Is “Abuse of Power” a Good Reason for Impeachment?

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On Tuesday morning, Dec. 10th, House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment alleging that President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress.

What is missing in the charges set forth by Democrats is anything specifically related to the impeachment hearings; there’ no quid pro quo, bribery, or extortion, which was the center of focus between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in July.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) are changing the story — again. They’ve stated that the hearings and impeachment need to happen as quickly as possible to prevent Trump from undermining the 2020 election.

During a recent press conference, Nadler announced the articles of impeachment and that his committee vote would take place this week. Additionally, the committee would “make a recommendation to the full House.” In the short press conference announcing the impeachment articles, there were no questions by the press answered by Pelosi, Schiff, or Nadler.

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No Republicans have signed onto the impeachment notion and, in defiance of Pelosi’s previous statement, the impeachment will go down along a party-line vote.

In March, Pelosi stated:

“I’ve been thinking about this, impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

Yet, here we are and they are interested in impeaching a duly elected president of the United States on a partisan vote over an article that is ambiguous and vague at best.

Is Abuse of Power Specific Enough to Impeach a President?

Nadler stated in his announcement that, “It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit.”

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Additionally, Schiff said, “He has given us no choice. To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the president’s abuse of his high office.”

The problem for Democrats is that abuse of power is too vague and ambiguous. It allows for the Democrats to say anything they want and allege under that umbrella that anything and everything is impeachable.

Right before the Democrats’ announcement, Doug Collins (R-GA), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, elaborated on the vagueness of this charge.

“What’s to keep a future Congress from saying they don’t like the way a president conducts policy, talks to foreign leaders, or the way one talks to Congress — this is (their idea) of abuse of power.”

-Collins

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What Is Abuse of Power Defined and Did Trump Do It?

One definition of abuse of power is:

“The act of using one’s position of power in an abusive way. This can take many forms, such as taking advantage of someone, gaining access to information that shouldn’t be accessible to the public, or just manipulating someone with the ability to punish them if they don’t comply.”

By that working definition, where did Trump abuse his power on the Ukranian call that set this whole impeachment train into motion?

Trump took unprecedented action and released the transcript of the call when it could have remained secret as executive privilege. Additionally, the Ukrainians have said that they never felt pressured by Trump before, during, or after the call. The Ukrainians were not even aware that financial aid had been frozen according to sworn testimony by Ambassador Kurt Volker and former National Security Council member Tim Morrison.

So, where is the abuse of power?

Democrats Have Wanted to Impeach Trump Since the 2016 Election

The reality is that Democrats have been looking to impeachment the president for any crime they could find. Here is a small, partial list of the 80 Democrats who have called for Trump’s impeachment since 2017:

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was the first member of Congress to call for impeachment of Trump during the inauguration.
  • Rep. Al Green (D-TX) has brought three articles of impeachment to the floor for votes since 2017.
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called for Trump’s impeachment for violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
  • Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said in 2017 that impeachment would happen if Democrats had the votes in Congress.
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) said over the travel ban that Trump should be impeached if he exceeded his authority.
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called for impeachment in 2017 after Trump said he had been wiretapped by the Obama administration.
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said firing an Ambassador is an impeachable offense.

An article of impeachment on abuse of power is a dangerous precedent. But, it’s not surprising since Democrats have wanted nothing more than to get rid of Trump since the 2016 election. They couldn’t find a crime or bribe, so they found another way.

This has always been a search for a crime to justify a means to an end — the overturning of the 2016 election.

How can an objective person come to any other conclusion than this partisan impeachment is about just that?

By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor

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