Tuesday was an explosive day in Washington D.C. as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, which was triggered by the president’s effort to extort a foreign country for election help.
But Rachel Maddow pointed out that on this particular issue – Trump pressuring Ukraine for help in 2020 – there is very little left to investigate. On this scandal, Democrats already have enough for impeachment.
“They might not really need to figure out much more about whatever has gone wrong here, simply because the admitted facts – the facts that are not in dispute anymore – are the basis for what you’d impeach him on, right?” the MSNBC host said.
Maddow added, “He went to a foreign country, asked them for help with his re-election effort. At the same time, he was personally intervening to deny military aid to that country.”
In other words, this is an open-and-shut case. What Trump has already admitted to doing regarding Ukraine is impeachable.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 25, 2019
Maddow laid it out:
One of the strange things about this moment in history, this rare day in history in which impeachment proceedings have been announced, one of the weird things about the way it’s happening now and the way it has broken open over these last few days is that Congress might not actually need to do an investigation here. I mean they might not really need to figure out much more about whatever has gone wrong here, simply because the admitted facts, the facts that are not in dispute anymore, are the basis for what you’d impeach him on, right? I mean it’s sort of an indisputed and admitted fact now that President Trump asked a foreign country to help him in his re-election bid by giving him dirt on Joe Biden. And the president personally intervened to withhold military aid from that country at the same time that he was making that request about Biden. In so doing, the president, according to the laws of common sense, created the impression in that foreign country that they wouldn’t get that life-saving military aid from our country unless they coughed up the help that Trump wanted for his campaign. I mean even if you know nothing else about this, you know that. That’s what’s known. That’s what’s the starting point. That’s what they’re conceding to. Now, investigating all the circumstances around that would certainly turn up more interesting information, but the president’s behavior here is not in dispute. He went to a foreign country, asked them for help with his re-election effort. At the same time, he was personally intervening to deny military aid to that country. Creating the impression in that country that they couldn’t get their military aid unless they helped him out with his re-election effort. That’s the starting point. Now, are they going to investigate to flesh out more than that? Maybe. Do they need to? I don’t know.
Democrats have a clear-cut case for impeachment
There has never been a shortage of unethical and unlawful behavior on which to use for an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.
What’s different about the Ukraine scandal is how clear-cut it all is. It’s not some drip-drip scandal that has developed over months of reporting. There isn’t a 400-page report putting together two years of evidence.
There is no gray area here.
What happened, as Maddow laid out on Tuesday night, is pretty black and white: Trump went to a foreign government for dirt on a political opponent, Joe Biden. At the same time, he withheld military aid for that foreign government, suggesting that they wouldn’t get the much-needed aid unless they gave the president what he wanted.
Yes, Democrats should examine the transcript of Donald Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine and, more importantly, the whistleblower complaint about that call.
But when it comes to this president’s admitted effort to extort a foreign country for damaging information on Joe Biden, Democrats already have enough for impeachment.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.