Last month, I spoke with Gene Healy about his persuasive cover story for Reason, arguing that we should all calm down. Perhaps the Ukraine phone call was not even the most impeachable thing Trump did in the month of July of last year, but it wouldn’t hurt to send future presidents the message that they cannot act with impunity. Fair enough.
I have argued that on principle, a President may sometimes be duty-bound to investigate his political opponents – and even use the threat of withholding aid to a country that doesn’t cooperate.
Does this apply to Trumps’s infamous “perfect phone call”?
You can read or listen to my conversation with Gene and decide for yourself whether Trump committed an impeachable offense.
Now Peter Suderman at Reason further complicates things, writing that By Withholding Funds to Ukraine, Trump Broke the Law. The Government Accountability Office agrees that the Office of Management and Budget – an agency of the executive branch – was required to submit a reason to Congress for delaying the funds under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. Trump and his lawyers argue he was acting within the law and his presidential authority to conduct U.S. foreign policy.
It’s a tricky issue that opens up many important questions from the balance of powers to the wisdom of foreign policy that includes sending millions of dollars in “anti-corruption aid” to places like Ukraine.
Few people have been following the impeachment as closely as John Rothmann – an author, Bay Area radio host on KGO 810AM, and frequent lecturer on American politics and the presidency. John also has one of the finest private libraries in the country – 15,000 volumes, specializing in American political history and political biography. He says Trump must go, and that if the Senate acquits it’s the end of America as we know it. He joins me this Sunday for the full hour.
But what would the Founders say? What are the important principles in play? And how would the analysis of the impeachment saga change if everyone took their ideological blinders off?
As the Senate prepares to vote “guilty” or “not guilty” in this historic case, I urge listeners to withhold their judgment and wait until after they’ve listened to this Sunday’s edition of the show of #ideasnotattitude.
- By Withholding Funds to Ukraine, Trump Broke the Law – Reason.com by Peter Suderman, 1/16/20
- Trump Administration Officials Worried Halt to Ukraine Aid Violated Spending Law Daily Beast
- John Rothmann (@johnrothmann) / Twitter
- The John Rothmann Show | KGO-AM