Snyder: Democrats Really Think That They Have Finally Got Trump This Time
It seems like the Democrats have been trying to figure out a way to remove Donald Trump from office forever. Trump was under investigation even before he won the election, and it has literally been a miracle that his presidency has been able to survive for as long as it has. But now the Democrats think that they have finally got him. A parade of witnesses has come forward testifying that Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, and that Trump withheld key military aid from Ukraine as leverage. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and other top Democrats believe that this constitutes an “abuse of power”, and that this “abuse of power” qualifies as a “high crime or misdemeanor”.
Other than Fox News, the mainstream media is solidly behind the Democrats on this, and we have seen a shift in public opinion polls in favor of impeachment. Many conservatives continue to doubt that an impeachment trial will actually happen, but Nancy Pelosi would have never let things get this far if she didn’t know for sure that she has the votes that she needs to impeach Trump in the House. At this point, it appears extremely likely that Trump will be impeached, and that will set up a historic trial in the U.S. Senate.
On Tuesday, House impeachment investigators will hear testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and according to a draft of his opening statement he plans to tell them that he notified his superiors twice regarding his concerns that military aid to Ukraine was being withheld in order to pressure the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens…
The White House’s top expert on Ukraine twice notified superiors about concerns that the president and those working for him were linking foreign aid to Ukraine with investigations that would help President Donald Trump politically, a push that he said could undermine U.S. national security, according to an opening statement obtained by USA TODAY.
The testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman before the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees Tuesday will mark the first time lawmakers investigating the impeachment inquiry will hear from someone who listened to Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — the call at the center of the impeachment investigation that included a Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
This is likely to be bombshell testimony, but the American public won’t get a chance to hear from Vindman firsthand because the Democrats made a critical strategic mistake.
At the outset of this process, the Democrats decided to keep the proceedings shielded from the American public. This has opened them up to tremendous criticism from Republicans, and it has resulted in them missing opportunity after opportunity to move public opinion more dramatically.
For the past month, the Democrats have looked like they are trying to hide what they are doing, and the process has been deeply unfair to President Trump.
Finally realizing that they have massively screwed up, the Democrats now plan to hold a vote in the House later this week that will make the next phase of the impeachment inquiry more open to the public. In a letter to her fellow Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi explained why this move is being made at this time. The following is an excerpt from her letter…
This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry, including all requests for documents, subpoenas for records and testimony, and any other investigative steps previously taken or to be taken as part of this investigation. This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel.
‘We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.
If the Democrats are going to be successful, they need to get somewhere around 60 percent of all Americans on their side, because it is at that level where certain Republicans in the U.S. Senate would feel comfortable betraying Trump.
In order to do that, the Democrats desperately need to get these proceedings on television, and this resolution will finally authorize that.
But will this be a case of too little, too late?
We shall see.
Ultimately, the Democrats never should have gone down this road, and even if everything they are alleging is true there is nothing that Trump has done that represents a “high crime or misdemeanor”.
And with Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate, you would think that Trump should be feeling quite safe.
Unfortunately, so far only seven Republicans have publicly stated that they have ruled out removing Trump from office, and most Republican Senators are purposely refusing to take any sort of a public stand. Here are a few examples…
Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho): “I’m a juror and I’m comfortable not speaking.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.): “I’d be a juror, so I have no comment.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): “I don’t need a strategy for impeachment because I may be a juror someday.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine): “I am very likely to be a juror so to make a predetermined decision on whether or not to convict a president of the United States does not fulfill one’s constitutional responsibilities.”
So much for loyalty. President Trump recently endorsed Senator Risch, and this is how he is repaying Trump?
If the Republicans in the Senate came together and released a public statement in which they pledged not to remove Trump from office, that would immediately suck all the life out of the impeachment process.
But they are not going to do that. In fact, there are persistent rumors that quite a few Republican Senators are ready to stab Trump in the back.
Whether you support Donald Trump or not, the truth is that every American should be deeply alarmed by what is happening in Washington right now. In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville warned us that this might happen someday: “A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.”
The scenario that he warned about is playing out right in front of us, and if Donald Trump is removed from office it is going to cause irreparable damage to our system of government.