EDITORIAL: Shrill ‘nothing wrong’ impeachment defense of Trump makes GOP suspect


Just as alarming as impeachment allegations against President Donald Trump are the nearly delusional defenses offered by Republicans.

“He did nothing wrong,” Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, has said repeatedly to any microphone from any media outlet for almost a week. That phrase has been parroted by hundreds of high-profile Republicans across the country, including some right here in Colorado.

Rather than offering Americans some semblance of explanation or defense of Trump’s involvement in a Ukraine scandal he created, Republicans counter with an increasingly shrill denial that Trump did “nothing” wrong.

It’s sorrowfully dishonest and pushes these Republicans into the sphere of complicity.

Any honest person, inside or outside of Congress, can attest to the fact that Trump has done many things wrong — deeply, dangerously wrong.

The lying is a good place to start. No matter how much the president’s defenders might try to persuade Americans that lying isn’t wrong or bad, it is. Trump clearly cannot or will not stop himself from lying about all manners of things. His leading role in the Ukrainian scandal has been no exception.

Trump has clearly, provably and sometimes even admittedly lied about a long list of things related to allegations of bribery and extortion against the Ukraine.

Trump lied when he said he never asked President Volodymyr Zelensky for anything. The president admittedly and provably asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. Trump, and others at his direction, asked the Ukrainian government to “investigate” a repeatedly debunked email conspiracy hoax, which benefited the Russians.

Trump lied about Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to seeing the Whistleblower Report.

Trump lied about Sen. Mitch McConnell telling him, “That was the most innocent phone call that I’ve read.”

Trump lied about the whistleblower being completely baseless. Testimony and indisputable evidence has backed everything the whistleblower alleged.

Trump lied about Republicans being kept from closed impeachment hearings.

Trump lied about holding up military aid to the Ukraine. Documents and testimony from his own White House made it clear he did just that.

Those are just a few of the archive of lies Trump has told, just about this particular scandal.

These lies are contemptible, and despite what Republican defenders like Colorado GOP congressmen Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn say, these lies point to even more serious, dangerous wrongs.

Lamborn not only defends Trump’s part in the scandal, he actively presses the campaign of conspiracy and disinformation.

“I recently spoke on the House Floor and called for an investigation into the potential criminal activity of former VP Biden & his son Hunter,” Lamborn said in a tweet.  He’s repeated a host of Trump’s proven lies about the scandal and impeachment proceedings.

Lamborn isn’t alone in misleading Colorado residents.

“Whether (Trump has) acted properly or improperly is something that can be decided in an election,” Buck said in a tweet. “But rising to the level of an impeachable offense? Treason, bribery, high crime or misdemeanor? That just has not occurred.”

The facts show that it has. Trump and his own White House staffers have admitted that Trump leveraged Ukrainian military aid and White House attention for intervention in the 2020 U.S. election by persuading them to help undermine Joe Biden’s competing presidential campaign.

How is that doing “nothing wrong?”

Trump used his power as president to undermine and jeopardize the nation’s foreign policy in working to contain and counter Russian aggression and illegal annexation. It’s a goal critical not only to the Ukrainian people, but all of Europe.

There was no dirt to be found on the Bidens, there was only the scheme of dragging Joe Biden through a bogus scandal in hopes of damaging his candidacy against Trump.

This isn’t just a theory. Multiple sources and self-admissions make it unequivocal that’s what Trump tried to do.

Nothing wrong?

The only hope of a defense is for Trump’s supporters to point out that the president is a political sociopath. Defenders must prove that he really saw no harm in treating the office of the president just as he had his office in Trump Tower. Trump came from a world of being the demander in chief rather than the commander in chief.

The compelling argument for impeachment and removal is that Trump illegally and immorally used the power of his office to try and win re-election by undermining the election process.

Then he lied about it.

Then he tried to hide it.

There are enormous wrongs in that. Those are rackets contrived by third-world dictators.

Nothing wrong?

What Trump did was obscenely wrong. It’s bribery, blackmail, fraud and a treasonous, disregard for the security of the American people. Trump parlayed his narcissism into the power of the U.S. presidency to undermine the 2020 election and American efforts to thwart Russian crimes and aggression.

The inexplicable nonsense that Trump did “nothing” wrong makes it clear that Republicans like Buck and Lamborn are allegiant to Trump and their political party, and not to citizens in Colorado and across the country. It makes dismissive Republicans as dangerous and fraudulent as Trump himself.