An answer to Professor Josh Blackmon’s New York Times Opinion.
BY: Jeffrey Koopersmith, Editor Emeritus – American Politics Journal
Jeffrey Koopersmith is a Lobbyist, Past Member 0f the Republican Eagles and the Democratic National Business Council, Publisher, and Editor Emeritus of American Politics Journal (1988 – 2020)
President Trump may not be removed from office, but nothing in Josh Blackmon’s arguments will be the cause. Blackmon is a Professor of Constitutional Law at South Texas School of Law. He claims that what Trump et al. did to Ukraine is not an impeachable offense.
It is true that Trump and his myriad staffers, lawyers, and high officials, flaunted out-of-reach-by illegal-scheming aid, by freezing hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to Ukraine in a failed effort to force Ukraine’s President(s) and higher ups to muddy up the Biden’s reputations.
It is too bad that former, now deceased Senator and Professor Hayakawa did not teach “Logic and Semantics” to Mr. Blackmon in that his opinion here is illogical and, in truth, a set of convenient but fallacious legalize.
The House of Representatives does not attempt to expel President Trump because “elected officials almost always consider that their conduct might have on the next election as the “Trump Crew” also implies.
The House and its several committees seek to push Trump out of office because he acted criminally by using near half a billion dollars in already contracted aide between Congress and Ukraine to fight against the United States’ enemy – Russia – who seeks even today to retrieve all the old Soviet Socialist Republics like Ukraine that fled Russian “ownership” as a cure for a long-lasting tragedy that harmed them after two great wars forcing them to live under an unfortunate dictatorship seated far from home and which caused great economic, health, and educational collapse for many.
Almost every action in life is political. The idea that “if it’s political it isn’t a crime,” as Mr. Blackmon posits, is ridiculous. All crimes are also political in some manner. People do not burn, steal, scheme, lie, or threaten without both a political reason and a criminal one. Political moves can assuredly be considered crimes, malfeasance, and punishable.
What if Mr. Trump had worked out a deal with the former President of Ukraine known to be corrupt in almost every sense. What if that deal was that Trump would not freeze half a billion dollars if the former President moved 25% of those funds to a private account in the Cayman Islands? Would that be impeachable? And, of course, that could have been the actual deal being made secretly behind everyone’s back including Trump’s own staff and even his loving attorney Rudy Giuliani. We may never know, but we do know that Trump’s reputation before and also after his election was one of cunning scheming without conscience which cost other people in business and their families to lose tens of millions of dollars because of lies within their agreements with Trump. We know Trump also had to repay millions in tuitions to a phony “university,” which he trumped up but was seemingly nothing more than a scam as so many pop-up colleges and universities are these days.
Trump using others and his own words not only blackmailed Ukraine President Zelinsky and the previous Ukraine president, but he also sought not only an investigation of Senator and Vice President Joe Biden but his son, Hunter, as well. Zelinsky and his people also must have assumed that such a study had better come up with enough dirt to cripple Biden in his race against Trump for the U.S. Presidency in 2020, this year.
Meanwhile the Ukraine military – aided by our own- was in the middle of battling against Russia’s invasionary move into Ukraine where men and women on both sides were being maimed and killed, with Ukraine under-supplies and without weapons in any way able to defend against Russia’s more sophisticated arms larder.
This was not merely a “short delay” of the half-billion dollars in much-needed aid – it was a delay of several months from the Spring of 2019 until just before those funds would have disappeared under U.S. laws or, as did happen, the Congress had to make additional arrangements on this very money before it could go through to Ukraine AND at the very last possible moment.
Blackmon not only misstates the truth but tells us the House was wise “to not charge Mr. Trump with bribery” – But of course, that is precisely what the House is doing. It does not, because of the Constitution, have to meet all the elements of the crime of bribery or other fitting crimes as it would under State or Federal law – but Bribery it was and is, as well as an assault on two Ukraine Administrations causing great harm and fear for them – no matter Trump’s unique, made-up and untrue problems with corruption. Mr. Zilensky won the Presidency from one of the most corrupt leaders in Ukraine’s history by basing his candidacy on ridding Ukraine of corruption at all levels.
Because of this, dozens of people in the U.S. and Ukraine government knew that mischief was going down, which would only benefit Trump personally and never the United States as well as some claim today in the Senate.
The stories of Lincoln and Sherman that Blackmon offers have no resemblance to the actions taken by Trump and his handymen. Lincoln gained nothing but guarantee United States soldiers the right to vote. The Johnson and Thurgood Marshall incident did not involve another nation nor people at risk for the lives – their very lives.
But, Trump saw how Russia and Whoever helped him to win over Clinton in 2015 and must have felt that trickery abroad was also an ideal fit for some similar action and secrets – involving Ukraine. That set up occurred because no one bothered to go on with the Mueller Report findings and charge the crimes so mentioned in that report. A mistake by the Democrats that I willingly admit.
Mr. Blackmon ends his fairy tale this way; There was no pursuit of “legal policies” by Trump after he decided to withhold the funds to Ukraine – (Yes, but withheld after his decision – that’s when the crime, blackmail, malfeasance, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors occurred.)
Yet Blackmon claims there was no crime or impeachable activity – only normal politics. Nothing Trump did or caused to be. was free from actual criminal conduct but his aide, Attorney General Barr, told us that Trump could not be criminally indicted while President for the same actions which Blackmon mistakenly writes might be judged correctly by voters at some time in the future.
Well argued baloney – even in West Texas.