On Monday, Free Speech For People President John Bonifaz sat down with Scott Harris on “Counterpoint” to discuss the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Following the first week of public hearings, John weighed in on the key takeaways from the current investigation, why the scope of the inquiry should be expanded, and how citizens can play a role in the movement to impeach Trump.
“What I think is most important to focus on, with respect to what’s been revealed in this current impeachment inquiry, is that the president of the United States engaged in extortion and bribery of a foreign government to assist his reelection campaign,” John said. “He used hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money in foreign assistance as a means to commit that extortion and bribery, and these are clearly high crimes for which the president should be held accountable.”
John was quick to point out that the current impeachment inquiry, while informative, fails to prosecute Trump for numerous additional impeachable offenses. This has led Free Speech For People and its allies to publish “Impeachment For The People,” which calls on Congress to expand the scope of the inquiry to include: obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation, racist abuses of power, violation of the Emoluments Clause, corruption of the electoral process, and abuse of office to target political adversaries.
“It’s a serious constitutional and strategic mistake to go forward with only a narrow set of articles that does not address the full range of Donald Trump’s abuses of power,” John told Harris. “Impeachment is about patterns, patterns of abuse of power. Even in the Watergate scandal, the focus wasn’t solely on the break-in of the Watergate and the DNC headquarters; it was about the pattern of abuse of power that Richard Nixon was engaged in. He faced three articles of impeachment, one of which was his obstruction of Congress in the impeachment inquiry and another which dealt with misusing the powers of the government to attack his political adversaries…and I think that’s what’s significant here. We have a series of abuses of power this president has committed, from the moment he took the oath of office leading to today, and we need to establish the serious precedent for the future.”
John’s top advice for people who believe Trump must be held accountable for his abuses of power is the make their voices heard. Call Members of Congress and later Senators, write letters to the editor, and mobilize the night before the House votes on articles of impeachment (see Impeach.org for a list of events across the country).
“We have to stay vigilant. This is a direct threat to our democracy coming out of the Oval Office in President Trump. We are at a critical threshold in American history, and the question is whether we’re all going to stand up to defend and protect our democracy at this moment in history.”
You can hear the full “Counterpoint” interview on Between the Lines.