Trump’s Phone Call With Ukraine Proves Why He Should Be Impeached

At+the+Impeachment+March+on+July+2%2C+2017%2C+a+participant+holds+up+signs+protesting+the+Trump+administration%27s+relationship+with+Russia.
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Trump’s Phone Call With Ukraine Proves Why He Should Be Impeached

At the Impeachment March on July 2, 2017, a participant holds up signs protesting the Trump administration's relationship with Russia.

At the Impeachment March on July 2, 2017, a participant holds up signs protesting the Trump administration's relationship with Russia.

Photo By Master Steve Rapport

At the Impeachment March on July 2, 2017, a participant holds up signs protesting the Trump administration's relationship with Russia.

Photo By Master Steve Rapport

Photo By Master Steve Rapport

At the Impeachment March on July 2, 2017, a participant holds up signs protesting the Trump administration's relationship with Russia.

By Ayesha Middya, Reporter

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The possibility of U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment has reappeared in the latest news. On Sept. 25, a transcript of a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was released, revealing an attempt by President Trump to dig up political blackmail on his rival candidate, Joe Biden. Business between Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, and a Ukrainian gas company had caught Trump’s attention and compelled him to call Zelensky to investigate. The publication of the transcript has since raised inquiries into possible impeachment as many politicians have viewed the transcript as proof of treason and foreign meddling. 

Though the Ukrainian call from the White House occurred on July 25, it came to light through a whistleblower report in Aug. 12. The whistleblower reported an “urgent concern” to Inspector General for National Intelligence Michael Atkinson. Through a brief preliminary review, Atkinson found the claim credible and turned it over to Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence. After it was reported that Trump had frozen about $400 million in aid to Ukraine before the phone call, the House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump on behalf of concerned members of the Democratic Congress.

On Oct. 6, a second whistleblower came forward. An intelligence official claimed to have first-hand knowledge on Trump’s attempt to contact the Ukrainian government to investigate a political rival. Influential Democrats have argued that these reports implicate Trump of treason. Despite previous efforts to impeach Trump, Democrats have been unsuccessful in their goal. However, with two credible allegations now brought against President Trump, the House of Representatives must decide how to proceed.

While impeachment could result in the removal from office for the president, the term ‘impeachment’ actually only refers to an official indictment. Even if impeached, the president would only be removed from office if both the House of Representatives and the Senate produce a majority vote to convict the individual.

Potential articles of violation in the general impeachment report include extortion, obstruction of justice, violation of election law through the use of foreign power, abuse of power, and violation of a constitutional cause. Our president has overstepped his executive privilege and has violated the Constitution that he swore to uphold in his oath. Although the Mueller report published on April 18 did not completely prove the presence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Trump was not completely exonerated. Additionally, the Mueller report claimed that there were “repeated instances of contacts or attempted contacts between Russian actors and people in the Trump campaign,” but not enough to charge as a violation. After the murder of a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, which was later proven to be ordered by the Saudi crown prince, Trump did not redact the U.S.’ $15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. However, many other countries, such as Germany and other American allies, did. Time and time again, Trump has displayed loyalty to foreign nations over the United States, placing our national concerns far behind. Even though on the campaign trail, Trump promised to put America first, he has instead displayed that political and financial clout gained through foreign means is his main concern. His rampant abuse of power and unacceptable behavior with foreign leaders, two of whom have been accused of high-profile murders, is unpresidential.

Although the Senate will most likely block the removal of President Trump from office, we must not use that as an excuse to not attempt to impeach him. He has clearly violated the Constitution, and he will continue to do so if we do not try to correct his actions and convey the gravity of the situation to him. The Ukraine phone call was a symptom of the problem; Trump believes he is above the law and is untouchable. The failure of the Mueller investigation to determine if Russian interference was undeniably present in 2016 election has only emboldened him further. Impeachment is a long overdue process, and it is time to finally move forward with the charges, as his actions have clearly violated the Constitution. It is within the people’s power to hold our leaders to the highest standards and ensure that we live in a fair society.