The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 09, 2020 1:00 am


Trump textbook example of founders' fears

Marty Lemert

Huntertown resident Warren Mead declared in a Jan. 2 letter that Democrats are “reckless, self-absorbed and dangerous threats to our cherished system of selecting our elected leaders.” Au contraire, Mr. Mead.

The reckless, self-absorbed and dangerous threat to our system of selecting our elected leaders is in fact President Donald Trump. He has, is and will continue to invite foreign countries and leaders to interfere with and influence our elections.

“Russia, if you're listening ...”

“I would like you to do us a favor, though.” (Ukraine)

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens...”

“If somebody called from a country, Norway (and said): 'We have information on your opponent' – oh, I think I'd want to hear it.”

These statements by Trump undermine our First Freedom: That of self-governance. That is what the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War were about: Freeing ourselves from foreign rule and interference so that We the People may form a more perfect union. Our Founding Fathers specifically placed impeachment in the Constitution as a measure to remove an executive who has threatened our freedom of self-governance.

When debating the inclusion of impeachment, Gouveneur Morris at first argued it was not necessary because the people could speak at the voting booth every four years. But James Madison persuaded him that impeachment was needed by using the example of a president who might “betray his trust to foreign powers.” Edmund Randolph agreed that impeachment was needed as a remedy as “the executive will have great opportunities of abusing his power, particularly in times of war, when the military force and in some respects the public money will be in his hands.”

Withholding $391 million of military aid to Ukraine until they “did us a favor, though” certainly harkens back to these founders' concerns.

Likewise, George Washington in his farewell address specifically warned against the “insidious wiles of foreign influence” as being “one of the most baneful foes of republican government” we should jealously guard against.

Trump is advocating for most favored nation status to countries that help him personally – not based on our national security interests. Russia just developed supersonic missiles, yet he calls Russia our friend? He exchanges “love letters” with North Korea despite its clear threat to our nation and our interests? He sells Saudi Arabia advanced weaponry yet its citizens were the 9/11 terrorists and they recently murdered and chopped up one of our journalists?

It is not the Democrats trying to undermine our government and our democracy. Trump is forcing them to use the drastic measure of impeachment to attempt to hold him accountable for his abuses of power and betrayal of our public trust.

No one in America is above the law. Trump's actions are placing our nation, our Constitution and our foundational principles in peril.

Marty Lemert is a Fort Wayne attorney.

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