The New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment

 

The New York Times has joined a growing list of prominent newspapers and publications that are openly calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, the paper's editorial board — which is made up of a team of opinion journalists separate from reporters in the newsroom — published an opinion piece titled "Impeach." 

The piece opened up citing the most recent events in the escalating impeachment proceedings: the two articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve on Friday.

The editorial board wrote that the articles of impeachment told a "short, simple and damning story," which involved Trump abusing the power of his office "by strong-arming Ukraine, a vulnerable ally, holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid until it agreed to help him influence the 2020 election by digging up dirt on a political rival."

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Impeachment witness Pamela Karlan
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Impeachment witness Pamela Karlan
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 04: Constitutional scholar Pamela Karlan of Stanford University greets members of the committee during a short break in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill December 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. This is the first hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals. The Judiciary Committee will decide whether to draft official articles of impeachment against President Trump to be voted on by the full House of Representatives. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 04: Constitutional scholars Pamela Karlan (R) of Stanford University and Noah Feldman (L) of Harvard University testify before the House Judiciary Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill December 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. This is the first hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals. The Judiciary Committee will decide whether to draft official articles of impeachment against President Trump to be voted on by the full House of Representatives. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 4: Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan testifies during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump in Longworth Building on Wednesday Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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"When caught in the act, he rejected the very idea that a president could be required by Congress to explain and justify his actions...He made it impossible for Congress to carry out fully its constitutionally mandated oversight role," the piece went on to say as it described the article of impeachment charging Trump with obstruction of Congress. 

Though the Times' board was somewhat critical of the rapid pace of the impeachment inquiry into Trump, it offered an even more forceful rebuke of the president's "stonewalling" of Congress throughout the process — and his refusal to offer a formal defense. 

"By stonewalling as no previous president has, Donald Trump has left Congress with no choice but to press ahead to a Senate trial," the paper's editorial board said. 

The board also mentioned that there were arguably grounds for impeachment discussions within the early stages of Trump's presidency.

"Mr. Trump has been committing arguably impeachable offenses since the moment he entered the Oval Office," they wrote, going on to reference the president's "acceptance of foreign money at his many businesses, his violations of campaign-finance law in paying hush money to a woman who claimed to have had a sexual affair with him, and his obstructions of justice in the Russia investigation."

The Times' editorial board said that for any number of reasons House Democrats decided not to move forward with impeachment in these instances, but finally did so with regard to the president's Ukraine dealings because the whistleblower complaint that sparked the scandal "sounded an alarm that he was seeking to subvert the next election, depriving the voters of their right to check his behavior."

The piece goes on to cut through various defenses of Trump's behavior from Republicans, contending that they "fall flat in the face of the evidence."

The last line of the piece makes it clear that the editorial board at The Times believes the decision to impeach and therefore defend both the "Constitution and the Republic" is in the hands of the House of Representatives. 

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