President Trump’s corruption warrants impeachment


Josh Peck

After leaving office, President Donald Trump will be regarded across the world as one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States. From cruel policies that purposefully separate children from their parents to his affection toward autocrats and his virulent racism, nearly every move this president makes is categorically un-American.

Trump is morally bankrupt and criminally corrupt. The recent phone call Trump had with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine this July led the U.S. House of Representatives to finally come out in full support of an impeachment inquiry.

During the phone call with Zelensky, Trump asked the Ukrainian president to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s debunked scandal, which alleges he pushed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor while he was vice president. Trump falsely claims that the prosecutor was investigating a Ukrainian company that employed Biden’s son, and Biden wanted the prosecutor removed for that reason.

There are glaring problems with the story Trump and many Republicans are telling about the former vice president. During the time in question, the U.S., its European allies, multiple international organizations and anti-corruption proponents in Ukraine all wanted this prosecutor removed because of his corruption. In fact, President Barack Obama’s administration advised Ukraine to take legal action against the company that employed Biden’s son. Vice President Biden acted openly with support from American allies and Ukraine.

Trump and his allies are peddling a blatantly false conspiracy to discredit Biden, who they perceive as Trump’s greatest threat in the 2020 election. However, this scandal is not just political, it is criminal. Before the phone call with Zelensky, Trump’s staff froze $391 million in military defense aid for Ukraine, which Congress passed bipartisanly. Ukraine needs this aid to defend themselves from their hostile neighbor, Russia. The transcript shows that during the phone call Zelensky asked for additional defense equipment, to which Trump responded with a request to investigate Biden.

There is no evidence to support Trump’s claims against Biden. Trump used defense aid as ransom in exchange for manufactured dirt on a political opponent to help him win the presidential election. By soliciting assistance from a foreign government for his presidential campaign, Trump violated campaign finance laws and committed an impeachable offense. Founding Father and then-President James Madison worried about this type of misconduct from a president when he said, “[The president] might betray his trust to foreign powers.” This betrayal is exactly what Trump has done.

Trump welcomed interference from Russia in 2016, and he is doing it again, this time from Ukraine. Last week, he went on live television and restated his desire for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, and he added another foreign nation — this time a hostile one — to his call to action: China. Trump’s actions betray the country and spit in the face of everything the world’s greatest democracy is meant to stand for and stand against.

Trump was unfit for office long before he held it, but these latest actions prove there has never been a president more worthy of impeachment than he. The House of Representatives should vote to pass articles of impeachment against Trump, and the Senate should vote to convict him. Otherwise, this signals to all future presidents and foreign nations that the U.S. is open to all forms of corruption.