Former FBI Agent Asha Rangappa wrote in an op-ed Monday that President Donald Trump deserved to be impeached again for his call with Georgia officials demanding the secretary of state commit election fraud.
"I just need 11,780 votes," Trump demanded of Brad Raffensperger.
"Once again, Trump tried to leverage his authority to help his own electoral outcome," wrote Rangappa. "Once again, he relied on explicit and implicit threats to try to make it happen. And once again, he failed and the call leaked."
The call to Georgia was remarkably similar to the one with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked for a "favor" before he could send the foreign aid allocated from Congress.
She noted that the media has spent the past 24 hours focusing on whether Trump broke the law. "But, like the title of Mary Trump's book about her uncle, using a criminal yardstick to measure Trump's behavior is both too much and never enough."
Like Trump, Rangappa suggested that Congress should be just as "uncreative and predictable" as the president and vote for impeachment. She anticipated the eye-roll from the right, but explained that "because there is so little time left in his term, impeachment is the only thing that can achieve what our criminal laws cannot."
No one could argue that the recording of the call with Trump demanding someone fabricate votes isn't an impeachable offense. Trump holds "real power" Rangappa explained. Any political threat, like a criminal investigation, would create laughs from a normal person on the call. This was the president of the United States and it's different when he does it. It would fall under the demand for a "high crime" for impeachment.
"A second reason impeachment is necessary is because Trump's actions in this particular case embody almost every fear that the framers of the Constitution tried to guard against," she also wrote. "In addition to Trump's obvious self-dealing in trying to (ab)use his power to benefit himself, personally, he trampled on the principles of federalism in using his authority to strongarm state officials and interfere in purely state matters. He also attempted to obstruct justice—not necessarily in the criminal sense, but in his refusal to acknowledge court decisions that have already rejected his claims and his effort to secretly work around them. And, of course, he clearly hoped to disenfranchise millions of voters and establish rule by fiat, something our founders expressly rejected in rebelling against King George III in the first place."
She closed by arguing that such a process would warn that the U.S. Congress does not stand for this brand of authoritarianism. It comes at the same time that Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) decided to wage their own little war in the Senate to overthrow the Constitutional election process.
During the impeachment, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) even went so far as to say that she hopped Trump "learned a big lesson" from the impeachment in the Ukraine bribery case.
Susan Collins, rationalizing her vote to clear Trump of impeachment charges last year, said he’d learned “a pretty… https://t.co/XpmNRdEvRC— John Harwood (@John Harwood) 1609776981.0
Democrats argued the opposite. In his closing argument during the first Impeachment trial, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said, "What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you: 100 percent. A man without character or ethical compass will never find his way." Democrats warned that it would happen again, and it has.
The demand for impeachment isn't only coming from the left. Conservative Bill Kristol agreed, saying that it isn't even necessary to hold hearings.
I don’t want to give @AOC ideas, but I believe an impeachment resolution can be brought directly to the floor by an… https://t.co/O2f1e87KHi— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol) 1609721575.0
Even Jonathan Turley, who defended Trump in the Ukraine bribery scandal acknowledged that the recent scandal is baffling.
Telling Raffensperger to "find" the votes on the Saturday before the certification is breathtaking.… https://t.co/5ViI2FMjYq— Jonathan Turley (@Jonathan Turley) 1609715109.0