In a New York Times op-ed column this morning, veteran Washington Journalist Elizabeth Drew discusses the Democrats impeachment strategy, which appears to be narrowly focused on establishing a bribery charge against Trump for communicating to president Zelensky of Ukraine that the United States would release Congressionally appropriated military aid only if Zelensky would do “a favor” by cooperating in Trump’s effort to fabricate a defamatory story about Trump’s prime potential political opponent, Joe Biden. Drew argues that that impeachment charges should be more wide-ranging and should emphasize Trump’s multiple abuses of power, even though that would drag the hearings out longer, ever closer to the 2020 election, an event that would seem to render impeachment moot.
I think the best strategy is probably to impeach Trump on the bribery charge soon after the first of the year, while continuing hearings on other clearly demonstrable impeachable offenses, maximizing the likelihood that a critical segment of the electorate will come to understand that Trump didn’t just cross the line on one occasion, but that his entire mode of governing is an offense to the Constitution, that there are multiple ways in which he has violated his oath of office and multiple reasons why he should be impeached and removed from office.
Events are moving fast, however. Democrats must be resourceful, nimble, and unified in responding to them.