This is in response to Michael Reagan’s opinion column on Jan. 25, “Democrats Wasting Our Time.”
Republican responses to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump continue to help make the prosecutors’ points.
Reagan highlighted the issue of executive privilege. He noted that many modern-day past presidents have used executive privilege for various reasons during their terms and he seems to think that Democrats are arguing that the use of executive privilege is an impeachable offense. Wrong. It is true that executive privilege is a contentious tool that often pits the executive against the legislative branches of government. Curiously, Ronald Reagan (as Michael noted) used executive privilege to withhold information, walked a tightrope and was lucky to escape impeachment for the Iran-Contra scandal of his time.
President Eisenhower started a clandestine operation in Cuba leading to President Kennedy’s use of executive privilege for the Bay of Pigs fiasco – very controversial.
President Bush used executive privilege to withhold information during the lead-up to the Iraq war – probably the most egregious scandal of modern times.
President Obama’s attorney general used executive privilege during the “Fast and Furious” operation, which was pretty much the biggest scandal of the Obama administration.
Now for the reason these examples that Michael pointed out make the Democrats’ case for impeachment: Why did these presidents push so close to the line — even cross the line? They were acting in the interests of the United States of America. The legislative members during those trying times recognized that, while the means were questionable, the executive branch was acting out of good faith to protect us. We must impeach and remove Donald Trump from office because the evidence is very clear that he abused the office of president of the United States solely to promote the interests of Donald J. Trump.
Executive privilege has been Donald Trump’s primary tool for obstructing Congress for his own ends. You can understand why Bill Clinton was impeached – he lied to protect himself from a sex scandal. Certainly, he deserved impeachment and Republicans tried to remove him from office. The argument that won acquittal for Clinton was that his offenses didn’t rise to the level warranting removal from office. It is utter hypocrisy that Republicans now feel the impeachment of Donald Trump is a hoax.
The offense of coercing a foreign government to help him scandalize a political opponent (and party) to win an election is far more serious and dangerous for this country than Bill Clinton’s affair – and even much greater than Richard Nixon’s burglary.