Against the backdrop of the winter cold, shrouded in darkness as the last day of the year draws nigh, I thought fitting now to consider President Trump's impeachment.
It is on this last day of 2019 that I have finally gathered myself enough to speak in the first place. And while it is this day that for us represents the passing of one heavy moment in time to the next, it is also a day upon which I feel I bear a responsibility to speak out, as some 13 days ago American history was newly made.
On December 18, 2019 the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was impeached.
Only the third time that this has happened in the history of the republic, it is not fruit no one failed to see ripen. In fact, most everyone aside from the jubilant supporters of the President figured that this would be an inevitable conclusion of the sneering, wayward tactics of Trump. From the very initiation of his presidency there was the suggestion that such action might be possible, if not all together necessary, and in truth even before his victory in 2016 there was the suggestion that impeachment may become a necessary salve for the wound that has divided our country.
Of course, the longevity of these impeachment claims, I think, ultimately deals damage to the legitimacy of the happenings in Ukraine and the subsequent investigation and indictment. I've heard it from the very mouths of Donald Trump supporters. I've thought it myself every time I've seen a Democrat stand angry and wave their fist, promising not merely impeachment, but the absolute annihilation of Donald Trump. There have been moments when I've thought to take them seriously.
The fact that since the very moment he popped onto the political scene rumors of impeachment have been swirling is the exact kernel that Trump and his surrogates need to sew discord amongst the base and the undecided alike. How legitimate is this Ukraine impeachment if they said they should do the same thing in 2015? 2016? 2017? 2018? And now at the close of 2019 they have indicted Trump because he's Trump and "they" don't like Trump because they hate America and are losers. Or so the argument goes.
Back in August 2018 I penned an account of the Michael Cohen plea deal and testimony that implicated Trump in violating campaign finance law, an offense that at the time I thought incredibly impeachable. And just this past August I wrote a smattering of words about impeachment centered around Robert Mueller's testimony following the release of his report into Russian election interference in 2016, suggesting that while the report might not have held a smoking gun for impeachment against Trump, shifting sentiments in the Democratic House of Representatives were slowly eroding any bulwark against taking that most grievous of actions.
And now in December 2019 we find ourselves with that actual result: impeachment.
In the end, it did wind up being something relatively unrelated to Russia, or the pomp of the Mueller investigation, report, and testimony, or even all the trouble that swirled around the firing of James Comey at the FBI. In the end the articles of impeachment came down because of a foreign country thousands of miles away, and the suggestion that Joe Biden best be looked into, or else.
Which of course, if Joe Biden should be looked into, then so be it. From what I can deduce, the former vice president does have some spots on his record when it comes to impeccable conduct. Yet, be that as it may, why should it be Ukraine taking the lead in that avenue and at the behest of a political figure, the President of the United States? Why not the FBI? CIA? Anyone else?
The answer is simple: Donald Trump is already considering Joe Biden his chief opponent in the 2020 election. Heck, he had half a thought that he'd be his opponent in 2016. And the FBI or the CIA or anyone else isn't about to do too much poking around Biden just because it's politically convenient for the President. That's not really how these things shake out, contrary to what liberals and conservatives both cried foul of Comey.
The fact of the matter is, in every conceivable way it seems that President Trump violated his oath of office. And with that he should be removed from that selfsame post. As these low morning hours creep into the new year, time will tell if those 100 senators who hold a monumental decision in their hands have the courage to protect this republic as they have been charged to do.