Let me state at the outset that some of my best friends are Republicans and independents. This missive is addressed to all of my fellow Americans, but especially to Republicans and independents. Here’s the deal with the impeachment rumpus, as I see it.

The first Americans to be alarmed by our president’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president were not Democrats. They were White House aides, presumably rock solid Republicans all.

They were so alarmed they went into full lockdown mode, trying to keep what the president said from getting out. This is not what people do after listening to what the president termed a “perfect” phone call.

All that the president’s aides managed to accomplish was to put themselves in legal jeopardy.

What alarmed them so was witnessing the man they work for, the purported leader of the free world, shaking down a needy ally and using as leverage national security funds, which had passed the U.S. Congress in a bipartisan vote. Our president wanted “a favor” when talk of military aid came up during the July 25 phone call, and the favor included asking Ukraine to launch an investigation of Joe Biden, the leading Democratic candidate for president in 2020.

The embargoed funds, nearly $400 million, were earmarked for training and equipping Ukrainian forces in their fight to stave off Russian aggression. I’m in favor of that. How about you?

The White House put a hold on the money a week before the July 25 phone call between the two presidents. After intense lobbying from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the White House released the funds on September 11.

No one has proffered a believable explanation for why the White House blocked the release of the money for nearly two months. None other than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, confessed to being kept in dark on the White House rationale. No reason was given because it couldn’t stand the light of day.

Having been called out on his blockage of the funds, our president has since given two distinct explanations on two separate occasions. One was that the Ukraine is too corrupt to get the aid. That argument was contradicted in May by the U.S. Department of Defense, which gave Ukraine its seal of approval in a letter to congressional committees, citing it for taking “substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing corruption [and] increasing accountability.”

Reason number two was that our other allies weren’t doing enough to help Ukraine. The logic here, if logic is the right word, is that we’ll show our skinflint allies: we won’t do enough to help Ukraine either.

If the word had not gotten out about the now infamous phone call, one might have surmised that our president was against aid aimed at keeping Russia at bay because of his bromance with Vladimir Putin. Our president has already forgiven the Vlad the Invader for his illegal annexation of Crimea, and has been lobbying the Group of Seven (G7) economic organization to readmit the unrepentant Russia.

To those who think our president did nothing wrong in the July 25 phone call, that leaning on a foreign leader like that for personal political gain is proper, if not “perfect,” consider what road that leads us all down. Do we really want politics without borders? Should the outcome of the next election really trump national security in the calculations of our presidents? Whatever lines your guy crosses and gets away with, my guy or gal can cross when she or he becomes president.

Without objective standards and accountability, it is a race to the bottom. Ask yourself, “What if former president Barack Obama had done what our current president did on July 25?” Would that have been perfectly all right with you?

The road we are sliding down together leads not simply to an ever more imperial presidency. It leads to an American Mussolini.

David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.

Join the Conversation


  1. No quid pro quo and now it seems that the Speaker of the House knew what was in the phone call transcript prior to its release. Hopefully no one was illegally leaking classified material to try and damage the President of the United States.

    President Trump can declassify what President Obama said and to whom regarding the Iran deal. He can do the same with Biden/Ukraine and Biden/China.

    Careful what you wish for.

    1. Please explain how the Trump administration “suppressed” release of it. Schiff knew about it (and probably helped write it) in August. He was the one not making it public.

      If the Dems want to impeach Trump, as they have publicly said they do since day two of his presidency, then take a vote.

      Remember that if it moves forward Trump can call witnesses and have them testify under oath. That would include Schiff, Obama, Hilary, Brennan, McCabe, Strozk.

      And he already knows all the real answers to his questions.

      I can’t wait.

  2. I honestly believed for years that tepid were the worst to obama. They were totally unfair to him. But what we see today seems even above that from dems. I can’t believe what our government has become. They are all both sides like a by bunch of spoiled brats. We the people are screwed.

  3. If I, being a staunch conservative, were to say “some of my best friends are ___,” I would immediately be labeled a bigot by the Left, full of hate towards whatever group filled that blank.

    That bit of housekeeping addressed, after demanding spending several years worth of countless fruitless investigations of ONE side of the failure to install Hillary Clinton as POTUS, Democrats are upset some Republicans/conservatives are finally standing up and attempting to investigate the OTHER side.

    What’s the word Lefties love to claim they want? Oh yeah, ‘fairness.’ Prove it.

  4. Mr. Holahan makes excellent points. I am appalled that Trump supporters make excuses and think he did nothing wrong. These same people would be shouting from the rooftops if Obama had done anything even remotely similar. We cannot have double standards with this kind of behavior. If lying about an affair with an intern was impeachment-worthy, shouldn’t asking for “a favor” from a foreign government to aid a re-election campaign be impeachment-worthy? I fear that Trump is going to win either way. If the Democrats do not move to impeach, he will be emboldened to continue and do something even worse. And if the Democrats do move to impeach and the Republican-controlled Senate acquits him, he will be emboldened to continue and do something even worse. The moral authority and integrity of our country is at stake.

  5. Hear, hear….Not sure from several comments below whether some of the readers Mr. Holahan addresses are ready to listen clearly – much less squarely answer his concerns.

    I share these concerns – and am saddened that the President has shown such little regard for the Constitution, as he goes about his business….which is most decidedly not the business of the people of the United States…

    God help us – and those of our fellow Americans who still care about where our country’s headed….

  6. After reading this article, understanding the authors persepctive, giving a lot of careful consideration, and out of an abundance of caution I’ve decided that I’ll definitely be voting for President Trump, again.

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