Have you offered your life to wrongdoings, Mr. Trump?

“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. In the full enjoyment of those gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics and laborers – who have neither time nor the means of securing favors to themselves have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.” – Andrew Jackson, 1832.

When U.S. President Andrew Jackson was presented with a Bank Renewal Bill from Congress in 1832, he declined to sign it based on his concerns that narrow concentration of wealth and power in America would create monopolies.

“Such a monopoly, he believed, only exacerbated the tendency toward a tyranny to which all nations eventually drift. Eventually, the principle of his argument became one of the cornerstones of American conservatism, so despite the fact that its economics no longer enliven the national debate, its politics do,” George Grant wrote in the “Patriot’s Handbook.”

The word patriot has been thrown around on television this month of November 2019 when the 116th U.S. Congress through its chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, presided over the publicly televised proceedings on impeachment of the 45th US President Donald Trump, and said, excerpted here from The New Yorker’s The Talk of the Town, Nov. 25, 2019.

“If we find that the President of the United States abused his powers and invited foreign interference in our elections…must we simply get over it? Is this what Americans should now expect from their President? If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?”

The concern of Adam Schiff mirrors the concerns of Andrew Jackson then who believed that no undue favors and advantages attach to the rich and powerful, as well as Alexander Hamilton who wrote to George Washington in 1792, further quoted by the New Yorker, “When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents…is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity — to join in the cry of danger to liberty — to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day — It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may “ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”

Why was there such a concern? First, U.S. President Donald Trump took this oath of office, swearing on the bible held by his wife, Melania Trump, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” on January 20, 2017, 1,037 days, as of this published article.

That moment, Mr. Donald Trump became U.S. President Trump, sworn to uphold the interests and common good of all Americans. From that oath of office, he was transformed from being in a private businessman position to a position of public trust, a position with potentials of adverse impact on the in- tegrity and/or efficiency of the country’s mission to the rest of America.

That day marked the start of his presidential role to be the guardian of American democracy and the interests of all American citizens to have an honest president, who shall protect its U.S. elections. He was no longer Mr. Trump, the businessman, seeking to run his businesses from the confines of the White House.

He is now our president, enjoying taxpayers-funded Air Force One, U.S. Secret Service, the entire cabinet and legal staff inside the White House, the White House residence, plus he is now our U.S. commander-in-chief, whose interests should be America first and foremost.

Yet, Mr. Trump is still Mr. Trump, 1,037days later and has failed to muster his presidential duties to benefit the public’s common good. 

President Trump is still governing as Mr. Trump

The day after Robert Mueller testified in Congress on July 24, 2019, Trump had a phone conversation with a comedian who was elected as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, 2019.

Trump congratulated Zelensky and encouraged him to do an investigation on the Bidens. As the New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti and Eileen Sullivan reported on Nov. 15, 2019, ”During that call, Mr. Trump appeared to condition American military aid to Ukraine on whether Mr. Zelensky agreed to pursue investigations into the Biden family and he claimed that Ukrainians tried to undermine the Trump campaign in 2016.”

Dr. Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council official specializing in Russian and European affairs, testified at the impeachment public hearings and debunked the claim of Trump that, “Ukrainians tried to undermine the Trump campaign in 2016.”

She said, “Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election.”

She warned us all on televised proceedings that we are running out of time to stop them. Two more witnesses who appeared in the impeachment proceedings stressed the fact that American intelligence agencies’ consensus is that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections. The New York Times in 2018 reported it as eight intelligence agencies’ consensus.

Dr. Hill called it fiction, a narrative being advanced by Russian operatives, “Russia readily exploited partisan divisions to undermine the United States from within.”

Yet, Mr. Trump advanced the lie that Ukraine interfered in 2016 Presidential elections in the U.S., even though the facts and indictments are plainly clear and directly traceable to what Vladimir Putin’s talking points are. All the while, Robert Mueller testified before U.S. Congress that the interference was sweeping and systematic which led to the indictment of 26 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations.

But more than that, Mr. Trump is now soliciting an investigation from Ukraine to benefit himself, for Ukraine to do opposition research on Biden, for the purpose of benefiting Mr. Trump in the 2020 presidential elections. Why and how? Mr. Trump wants an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who was a board member at Burisma, an energy company, from 2014 to 2019. Mr. Trump is presuming that VP Joe Biden will be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2020.

