Letter to the Editor

The impeachment process

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A direct translation is "something for something." In the international political world it means "I'll do this - if you do that."

U.S. Federal law prohibits a foreign national from directly or indirectly making a contribution or donation of money or other things of value in connection with a U.S. election. It also prohibits a person from soliciting, accepting or receiving such a contribution or donation from a foreign national. Federal law defines "contribution" as anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office.

The impeachment investigation has now released the transcript of the closed door testimony of Bill Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine. Taylor repeatedly raised concerns about linking U.S. military aid to investigations into the President's political rivals. He stated: "That was my clear understanding: security assistance money would not come until the President of Ukraine committed to pursue the investigation." Additional revelations will follow during open hearings.

What more will it require for Trump's supporters and Congress to see that the case for impeachment is solid?

Until Trump became president, a Congressional subpoena required the subject to appear and testify and the order was obeyed. Congress does not issue subpoenas unless serious and important questions need to be answered. It is a crime to refuse to comply. There are four allowances to legally refuse, but none of them are valid in this situation.

Trump's allies claim that the whistle blower's charges are invalid because they are secondhand, not personally witnessed by the claimant. It is very likely that more than one White House operative have witnessed the issues in question and could provide firsthand testimony. The president has issued orders that no executive branch personnel are allowed to comply with impeachment investigation subpoenas, which precludes finding any firsthand information.

Ordering subordinates to break the law to protect himself is without doubt obstruction of justice and justification for impeachment of the President.

Robert Sneitzer

Spirit Lake