Donald Trump’s impeachment in the House is coming, and the only question now is whether any Republicans vote to convict him in the Senate.
At least that’s my view that I shared in an interview with The Pulse, an award winning student newspaper at the University of Findlay in Ohio.
Here are some highlights:
Amy Rogan, Assistant Professor of Communication & Adviser to The Pulse: Jim, do you think two whistleblowers and the White House’s own rough transcript of the Ukraine call is enough evidence to move the impeachment process from investigation to the next step?
Jim Heath: When looking at impeachment we need to search for the bottom line, which is this: Congress approved $400 million for Ukraine in their ongoing struggle against Russia. Donald Trump, without saying why, withheld those funds. A week later he spoke to the president of Ukraine and asked for a favor, regarding investigating his 2020 Democratic opponent Joe Biden. It wasn’t about corruption, it was about his top political rival and his own reelection prospects. He only released the funds to Ukraine when a whistleblower stepped forward. And then the transcript of Trump’s call was locked away in a special server. These are bottom line facts that for any other president in history would have resulted in Abuse of Power and impeachment.
Amy: Some say Democrats need more concrete evidence to impeach Trump?
Jim: Impeachment is a political process, not a criminal one. My view is that Donald Trump is about to become the third president in history to be impeached. The Democrats have no other option at this point unless they want to send a signal that Trump can do anything he wants. I think the impeachment vote will be held before Christmas, this is now on a very fast track. The interesting issue remaining is whether any Republicans will vote to convict him in a senate trial. No president in American history has ever been convicted in the senate and removed from office.
Amy: Do you think the Democrats’ push for impeachment of Trump for so long taints the current investigation?
Jim: The Mueller investigation was necessary and it found that Russia, an enemy nation of America, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. To suggest Mueller found nothing is just partisan spin. Mueller indicted 34 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes. Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and personal lawyer are now in prison, and his former National Security adviser pleaded guilty.
Amy: Does the Mueller investigation make it harder for people to take the new investigation seriously?
Jim: People who put our Republic before political parties take all investigations seriously.
Amy: What do you think the difference is between the Mueller report’s evidence and the current Ukraine situation?
Jim: The Ukraine abuse of power issue has had a more immediate effect because it’s happened since Trump took office. And it’s yet another example of his desire to have foreign nations help his political campaigns. A lot of people who had given him the benefit of the doubt up until now are now shaking their heads in disbelief.
Amy: Why would Speaker Pelosi pursue the abuse of power but did not pursue the Mueller report’s obstruction of justice claim?
Jim: I suppose Trump could be impeached on both a combination of the Ukraine abuse and 11 different Obstruction of Justice recommendations that Mueller made to Congress. At the end of the day, however, impeachment is impeachment whether you have one charge or several. And Donald Trump is about to join Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton on that infamous list.