But aside from that solicitation of the investigation from Ukraine to benefit Mr. Trump’s prospective reelection, Mr. Trump in his capacity as Pres. Trump, leveraged the security assistance funds to pressure Ukraine to do it and ordered a hold on nearly $400 million security assistance funds approved through bipartisan support in Congress.

Note that U.S. presidents are not given any spending powers by the Constitution, that spending power lies squarely in the hands of.

Congress. The framers of the U.S. Constitution wanted the separation of powers, or else the enormous weight of U.S. spending powers, placed in the hands of elected presidents would amount to unchecked corruption. It was meant to be a system of checks and balances so that each branch has certain powers so as to check and balance other branches.

Mr. Trump’s move to usurp spending powers to benefit him

So now, Asian Journal readers, have you considered the Facebook post of Atty. Norberto Jojo Reyes, “Did Trump violate the federal statue on bribery?”

U.S. Federal Statute, 18 U.S. Code Section 201 on Bribery of public officials and witnesses.

It states, “(2) being a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for: (a) being influenced in the performance of any official act; (b) being influenced to commit or aid in committing, or to collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud, on the United States; or (C) being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official duty of such official or person..”

Witness after witness during the impeachment proceedings, starting with William B. Taylor, Jr, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and top diplomat in Ukraine, New Yorker reported that in the closed hearings, Mr. Trump acting in his capacity as U.S. President, “sought to pressure the beleaguered President of Ukraine to sully the reputation of a Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in exchange for a meeting at the Oval Office and the release of the defense funds approved through bipartisan support in Congress.”

This was further affirmed by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who donated $1,000,000 to Mr. Trump’s presidential inauguaration, and was subsequently appointed to this position and who testified in the impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Another impeachment proceeding witness, David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, testified that “Trump cares more about the investigation of Biden than about the fate of Ukraine,” the New Yorker added.

When Mr. Trump acted to condition the release of the security assistance to Ukraine, he violated not only several federal statutes, but also breached the separation of powers in a democracy, calculated to prevent abuse of power and to safeguard freedom for all.

By leveraging the security assistance, he was using the federal powers of his presidential position to benefit him, Mr. Trump, the presidential candidate and failed to act honorably as America’s elected president.

But more than that, he has continued his lawlessness pattern of defying the Constitution by ordering his presidential staff not to testify, in further contempt of Congress, including staffers of the State Department and his own chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, who just received a $2,000,000 advance for a book deal and, of course, the president’s own lawyer in charge of mucking up the swamp by bubbling up false narratives, Rudolph Giuliani.

Our founding fathers were prescient, and provided for this in our U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2, that “the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.”

Article 2, Section 4 provides that “the President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” High Crimes and Misdemeanors include abuse of powers.

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Papers 65 described impeachable offenses as arising from “the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” 

Andrew Jackson said it even more plainly, “There are no necessary evils in government.” Government is an instrument of the public’s common good and Mr. Trump has failed to promote the common good, and has sustainably advanced his private interests, using public funds.

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Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D. writes a weekly column for Asian Journal, called “Rhizomes.” She has been writing for AJ press for 12 years. She also contributes to Balikbayan Magazine. Her training and experiences are in science, food technology, law and community volunteerism for 4 decades. She holds a B.S. Degree from the University of the Philippines, a law degree from Whittier College School of Law in California and a certificate on 21st century leadership from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been a participant in NVM writing workshops taught by Prof. Peter Bacho for 4 years and Prof. Russell Leong. She has travelled to France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Costa Rica, Mexico and over 22 national parks in the U.S., in her pursuit of love for nature and the arts.

Prosy Abarquez Dela Cruz, J.D.

Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D. writes a weekly column for Asian Journal, called “Rhizomes.” She has been writing for AJ Press for 13 years. She also contributes to Balikbayan Magazine. Her training and experiences are in science, food technology, law and community volunteerism for 4 decades. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of the Philippines, a law degree from Whittier College School of Law in California and a certificate on 21st Century Leadership from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been a participant in NVM Writing Workshops taught by Prof. Peter Bacho for 4 years and Prof. Russell Leong. She has travelled to France, Holland, Belgium, Japan, Costa Rica, Mexico and over 22 national parks in the US, in her pursuit of love for nature and the arts.

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