieberman). Unlike many members of my party, I admitted defeat to Donald Trump in 2016, conceding that elections are determined by the electoral college and not the popular vote as is the current fad within my party. I acknowledged that Trump represented the legitimate interests of my fellow citizens who were reasonably concerned about a changing country and who felt forgotten by the political class in Washington. I did not think these concerns were deplorable and have argued vociferously against those who did. I respect that elections have consequences including the appointment of cabinet officials who I might not like and the nomination of judges and justices onto the federal bench. I lamented the continuous attempts to obstruct and delegitimize the Trump administration by my fellow Democrats. I gave the administration the benefit of the doubt and, in fact, continue to agree with several of their policies, especially as it relates to our record-breaking economy and adversarial stance against China.
I was opposed to impeachment before, during, and after the Mueller investigation. Though I supported the launching of the investigation under the principle, as Justice Louis Brandies declared, that sunlight is the best disinfectant, I did not conclude that the report revealed criminal Presidential wrongdoing. I argued against impeachment ad nauseam with friends and colleagues to the point where many of them accused me of being a Republican (which they perceived to be an insult but that I generally took as a compliment to the independence of my thought and devil’s advocacy). I grew sick of discussing impeachment as did the American people. I wanted the country to move on and focus on the issues that actually matter to voters: the economy, education, immigration, healthcare, and retirement.
But that has all changed, now. This time is different. This time, according to the transcript memo of the July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky released by the Trump administration, President Trump personally and directly asked a foreign leader to interfere in the U.S. election by investigating Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. This evidence is clearly documented by the Department of Justice transcript memo. It is also corroborated by multiple intelligence community professionals according to a whistleblower memo deemed “credible” and “urgent” by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, a Trump appointee. Beyond this flagrant abuse of power for personal gain, the whistleblower complaint details a subsequent effort by the White House to hide all records of the phone call including moving the transcript to a classified information system. This is what we know. And it is damning.
But there is even more that we do not yet know. We do not yet know the full circumstances of the coverup attempt. We do not yet know the details of the “direct follow-up” meeting between Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian presidential advisors just one week after Trump’s phone call. We do not yet know all of the circumstances surrounding the suspension of military aid to Ukraine, although it appears that the order came from President Trump directly and occurred in close proximity to the July 25th phone call. There are also classified elements of the report that have not yet been released and neither the whistleblower nor other witnesses have yet testified. This may just be the tip of the iceberg. But even what shows above water should concern all on board.
Divided We Fall was created to help Americans navigate politics together. Our defining value is unity. Our modus operandi is bipartisan. But today, these values are in conflict with other foundational American values including the rule of law, sovereignty, justice, and truth. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. describes the difference between a “negative peace which is the absence of tension” and “a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” Today, of all days, we cannot settle for a negative peace.
Our country deserves justice. It is now indisputable that the President of the United States attempted to conspire with a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 Presidential election. It remains to be seen to what extent the President or his associates attempted to cover up this act, but they have already lied about the event extensively to the American people. And if the President cut military aid to Ukraine as part of this incident, then he seriously damaged our national security through this act as well. These amount to high crimes and misdemeanors and are worthy of impeachment.
We say all of this with deep solemnity. We are saddened for our country in these difficult times. There is no winning, here. There should be no celebrating, no gloating. But we ought to remain resolute, nonetheless. We must follow truth wherever it leads to ensure that the nation of, by, and for the people, dedicated to certain propositions and self-evident truths, shall not perish from this Earth. It will not be easy. But we will remember what Martin Luther King Jr. taught us: “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?'”
Divided We Fall is committed to providing a platform for all political perspectives, even and especially those with which we disagree. Robert Wilkes has provided the following response to our op-ed:
Dear Joe, like the Fonz, you jumped the shark when you took a seat on the impeachment circus wagon. Perhaps you even believed Adam Schiff’s “parody” of the president’s phone call, for which he has sheepishly apologized. Or, perhaps you were lulled into a trance by the 24/7 drumbeat for impeachment on the non-Fox News media. What a gold mine of advertising revenue they will have covering an impeachment! Why shouldn’t they make it happen?
Let’s review how it all began. Hillary Clinton’s DNC paid foreign agents and encouraged foreign governments to dig up dirt on Donald Trump and his campaign. They were abetted by willing allies in the corrupt hierarchy of the FBI and CIA to create an investigation into the Trump campaign that led to the appointment of a special prosecutor. Despite regular and frequent gravely pronounced declarations of “This is it, we have him now” each time there was a puff of smoke, it fizzled when the report came out and Mueller testified. It was a failed coup attempt by the establishment and the media.
Weren’t you curious about Nancy Pelosi’s announcement, before the whistleblower complaint was even public, of an “official” impeachment inquiry? That was nonsense from the jump. Impeach or don’t impeach, there is no such thing as an official inquiry.
Behind all her pompous platitudes about the constitution, she was up to something. She already had the whistleblower complaint, because she helped create it. This is another set up, like the Russian collusion nothing-burger. A partisan member of the intelligence committee heard something second or third hand and told someone in the Democratic party. They teamed him up with their lawyers to write the “complaint.” Then they changed the rules which prohibited reports based on second hand information or reports from biased reporters so they could bring it forward.
Read it. It is not the words of a concerned citizen. It is a lawyer’s brief with footnotes longer than the material they reference. I’m guessing those lawyers were paid by the Democrats. We may found out if they actually impeach because Senate Republicans will get to ask in a trial.
This is a setup, and it will have the same fate as the Russia collusion investigation. But notice the swelling chorus for impeachment now reaching the rapture of “Ode to Joy” in Beethoven’s Ninth. It’s unusually frantic. They are in an awful hurry to do this. Why? Bill Barr. Attorney General Barr is going to blow the lid off the phony Russian collusion scam. People are going to go to jail and the Democrats’ malign behavior and crass hard-knuckle political tactics will be in plain view. Even CNN won’t be able to hide the smell of corruption.
The Democrats have burned the crops and destroyed the fruit trees during the battle, as the Bible tells us not to do. Never again will a president trust the FBI or the CIA or talk candidly with a foreign leader over the telephone. This will hurt the country. Thank the Democrats.
There should be no impeachment. But if they do it, bring it on.