In holding up aid to Ukraine, Trump violated oath of office

Posted 14 November 2019 at 8:36 am


A partial list of Republicans who are familiar with the Constitution includes Mark Sanford, John Kasich, William Weld, Charlie Dent, Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake. I suspect most of that group also have an idea why Mr. Putin wanted Donald Trump in the White House.

Then there is the group that includes Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Tom Reed, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, et. al. This bunch either has no idea what constitutes impeachable offenses or have never actually read the Constitution. Perhaps they are just good at playing dumb.

As I recall, officials of the executive and judicial branches may be impeached by the House and—if convicted by a 2/3 vote of the Senators present—removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Article II, section 4 does not specify whether one has to receive  bribes or offer them, as in, “If you give me what I want on my political opponents, I will give you what you desperately need (as in military aid to fight the Russians).” And I believe it was James Madison who used the word “misdemeanors.”

Part of the Constitutional definition of treason includes “giving aid and comfort” to the enemies of the United States. But Republican demagogues such as Tom Reed using the disingenuous device of suggesting that impeachment and removal from office is some sort of “execution” is pathetic.

That tactic is simply an attempt to muddy the waters for people who must work for a living and do not have enough time to keep up with all the nonsense put out in the “Tweet Parade.” Misleading people is exactly what Representative Reed attempted to do in an interview with Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” (November 3rd).

Article II, section 3 says flatly that the President “. . . shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” It is part of his oath of office. Once Congress appropriated $391 million in assistance to Ukraine and the President signed it, as I read the Constitution, it was his Constitutional duty to execute the will of Congress. When he tried to make delivery of the military aid contingent on Ukraine’s leader announcing an investigation of the Bidens, he was violating his oath of office under the Constitution. I strongly suspect most Constitutional scholars would say that alone arguably constitutes an impeachable offense.

By the way, Article II, Section 1, clause 8 requires the President to “. . . preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Yet some of the same “leaders” who went after Clinton in the Lewinsky affair want to give the current occupant of the White House a pass on something far more egregious than Clinton was impeached for.

For the record I don’t think impeachment is a good idea.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent