Today, we have seen material for at least three articles of impeachment:
Article I: Trump used the power of the presidency including U.S. aid for leverage in getting a foreign country to help dig up dirt on a political opponent. He personally intervened to halt aid. Ukraine’s participation in the scheme was a condition of even having a conversation with Trump.
Article II: Trump, in concert with numerous officials, engaged in obstruction of justice. This was done first by removing a record of the call and stashing it in a computer system supposed to be used for only the most sensitive material, even though the contents of the transcript were not classified, and then by preventing the director of national intelligence from forwarding the complaint to Congress as he is legally obligated to do.
Article III: Trump threatened and intimidated the legally protected whistleblower and their informant both by ordering they be found and suggesting they were a “spy” who in the old days would have been executed.
What is even more stunning than the facts and the brazenness of the president is that neither Attorney General William P. Barr nor the White House counsel nor acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (who facilitated the stop on aid) have resigned or come forward with information to assist in the investigation. Under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two of his employees acted to help the Ukrainians navigate around Trump. Neither of them nor Pompeo reported the president’s conduct, told him to stop or took any other action as was required by their oaths of office.
If you are a Justice Department or White House lawyer who has gotten caught up in what appears to be a phenomenal conspiracy, your decision to remain in place puts your law license in jeopardy and might subject you to criminal liability. I strongly recommend you leave your office immediately and go to the House Intelligence Committee to share what you know.
Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee and Republican senators like South Carolina’s Lindsey O. Graham who continue to defend Trump or ignore this grave situation should understand that Trump’s presidency is in free fall and his chances of making it to 2020, let alone getting another four years, are slim at best. Any candidate on the ballot in 2020 who is still shilling for Trump will face an avalanche of ads reminding voters that he or she defended a thuggish president even after Trump threatened the whistleblower.
It is time, before the whistleblower is subjected to any more threats and the president commits any more corrupt acts, for any grown-ups among House and Senate Republicans to step forward and call upon the president to resign. To Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and others, I would say: If you cannot do even this, why on God’s green earth did you bother running for office?