Trump at his desk on the phone

Letter to the Editor

September 24, 2019 was an important day in saving our democracy from the corrupt rule of President Donald L. Trump. Several factors got us to the tipping point which caused Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to call for a formal enquiry to develop Articles of Impeachment against Trump. A majority of the members of the House had called for a formal enquiry and the list grows daily. The Judiciary Committee has the primary responsibility of the enquiry. The chairman is Jerrold Nadler. However, the Intelligence Committee chaired by Adam Schiff is investigating the Ukrainian issue which triggered the impeachment enquiry. Trump tried to get the recently elected president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to provide dirt on Joe Biden his probable opponent in the 2020 presidential election. Seven House committees will hold hearings starting now, during this Congressional recess, to investigate the miss deeds and crimes of Trump and his administration. Other articles of Impeachment may be developed. To be most effective, the hearings should be closed, with declassified reports made available ASAP. Information from each committee will be funneled to Nadler, who will compile, summarize and make the reports available to Congress and to the public through the media.

The reasons for holding the enquiry for Articles of Impeachment rather than informal hearings are:

·       Reluctant witnesses will be required to attend hearings when subpoenaed and to answer questions or face fines or imprisonment, unless they invoke the 5th Amendment. If they fail to conform, they will be obstructing justice by denying over site by Congress, resulting in more Articles of Impeachment.

·       The committees will have more flexibility and more power in their hearings. 

·       There will be more publicity to educate voters and make it difficult for Republicans in the Senate, especially those from blue or purple states, to vote against conviction of Trump when that vote is held, because they want to get reelected. It will also decrease the chance of Trump being reelected if he is not convicted by the Senate.

The effort to Impeachment Trump will deter future presidents from nefarious activity and “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Russia has occupied the Crimea which is part Ukraine, and is invading the eastern part of the country. On July 25, 2019 President Trump called President Zelenskyi of Ukraine. A short time before that, Trump had put a hold on delivery of defensive military equipment appropriated by the U. S. for Ukraine. Trump told Zelenskyi that he could have the arms, although he would like a favor, dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden his probable opponent in the election for the presidency in 2020. Biden’s son Hunter, had been a member of a Board of Directors of a Ukraine energy company. Biden and his son have done nothing wrong, but Trump’s team is making up lies against them. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted that he had listened in the Trump-Zelenskyi conversation. He took no action regarding Trump’s illegal act so he is complicit. 

Rudy Giullani had previously contacted Ukrainian officials several times about the matter, so he is guilty of this and other illegal activities. President Trump told Zelenskyi that Attorney General William Barr was interested in getting the information. And Barr had contacted world leaders to try to discredit Robert Muller during his investigation. Evidence is mounting that Vice President Mike Pence is supporting Trump’s criminal activity. He talked to President Zelenskyi at a meeting outside the U. S. after the Trump-Zelenskyi phone call. Trump is saying that Pence has been supporting him. To save his hide, Pence is starting to split with Trump. If he resigns, his chance in court later will be improved; if he is not also impeached. An alternative is for him to declares Trump unfit to serve under the 25th Amendment. There is no chance to get a majority vote by the cabinet to end Trump’s presidency, because it is packed with Trump supporters.

After Trumps telephone call to Zelenskyi, a whistle blower connected to the Trump administration sent an extensive message with a trove of information, to the Inspector General, who shared it with his boss Joseph McGuire the Acting Director of National Counter Intelligence. By law, it should have been turned over to the intelligence committees of the Senate and House within seven days. Instead it was shared with the Whitehouse, although President Trump was the person under suspicion. As soon as the Republican Senate leadership learned of the report, they by unanimous consent, turned it over to Adam Schiff Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He held the hearing of the House intelligence Committee on the issue September 25, 2019.  One the most serious facts in the Whistleblower report, is that there was an attempt to hide the summary of the phone call from Trump to Zelenskyi by putting it in a super-secret electronic system (server) reserved for covert activity. Summaries of Trump's conversation with several dictators were retroactively put in that server. The witness Joseph McGuire was found to be guilty of not acting in a timely manner.

Trump has said that he is trying to find the name of the whistle blower because he is treasonous and deserves to be executed. The whistle blower law indicates that revealing the name of a whistleblower is obstruction of justice.  

The plan is to expeditiously develop the Article of Impeachment of Trump, regarding the Ukraine matter by Thanksgiving, forcing a vote on conviction in the Senate by the end of this year. If other Articles of Impeachment are finished, they can be included. The advantage of that is that a Senator may vote yes because of only one of several Articles of Impeachment.

When Richard Nixon resigned the presidency because of threat of impeachment, 41 of those associated with him were sentenced to prison and/or fined. The number from this administration may be larger because of the big turnover of personnel in his administration. If Trump has been convicted and Pence is no longer vice President, Speaker Pelosi would be the interim president until January 2021. Trump would not be pardoned by Pelosi or the new president who will be a Democrat.

If President Trump was smart, he would resign now, hoping to not get a worse fate than Nixon which included a pardon. Because of his personality and his deranged mental state, that is unlikely to happen. He is a danger to the U.S. and the entire world.


Albert A. Gabel
Professor Emeritus
Ohio State University