Instigator

President Trump should be impeached due to the Ukrainian Scandal

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Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Politics
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Open voting
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One month
Point system
Four points
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Characters per argument
30,000
Contender
Description
President Trump should be impeached due to the Ukrainian Scandal.
This scandal: https://www.axios.com/timeline-trump-ukraine-investigation-2e91c79c-d33e-45c4-b78f-6b34bf597e5d.html
No Forfeits
Citations can just be linked
Round 1
Published:
Constitutional Requirements for Impeachment

The Constitution limits grounds of impeachment to "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours". The precise meaning of the phrase high crimes and misdemeanours is not defined in the Constitution itself and is left to the interpretation of Congress. Founding father Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Paper No. 65, described impeachable offences as arising from “the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

The Constitution gives the House of Representatives “the sole Power of Impeachment” (Article I, Section 2) of federal officers and gives the Senate “the sole Power to try all Impeachments” (Article I, Section 3). In the constitutional procedure of impeachment and removal, the House serves in the role of a grand jury bringing charges against an officer

According to the Congressional Research Service in a 2015 report, "the purposes underlying the impeachment process also indicate that non-criminal activity may constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment". This means that the President doesn't have to match the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, but could be held to the lesser standard of if he is likely to have committed an act that falls under the description of the constitution.

Background to Ukraine Situation

This background section is adapted from a BBC article and the Wikipedia article on the issue.

President Trump himself has acknowledged that he personally blocked nearly $400m in military aid to Ukraine. At about the same time, he spoke by phone with Ukraine's new President, Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Mr Trump pushed Ukraine's president to investigate his leading domestic political rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden as well as his son Hunter Biden and the company CrowdStrike, and to discuss these matters with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr. A complaint by a whistleblower was submitted to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, who spoke with White House sources about the call, alleges Mr Trump used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the US 2020 election". A second whistleblower has come forward who has first-hand knowledge. In a press briefing, he called on both Ukraine and China to investigate both Hunter and Joe Biden.

Case for Impeachment

Charge 1:  52 §30121

US federal election law forbids any person from "soliciting, accepting, or receiving anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a US election". The law doesn’t just apply to money. "Things of value" include an investigation into a political opponent. 

The Chair of the Federal Elections Commission Ellen Weintraub has made it clear that "the law is pretty clear. ... It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States.”

By publically asking China and Ukraine to investigate a major political opponent and his son, President Trump has clearly violated this law. Case law backs this up with United States v. Danielczyk being the key precedent on the definitions of the specific requirements of the offence.

Charge 2: 18 §1505 / 2 §192

"Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law [...]  under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress"

President Trump ordered  Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. George Kent not to testify to a Congressional impeachment inquiry.

According to Adam Schiff, President Trump has ordered the Defense Department to not comply with a subpoena for documents related to an impeachment inquiry

President Trump "ordered top diplomat Gordon Sondland not to appear" in front of the Congressional impeachment inquiry


Charge 3: 18 §872

The law states “Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion." In this circumstance, extortion is defined as “the extraction of anything of value from another person by threatening or placing that person in fear of injury to any person or kidnapping of any person.”

Therefore the tests, to have committed this offence, Trump must have:
A) Threatened President Zelensky
B) Attempted to gain something of value
C) Put Zelensky in "fear of injury".

In relation to "A", Trump demanded a quid pro quo, threatening to withhold massive amounts of aid if he did not comply with the President's request.

In relation to "B", an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden has political value.

In relation to "C", Zelensky feared political injury if he failed to secure the financial aid from the USA - particularly as he has only just bee elected to his position.

Charge 4: 18 §607

"It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President … to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the United States, from any person.”



I have laid out several offences that the President has committed, only one of which need be true for impeachment. I look forward to your response.

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