New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn't do anything wrong -- why he won't let witnesses testify
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office (Photo: Screen capture)

The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.

While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.

"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."

Indeed, innocent people don't generally refuse to cooperate and block investigations at every possible juncture.

"At an earlier time, such monarchical behavior from a president would have been met with bipartisan insistence on accountability to Congress and thus to the American people," The Times continued. "With the power of the purse and a shared moral seriousness, a bipartisan majority in Congress would have brought the administration to its senses, if not to its knees, in a day."

Today's contemporary Republican Party has changed, however.

"It’s clear that Republican House leaders are, in effect, using a constitutional process meant to safeguard American democracy to instead further weaken it," The Times blasted the GOP.

If Trump and the Republicans say that there must be more "material witnesses" with first-hand accounts, then why are they preventing such witnesses from coming forward? Why are they denying subpoenas? Why are documents being provided through Freedom of Information Act requests, but not when requested by Congress?

Democrats have moved to rush the process, fearful that the 2020 election is being manipulated by the president in real-time.

"That testimony has established that the White House intervened to hold up military aid to Ukraine while demanding that the Ukrainian president announce corruption investigations into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, as well as into the fantasy that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 American election; those investigations were the 'favor' Mr. Trump requested in his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president," the editorial board continued.

Currently, the only first-hand accounts from chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and President Trump are available online, and it isn't favorable to the president.

"There’s no question that the Russia matter underscores that Mr. Trump embraces foreign meddling in support of his own political ambitions, and it can serve as important context as House members press their case," The Times closed.

The Times also argued that if Democrats feel their strongest case is in using the Ukraine scandal, they shouldn't need the obstruction charges from the Russia scandal. That said, Democrats are likely adding them as a means to draw a line to prevent all future acts of obstruction by a president.

Read the full piece at The New York Times.