The Los Angeles Times has been in publication since 1881 and has a large readership, so when the major news outlet calls out Donald Trump over his “perverted U.S. foreign policy for his own political gain,” that’s a pretty big deal. The Times notes that although the impeachment inquiry is not completed, there is ample evidence “to persuade us that he should be impeached.”
The opinion piece notes the volume of witnesses that testified “that the president held up desperately needed, congressionally approved aid to Ukraine to extort a personal political favor for himself,” and adds, “In so doing, Trump flagrantly abused the power of his office.”
The Times’ editorial board notes that with a Republican-led Senate, Trump likely won’t be convicted, but “those concerns must yield to the overwhelming evidence that Trump perverted U.S. foreign policy for his own political gain. That sort of misconduct is outrageous and corrosive of democracy.”
The news outlet points to Trump’s infamous July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s leader and the “debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.”
The Times also says the whistleblower was vindicated after he or she reported to multiple officials that Trump “sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the president’s 2020 reelection bid.”
The outlet notes the number of current and former government officials who testified before the House Intelligence Committee and “established that Trump’s call was part of a larger effort to condition a White House meeting with Zelensky and the release of the aid on an announcement by Zelensky that he would initiate the specific investigations desired by Trump.”
The major newspaper wrote of the constitutional experts who testified before the Judiciary Committee and added that “the framers of the Constitution had just such self-dealing in mind when they wrote the impeachment clause.”
“If the president was willing in this case to subvert U.S. foreign policy for personal and political gain, why wouldn’t he feel emboldened to do it again?” the editorial board asks. “The president, after all, continues to maintain that his call with Zelensky was ‘perfect.'”
“It’s obvious that at least one article [of impeachment] should cite Trump’s improper approaches to Ukraine, whether they are described as ‘bribery’ (an offense specifically mentioned in the Constitution’s impeachment clause) or abuse of power,” the board continues. “A separate article would be warranted for his outrageous efforts to obstruct Congress by keeping information from the impeachment inquiry.”
The Times believes the House should consider an article of impeachment “addressing the actions Trump took to thwart or hobble special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation” and goes on to compare that to Trump’s “disrespect for legal norms as his defiant actions toward Congress’ inquiry into the Ukraine matter.”
Then, the Times noted the witnesses who refused to testify at the direction of Donald Trump. People like Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security advisor John Bolton.
The paper concludes:
Holding the president accountable for gross abuse of power is the business of Congress. The House should get on with that business by writing articles of impeachment that make it clear to the Senate — and the American people — why the extraordinary remedy of impeachment is necessary. And Republicans who complain that the process is partisan could easily rectify that situation by abandoning their lockstep loyalty to Trump and looking at the facts.”
Anyone who doesn’t agree with the L.A. Times‘ editorial board either hasn’t been paying attention, or they are OK with corruption. Those of us who watched the public testimonies of numerous credible witnesses know that Trump has abused the power of the highest seat in the land. Trump has always been corrupt but now he’s brought that behavior into the White House — our house.
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