Reader says Senate’s acquittal of Trump legitimized abuses of power
To the Editor:
Yesterday, the majority of the Senate gutlessly acquitted the president of obstruction of justice and high crimes and misdemeanors. It was appalling, historic, and requires clarity and perspective.
The democratic Ukrainian government is currently fighting for its survival in the eastern half of their country against a formidable terrorist state armed and supported by Russia called the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR).
Knowing this, Trump recklessly endangered Ukrainian lives by withholding needed military aid to extort from President Zelensky a public promise to launch an investigation into a debunked conspiracy involving the Bidens, Trump’s political rival.
This military aid included Javelins, fire and forget anti-tank missiles that would go a long way to prevent the DPR from over running the Ukrainian capital. Trump’s attempted extortion stunned the Pentagon, our allies, and shredded America’s integrity turning us into a cheap third world dictatorship.
Republicans rationalized what Trump did was no different than past presidential wrongdoings, which is such corrosive thinking.
Past high crimes and misdemeanors do not legitimize future presidential abuses of power. In fact, if that logic held water, then we might as well shred our federal Constitution and no longer call ourselves a republic. Move over, Russia and China, America wants a seat at your table!
In 1999, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham perfectly explained the definition of a presidential abuse of power: “It doesn’t even have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime.” Furthermore, Republican Senator Mitt Romney bravely concluded, “…what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, who knew us best in 1835, wrote “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” As the leader of the free world, this imperfect nation historically has tried to do the right thing.
Tragically, this aberration in the White House is well on his way of proving Tocqueville right.