President Trump has been impeached. Can all Americans agree, at least, on what he did? There is a whistle blower, there are numerous witnesses, but one piece of evidence was produced by President Trump and he stands by it. In September, the White House, acting for President Trump, released a transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukraine’s President.
Here are the relevant parts:
Ukrainian President Zelensky: I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. ... We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes. [Javelins are antitank weapons Ukraine uses in its war with Russia.]
President Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though… As you saw yesterday that whole nonsense [Mueller testimony to Congress], ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller… [T]hey say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible. … The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…”
Anyone born speaking English can understand that Ukraine’s president asked for help with Javelins. President Trump refused help until Ukraine’s president agreed to investigate whether Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 election and whether Democratic candidate Joe Biden stopped a Ukraine prosecution of Biden’s son. It is important to say that no one has produced a witness or document showing Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election (see Reuters report on U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale’s testimony to Congress) or that Biden’s son was ever under threat of prosecution.
As an English speaker, consider this example. You ask your neighbor to borrow his lawnmower. He says “I would like you to do me a favor though, help me move a couch.” Most would think two things. First, not saying “sure you can use the lawnmower” is a little unfriendly. Second, you are not going to get the lawnmower until you move the couch. Trump made it perfectly clear that before Ukraine got any Javelins, Russia would be off the hook for 2016 campaign meddling and Joe Biden would be on the hook for bribery.
Americans can still say that President Trump was just looking into corruption, but that isn’t his job. Where were the State Department, the CIA, and the Justice Department? Those are the agencies that investigate foreign corruption. Americans can also say President Trump was just exercising his great power, but the Constitution puts a limit on that power (see Article II Sec. 4). President Trump solicited a bribe from the Ukrainian president; help with his upcoming election. If he gets away with it, we will no longer be a republic.