Prologue: There is a “listening room” in The White House where presidents make their phone calls. The day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified publicly under oath at a televised news conference on May 30, 2019, President Donald Trump made a call to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
Trump had rejoiced and boasted when Attorney General Barr had given his four page biased interpretation of The Mueller Report and said, “No collusion!” Barr had neglected to cite the ten specific examples of “Obstruction of Justice” that were in the 400 page report.
When Trump made the call, he had already put a hold on money that Congress had approved for Ukraine. The funds were desperately needed to buy Javelin missiles as defense against Russian tanks. Russia had already annexed Crimea on their southern border. During the phone call, Trump asked Zelensky “for a favor, ” He asked him to help his personal lawyer, and the Attorney General who would be coming to visit Ukraine. Their purpose was to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter to find illegal activities they had taken part in. It was a clear ‘quid pro quo’ against his main political rival in the 2020 presidential race.
By the time the thirty minute phone call was over, White House aides were alarmed by what they had heard after Trump had congratulated Zelensky on his election. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also been in the room. A decision was made to “lock down” records of the call , a process that has occurred since Trump was elected in 2016. This removed the call to a separate electronic system reserved for classified information.
Enter The Whistle Blower: A C.I.A official who had once worked in the White House learned of what had occurred with the phone call. He (or she) wrote a complaint that was declassified and given to The House Intelligence Committee. “The White House officials who gave me this information were deeply disturbed by what happened in the phone call. They told me there was already a discussion going with White House lawyers because in the likelihood, in the officials retelling , that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain. “
Friday, September 27, 2019, The New York Times : COMPLAINT ASSERTS A WHITE HOUSE COVER-UP
President Trump was in New York at The United Nations when the whistle-blower story broke. He spoke at the U. S. Mission to The United Nations. Trump immediately wanted to know who provided information to the whistle-blower, saying whoever did so was “close to a spy” .And “in the old days” spies were dealt with differently. ( When his response was shown later on TV , it was interpreted as “ they were “executed.” ) He also condemned the news media as “crooked” for reporting on the complaint.
For the record: The Whistle Blower Protection Act was passed by Congress in 1989 . It protects whistle blowers who report activities that violate laws, rules and regulations in government as well as business and industry.
By October 3rd, the president on the White House Lawn called on China to join Ukraine to “investigate Joseph Biden and his son Hunter for illegal activities”. He called them “crooked” earning millions in China. His similar comments about them in Ukraine have been debunked on television by reporters who followed up on the charges . When Joe Biden spoke to a crowd the same day, he said, “I’m not going anywhere! I never made a dime in China. And I resent him attacking my family! The crowd responded with loud cheers. The president has also targeted Adam Schiff, Chair of The House Intelligence Committee since he received the complaint from the whistle-blower. An avalanche of tweets accused Schiff of being a “traitor”.
On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, The New York Times had run a full page headline: “PELOSI WILL OPEN FORMAL IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, ACCUSING PRESIDENT OF ‘BETRAYAL OF THE NATION”. A growing number of Democratic members of The House of Representatives had been urging her to make this decision. Leading House committees were already holding hearings: Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Ways & Means. As Speaker of The House, she had waited until a majority of the members were behind Impeachment. There was also strong support from leading Democrats running for President in the 20/20 Election.
Framing Articles of Impeachment: The current uproar over Trump asking Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden and his son is the last in a series of presidential abuses of power. Historians have cautioned that articles of impeachment should include harmful actions he has taken since he became president rather than focus only on this latest scandal.
The three charges against President Richard Nixon would be appropriate for Donald J. Trump: Abuse of Power, Obstruction of Justice and Contempt of Congress. His current actions could be first among many Abuses of Power. Next, The Mueller Report details ten clear examples of Obstruction of Justice. Last, Contempt of Congress would stress Trump’s instructions to everyone in the Executive branch to ignore subpoenas from the different Congressional committees.
Donald Trump has never displayed knowledge of The Constitution of The United States. ( He thought there were 12 Articles. ) He has never realized that The Founders placed The Legislature first as Article I, rather than The Executive branch of government because they fought King George during the Revolution to create this nation. They feared another despot at the helm. They created the system of checks and balances to make sure the Executive did not become another despot. Congress controls the “power of the purse” among other important powers.
Donald Trump in his remarks on October 3 made clear that he will do and say whatever he wants to remain in office and win the election in 2020. He appeared to be daring the Democrats, “Impeach me! “ The House of Representatives where they hold the majority may do just that.
It is hoped that the Republican Senators who will decide Donald Trump’s fate in a trial will think about the founders of this nation as well as their seat in D.C. when they vote. The future of this nation as the leader of the free world is at stake.
………………………………………………………….Joyce S. Anderson