Editorial: The White House bites back, but what marks will it leave?

“Donald Trump withholding weapons from the Ukraine unless they grant him a personal favor for a vendetta he has against Biden and Biden’s son, whether found guilty on criminal offense, definitely does not look good for Trump’s 2020 campaign image.”

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Donald Trump and the White House are currently fighting back against the impeachment inquiry. Credit: Khalil Gordon

The impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and his phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 has dominated headlines for the past three weeks since Sept. 24. According to several news outlets, the whistleblower report featured Trump’s call transcript to Zelensky including a quid pro quo (this for that) agreement. Trump offered to give Zelensky military defense weapons in exchange for information about Biden’s son and his dealings with Burisma Holdings, a Ukranian gas company. In the official phone transcript, Trump inquires about Biden’s son, since “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution” and for Zelensky and his men to “look into it.”

Donald Trump’s Twitter, as one would expect, has not been silent during this politically tumultuous time. The day after the impeachment inquiry began, Trump tweeted, “THE GREATEST SCAM IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN POLITICS” with over 20k retweets, 103k likes, and 40k comments. 

Fast forwarding to Oct. 9, Trump is maintaining this same victim rhetoric, tweeting, “Only 25 percent want the President Impeached, which is pretty low considering the volume of Fake News coverage, but pretty high considering the fact that I did NOTHING wrong. It is all just a continuation of the greatest Scam and Witch Hunt in the history of our Country!” 

Political preferences and affiliations aside, conspiring with another country to obtain information on a 2020 presidential candidate is illegal and considered collusion. While collusion in itself isn’t always illegal, according to the Associated Press, it is often surrounded by other illegal practices. It’s not winter yet, but Donald Trump is certainly skating on thin ice.

Congress has recently issued subpoenas for documents and testimonies surrounding the entire inquiry, but the White House has decided to bite back. The enemy for the White House right now is the House of Representatives, led by Democrats, and speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, in an official letter from the White House sent to Congress, the White House states that the president was denied basic rights in the trial process and that the impeachment inquiry “violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent.” Ultimately, they deduced this inquiry or ‘witch hunt,’ as Trump has called it, to the House seeking to “overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen.” 

A quick fact check would negate this last sentence, because President Trump did not win the popular vote in the 2016 election, but the electoral college, so he technically was not chosen by the American people, but proceed. 

Donald Trump does not have a clear track record by any means; since the beginning of his presidency he has been accused of: collusion, obstruction of justice, emolument lawsuits, multiple counts of sexual harassment, lying, and abuse of power. 

Cheryl Cook from The Union recently stated that “When Americans can no longer believe in the honesty of their leaders, in equal justice under the law, or the right of free elections, there is no longer a democracy.” 

The entire situation seems fishy. Donald Trump withholding weapons from the Ukraine unless they grant him a personal favor for a vendetta he has against Biden and Biden’s son, whether found guilty on criminal offense, definitely does not look good for Trump’s 2020 campaign image. 

And then, according to the whistleblower report, White House officials were directed to lock down the records of the phone call, and were also “’directed'” by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.” 

If a document such as the phone transcript was free of flaws and not illegal, then why would White House officials take such care to make sure this document would not be easily found? 

While “You can’t impeach a president for doing a great job,” as stated by Donald Trump at the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement on Oct. 7, you can be impeached for illegal practices with foreign nations and refusing to comply with prosecutors throughout an impeachment inquiry.

This is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of constitutional law. 

The White House has finally bitten back, and now we will wait to see the scars it will leave; possibly a power move against Trump’s enemies, or one of Trump’s greatest follies and impeachment. 

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