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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/2/19

To Impeach or Not to Impeach? Chris Hedges & John Bonifaz Debate What Congress Should Do Next

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House Democrats subpoenaed President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani Monday, seeking documents related to his work in Ukraine. Last week, Guliani admitted on television that he had urged the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political rival and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. This comes as House Democrats continue to build their case for impeaching the president, following a whistleblower complaint focused on a phone call in which Trump asked the Ukranian president to do him a "favor" investigating the actions of Democrats, including Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Meanwhile, Trump is continuing to threaten lawmakers who are pushing impeachment, and publicly admitted he is trying to find out the identity of the anonymous whistleblower, in possible violation of whistleblower protection laws.

We host a debate on impeachment with John Bonifaz, co-founder and president of Free Speech for People, one of the organizations demanding Trump's impeachment, and Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, award-winning author and activist.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today's show with the growing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. House Democrats subpoenaed Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday, seeking documents related to his work in the Ukraine. Last week, Giuliani admitted on television that he had urged the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political rival Joe Biden.

This comes as House Democrats continue to build their case for impeaching the president, following a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point. The whistleblower complaint focused on a phone call in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president to do him a, quote, "favor" by investigating the actions of Democrats, including Joe Biden and his son Hunter. On Monday, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the administration officials who were on the controversial July 25th phone call.

Meanwhile, evidence is growing that the Trump administration also pressured other nations, including Australia and Italy, to take steps to help Trump politically. The New York Times reports Trump personally pressed Australia's prime Minister to help Attorney General William Barr with his review of the origins of the Mueller probe. Barr also traveled to Italy last week, where he reportedly pressed Italian officials to help his probe.

AMY GOODMAN: President Trump is continuing to threaten lawmakers pushing impeachment. On Monday, Trump suggested House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff should be arrested for treason.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Adam Schiff made up a phony call, and he read it to Congress, and he read it to the people of the United States. And it's a disgrace. This whole thing is a disgrace. There's been tremendous corruption, and we're seeking it. It's called drain the swamp.

AMY GOODMAN: Trump also publicly admitted he's trying to find out the identity of the anonymous whistleblower, in possible violation of whistleblower protection laws.

REPORTER: Mr. President, do you now know who the whistleblower is, sir?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, we're trying to find out about a whistleblower, when you have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.

AMY GOODMAN: In a series of tweets over the weekend, President Trump accused the unnamed whistleblower of spying on the president, promising, quote, "big consequences." He also threatened civil war if impeachment proceedings move forward. 2020 presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris tweeted Monday, "Look let's be honest, @realDonaldTrump's Twitter account should be suspended."

Well, for more, we host a debate on impeachment. Joining us here in New York City are two guests. John Bonifaz is an attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. He's the co-founder and president of Free Speech for People, one of the organizations calling for Trump's impeachment. John Bonifaz is the co-author, with Ron Fein and Ben Clements, of The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump. Chris Hedges is also with us. He's a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, award-winning author and activist, columnist for the news website Truthdig. His latest article is headlined "The Problem with Impeachment." He's written numerous books, including, most recently, America: The Farewell Tour.

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This ought not be about mere slap-on-the-wrist impeachment, but about Firing. Trump seems to see himself as the top CEO of the "America" Company LLC...out to compete with and beat all competitors and to ostracize, ridicule and/or ignore critics.

He works for his own gains and those of his "shareholders" but that is about US Bizness, not about expectations and needs of every last citizen of the US...those he is sworn, paid and contractually required to serve.

Can't any US citizen file charges and bring him to court...sued for breach of solemn contract? Or, is the Oath of Office legally meaningless Inauguration Day theater?

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019 at 1:41:17 AM

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