An open letter on impeachment to U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin:
Respectfully, I would urge that you put aside partisan loyalty to President Trump if, as expected, it comes to evaluating articles of impeachment. You have shown yourself to be an ardent supporter of the president, but the issue at hand will affect what conduct will be deemed acceptable by future holders of the presidency.
As Vice President Pence said, on July 25, 2008: “The business of high crimes and misdemeanors goes to the question of whether or not the person serving as president of the United States put their own interests, their personal interests, ahead of public service.”
Admittedly, I am inclined to see the president impeached. By his own words and the supportive testimony given by several credible witnesses in the impeachment investigation, President Trump has put his personal political priority ahead of the national interest in asking a foreign power to announce an investigation into a political opponent. The withheld military aid, released only after the whistleblower complaint became public, was to defend against Russian incursion in a hot war on their border after Russia’s forceful annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
If this conduct is not impeachable, then our 2020 election will surely be corrupted — President Trump will be emboldened to encourage more foreign interference and destroy all confidence in our elections. President Trump has said publicly that he would take foreign information against an opponent. Even after the outrage over Ukraine, President Trump publicly invited China to investigate the Bidens, since just the suggestion by China of an investigation would undermine Joe Biden’s campaign.
I refuse to believe that our representative in Congress would consider it an acceptable practice for a president to solicit foreign assistance to aid his/her own campaign, let alone tie it to congressionally approved military assistance. Just the suggestion of this “deal” would open the proposer to blackmail; i.e., Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky could have told our president to release the aid or double it, or he would go public with the president’s damaging leveraged request for the Biden investigation.
I could go on, but I have given you my brief personal perspective.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the coming holidays, I wish you and your family peace and good times, while anticipating the deepening national angst to come. I am hoping that while many in Congress will continue to view impeachment through a partisan lens, our representative, Lee Zeldin, will think: “country first.”
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One fine body…