It’s been a slimy business. The man who said from the beginning that he would “drain the swamp” of Washington corruption, has turned out to be the swamp itself.
Throughout nearly three years of his presidency, and almost from the first day of it, Trump has reveled in scandal like this country has never seen before. Most of his top officials, his “made men,” have proved corrupt. He himself has been recognized as an unindicted co-conspirator in at least one federal investigation. He has shown himself unaffected by truth: he’s been caught in more than 14,000 lies.
He’s now in a jackpot for using a telephone on which half the world was apparently listening — talk about the old party line! Mark Twain, more than a hundred years ago, could have warned him off it. Remember? Mark Twain said the telephone was, “One of the very most useful of all inventions, but rendered almost worthless and a cold and deliberate theft and swindle.” Too bad Trump doesn’t like to read.
The impeachment inquiry into the president, beginning on September 24, uncovered his months-long scheme to use the powers of his office to get unconstitutional and illegal foreign cheating for himself in our 2020 election. This only three years after our shock and surprise at Russia’s secret help to him in his 2016 campaign.
During his 30-minute phone call, Trump demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, should announce, publicly, spurious investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a false and discredited theory that it was the Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in our 2016 presidential election. Vladimir Putin, Trump’s great buddy, particularly wanted that.
Pathetically, Zelensky expressed gratitude for our military assistance in the Ukraine’s fight against Russian invasion. Trump immediately responded by asking him to “do us a favor though” and openly insisted that the Ukraine investigate Biden and the false 2016 conspiracy theory.
In the background, just to be sure the Ukrainian president got the point, Trump froze $391 million worth of guns and ammunition that Congress had pledged to help the Ukraine defend itself against Russia. What a guy!
So, as I’ve said, a lot of ears were listening to all this. They knew it was wrong, and illegal. Some resigned their positions in protest; others spoke out. Trump’s now in the jackpot.
In plain words, he’s violated the Constitution. The House of Representatives has investigated and raised the alarm like a shot heard round the world. Trump stands impeached. He and his confederates who put his scheme together see nothing wrong with using his immense power as president to pressure a foreign country to help him get re-elected. Although he is president, he rejects the basic ideals of American government. He believes that he is above the law, and he has damaged our national interest, at home and abroad.
But as a judge in a related case said last week, “Presidents are not kings,” adding that they are accountable to the courts and Congress, to prevent tyranny.
This wannabe tyrant is also accountable to us, the American people, thank God.