Impeachment Depends on Facts
Republicans ignore them at their own —and America’s — peril.
I have been reluctant to support impeachment of Trump. Only 8 federal officials have ever been impeached by the House (majority of those voting) and convicted (removed) by the Senate (two-thirds of those present). Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached, but not convicted. And, Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee approved 3 bipartisan impeachment articles. Today, a Senate conviction would require 20 Republicans to join all Democrats (if every senator attended). Unimaginable!
However, facts matter in a democratic society. Authoritarian rule requires constant deception, as well as undermining Congress, courts, intelligence agencies, law enforcement and the press. Disregarding facts will weaken America and send the nation into a speedy decline. The House impeachment inquiry has uncovered damning and inconvenient facts. Ignore at our own peril.
However, Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson has attacked the whistleblower: “This would have been far better off if we would’ve just taken care of this behind the scenes. …(the whistleblower) exposed things that didn’t need to be exposed” (Meet the Press). What was exposed and confirmed by Trump’s telephone call (partial) transcript and congressional witnesses: Trump demanded that Ukraine dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent, and endorse the fiction that it was Ukraine that interfered in our 2016 election.
“Johnson in the past has been an outspoken advocate of protections for whistleblowers… .” (NYT). But Johnson now says: “Not all whistleblowers are created equal”. Johnson believes that there’s Ukrainian dirt on Joe Biden and that Ukraine – not Russia – hijacked our 2016 election. This nonsense has been unequivocally disproved. Kurt Volker, former Trump special envoy to Ukraine and a GOP witness said: allegations against Biden were “not credible” and a Ukrainian investigation of Biden was “unacceptable”. And, Fiona Hill, former Trump-appointed National Security Council official, said: “I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked us in 2016. These fictions are harmful … .”
After the hearings ended, the NYT reported: “In a briefing that closely aligned with … Hill’s testimony, American intelligence officials informed senators and their aides in recent weeks that Russia has engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election … .” Did Johnson or his staff attend? What else does Johnson know about this scandal?
Facts matter. A democratic society can’t survive without facts.
This column was originally published by Wispolitics.com
- Op Ed: The Courage of Mitt Romney - Bill Kaplan - Feb 10th, 2020
- In Trump Acquittal, Wisconsin Legislators Divided - Robin Bravender and Ruth Conniff - Feb 6th, 2020
- Pocan: ‘A Cover-Up That Will Haunt our Democracy’ - U.S. Rep Mark Pocan - Feb 5th, 2020
- Johnson Statement On Acquittal Votes - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson - Feb 5th, 2020
- Johnson Votes to Conclude Impeachment Proceedings - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson - Feb 3rd, 2020
- Call Bolton to Testify, Baldwin Urges - Erik Gunn - Jan 29th, 2020
- “Gut Check Time” For Senators, Baldwin Says - Shawn Johnson - Jan 28th, 2020
- Data Wonk: Measuring Republican Views on Impeachment - Bruce Thompson - Jan 2nd, 2020
- Data Wonk: Rep. Sensenbrenner’s Disappointing Column - Bruce Thompson - Dec 26th, 2019
- Pocan: ‘A Vote That Sets the Precedent for All Future Presidents’ - U.S. Rep Mark Pocan - Dec 18th, 2019
Read more about Impeachment of President Trump here