Congress’ impeachment inquiry—a thorough, fair, and transparent process that gave ample opportunities for Trump to make his defense—surfaced overwhelming and uncontested evidence of Trump’s betrayal of our national security. A dozen distinguished senior national security professionals, many of them appointed by Trump himself, and an extensive public record left no doubt that President Trump used $400 million in taxpayer-funded military aid and a White House visit to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponent and the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election. Trump’s attempted cover-up could not hide that he was caught doing precisely what our Founders feared when they wrote the Impeachment Clause into the Constitution.
Trump’s betrayal of his oath of office and the American people holds dangerous and ongoing implications for our national security. Trump put our foreign policy up for sale to the highest bidder and made clear that he does not care about the national security costs, the sanctity of our elections, or America’s influence in the world—as long as his own political prerogatives are fulfilled.
In committing this brazenly corrupt abuse of power, Trump has, and continues to:
- Send an unmistakable message to the world’s strongmen that they can extract concessions from the United States by satisfying his own political and personal desires, rather than taking actions that benefit the American people.
- Signal that America’s relationships with the world’s democracies are contingent on their willingness to further his narrow political aims.
- Mortgage the personal security of individual Americans—who he has made clear he is willing to serve up for investigation by a foreign power—as well as the sanctity of our elections, a cornerstone of our democracy.
- Corrode American power and influence, benefiting only our adversaries—a reality playing out in real time, as no country has benefited more from the President’s actions than Russia, which still illegally occupies much of Ukraine.
Holding Trump accountable is all the more important because his betrayal has not stopped. Trump’s henchman, Rudy Giuliani, shamelessly traveled back to Ukraine in December to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Trump himself publicly called on both Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens after his secret scheme to pressure Ukraine came to light.
If Congress fails to send a clear, unmistakable signal that America’s resources and national security are not to be mortgaged for Trump’s personal gain, he has demonstrated that he will not hesitate to try to do it again.