Next Wednesday, November 13, the House impeachment committee will begin public hearings on the Ukraine scandal and the role President Donald Trump played in the matter. After the hearings are concluded, the House will likely vote on articles of impeachment against Trump, making him the third U.S. president in history to be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors and referred to the Senate for removal from office.
Those hearings could well be the tipping point which will galvanize the attention of the nation and possibly move public sentiment overwhelmingly to a conviction against Trump.
Former House Judiciary Committee counsel Michael Conway is expecting the public hearings to be explosive and very harmful to Trump. And he had this to say during an appearance on the MSNBC show “Velshi and Ruhle”:
“Public hearings are going to be crucial. You will notice what Republicans were saying, they were demanding everything should be public. Now they;re saying, ‘No public hearings! No public hearings!’ Everything should be behind closed doors. They recognize what’s coming. A freight train is coming of information that’s going to sway public opinions that the president did something jeopardizing the national security and frankly was illegal.”
Imagine all of the witnesses who have already given sworn depositions now testifying publicly. They can not only lay out the quid pro quo Trump used to try and extort Ukraine, but also the cover-up the president and his top aides have been engaged in for months now.
Ned Price, former senior director of the national security council, noted that there’s also the way Trump manipulated foreign policy to serve his own ends. That, Price explained, could have had disastrous consequences for Ukraine:
“If Ukraine did not have the resources to defend itself, that would be seen as a green light to Vladimir Putin, not to push further into Ukraine but to look into places like Georgia and catastrophically for us to take aim at our NATO allies.
“It is not only abusive power. It is not only improper. It is actually a national security threat that President Trump subjected us to, in a sense.”
There are high crimes and misdemeanors, and then there are direct threats to the national security of the United States and our allies. Trump appears to be guilty of both. That alone suggests he needs to be removed from office.