Young: ‘Cleansing the office’ of the presidency, eh? (column)
August 28, 2018
Of course Donald Trump colluded.
He knew what soon-to-be national security adviser Michael Flynn was doing when Flynn met with ambassador Sergiey Kislyak to discuss easing sanctions placed on Russia for attacks on our democratic system.
Who else would ease those sanctions? Ivanka?
Of course Trump knew about a meeting involving a Russian delegation and key campaign figures, including his son and his son-in-law, in his tower.
Of course he's obstructed justice.
He dictated an explanation about that meeting that was a brazen and clumsy lie.
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He fired James Comey to blunt the investigation into Flynn's activities after pressuring the then-FBI director to back off. He also pressured other officials including his national security adviser Mike Rogers.
Every day since, Trump has bullied investigators, while demanding that Attorney General Jeff Sessions serve his own interests and go after his political enemies.
Of course Trump has engaged in illegal activities. His own then-attorney said so in pleading guilty to campaign finance violations. Trump is on tape doing so.
If President Hillary Clinton or President Obama had been implicated in so much as a sliver of such scandal, this Congress would be on it like red ants on watermelon rind.
Instead, House investigators "led" by Rep. Devin Nunez have done everything possible to undermine the investigation.
This very well could change in November.
Much is said about the House role in launching impeachment proceedings. Less is said about the House's general investigatory role – the power to subpoena the executive branch.
In the two years of the Trump presidency, House Democrats have asked the Republican majority 52 times to issue subpoenas to the administration, each time refused.
The 52 sought-after probes range far and wide, from foreign business arrangements with the Trump Organization to obscenely wasteful spending by Cabinet officials.
They also include documentation of the Trump administration's response to the disasters in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and the Flint, Mich., municipal water debacle.
This brings us back to impeachment, which is misrepresented simply as removal from office. No, it's a trial based on very serious accusations.
Of course Trump should be impeached – tried over matters we already know about. Who knows what else we will need to know about when Robert Mueller makes his report?
Impeachment is an evidentiary proceeding. It is seeking the truth, albeit in a political tribunal. Certainly, if Republican enablers control either or both chambers, removal of this president would seem out of the question.
Nonetheless, it is the obligation of Congress to investigate what he has done.
Once again, impeachment is about ascertaining truth. If the press is the enemy of the people, as Trump says, he has been, from Day 1, an avowed enemy of the truth.
Back when he was in the House in 1999 and Bill Clinton was in Republican crosshairs for far less than what this president has done, now-Sen. Lindsey Graham said, "You don't even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role. Impeachment isn't about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office."
Despite what was said then, Sen. Graham and his cohorts have no inclination to do something about the criminally corrupt man in the White House now. That is up to voters in November.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado.
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