KABABAYANS who are loyal fans of President Donald J. Trump have been contending that the launching of an impeachment inquiry into him is doing the country a disservice because it takes away valuable time and resources from Congress that should otherwise be spent in writing legislation that will help the life of ordinary hardworking Americans.

Some Republicans refuse any inquiry or investigations and just wanted Congress to immediately make Representatives vote on Trump’s impeachment NOW, if they have the evidence that indeed, he committed impeachable offenses that warrant his ouster.

There are also many Trump supporters echo the talking points of Republicans that instead of impeaching Trump, the American people should be given the power to vote him out of office.

As the country is divided in this issue, we should just go by what the Founding Fathers of America have already stipulated in the Constitution to protect our democracy.

The Founding Fathers, fearing the potential for abuse of executive power, considered impeachment so important that they made it part of the Constitution even BEFORE they defined the contours of the presidency, according to House records.

“Impeachment, as Alexander Hamilton of New York explained in Federalist 65, varies from civil or criminal courts in that it strictly involves the ‘misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.’ Individual state constitutions had provided for impeachment for ‘maladministration’ or ‘corruption’ before the U.S. Constitution was written,” the House website reads.

To argue against impeachment in favor of elections is a dereliction of duties the Constitution has mandated Congress to perform, and is pure and simple political expediency for both the Democrats and the Republicans.

While there may be so many other problems and issues that are important to the lives of the American people, nothing is more important than to hold the nation’s leaders accountable to the people and be required to be worthy of the public trust accorded to their position of power.

Otherwise, government would be remiss in truly serving the interest of ALL Americans just to benefit the people in power and those that are close to them.

The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials. The power of impeachment is limited to removal from office but also provides for a removed officer to be disqualified from holding future office. Fines and potential jail time for crimes committed while in office are left to civil courts. (House.gov)

Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates:

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

As the Congressional Research Service explained, “The House impeachment process generally proceeds in three phases: (1) initiation of the impeachment process; (2) Judiciary Committee investigation, hearings, and markup of articles of impeachment; and (3) full House consideration of the articles of impeachment.”

WHERE are we now in the impeachment process? Congress has already started the impeachment investigations and have been issuing subpoenas for witnesses to appear before Congress and/or submit documents required of them.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office just released on Monday, October 21 a “fact sheet” which explains in details the allegations against President Trump amid the House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry.

“President Trump has betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security and betrayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain,” the document stated.

Through the fact sheet, the Speaker’s office wants the American people to understand what Pelosi’s office calls proof of a “pressure campaign” and “cover up” by Trump related to Ukraine.”

As the Hill reported, “The sheet includes quotes from Trump and the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint regarding Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pressed for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter.”

This is is corroborated by, among others, the testimony behind closed doors by top US acting envoy in Ukraine William “Bill” Taylor before the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees on Tuesday, October 22. 

As National Public Radio reported , “President Trump orchestrated a parallel foreign policy for Ukraine that made U.S. aid to the country contingent on investigations to help himself politically.”

“In a written statement to three House committees tasked with Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, Taylor said he ‘became increasingly concerned’ as ‘irregular, informal channels’ of policymaking diverged from official U.S. goals — led by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.”

A copy of this opening statement was obtained and published by the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN.

Trump, his cohorts, and many members of the Republican Party have been stonewalling the investigations and ignoring subpoenas — a blatant disregard of the rule of law and an obstruction of justice.

For Trump to fight against this constitutionally-mandated process and vilify Congress for doing its sacred duties to protect our democracy is a grave violation of the Constitution he has swore to uphold and protect. It also gives the message that he is above the law, precisely the cornerstone of the impeachment mandate in the Constitution.

The impeachment process has to be made public because the American people has to be part of this civic exercise. Our government is a government of the people, for the people, by the people. Our elected leaders should therefore be made accountable to us, the people.

We are a nation of laws and that violating this would have consequences. It also sends the message to all public servants, present and future, that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States of America.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

Gel Santos Relos
Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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