Impeachment Is What Vladimir Putin Wants
Support for Ukraine has always been bipartisan. Russia seeks to undermine it and to divide Americans.
This article is signed by Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and 18 other Republican members of the committee.
House Democrats have announced they’ll try to impeach President Trump over a congratulatory phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Before details of the call had even emerged, Democrats falsely accused Mr. Trump of holding Ukrainian military aid hostage until Mr. Zelensky investigated former Vice President Joe Biden. In full transparency, Mr. Trump volunteered to provide all the relevant documents and other information to Congress.
Before those documents could even reach our chamber, Speaker Nancy Pelosi unilaterally declared the president had committed a “high crime and misdemeanor.” This partisan attack on the president could have far-reaching implications for foreign policy and permanently damage world leaders’ confidence in their ability to speak freely and candidly with any U.S. president.
Presidents have always been guaranteed the ability to speak privately with other world leaders. George Washington rejected House demands to obtain the contents of his foreign negotiations, which he said would “establish a dangerous precedent.” Washington understood “the nature of foreign negotiations requires caution, and their success must often depend on secrecy.”
The transcript released yesterday with Mr. Zelensky’s consent shows unequivocally there was no quid pro quo. Mr. Trump never mentioned military aid or suggested he would suspend funding until allegations about Hunter Biden were investigated.
This Democrat-manufactured crisis has consumed Congress. But no one is more pleased than Vladimir Putin.
Intentional or not, Democrats are literally following the Russian president’s playbook. His goal, now and before the 2016 election, has been to pit Americans against one another and erode confidence in our democratic process. The world, which should focus on Mr. Putin’s illegitimate annexation of Crimea and continuing aggression elsewhere in Ukraine, instead is fixated on this partisan domestic theater.
Since the people of Ukraine took to the streets in 2014 to oust a pro-Russian president, support for Ukraine has been bipartisan. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have worked together to deliver much-needed military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and secure its future as a free and democratic country without Russian influence.
The chairman of our committee, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, has always said that politics stops at the water’s edge, and his leadership of our committee has reflected that. Our sincere hope is that Mrs. Pelosi won’t drag our committee further into a partisan squabble on the world stage. Doing so would damage our ability to conduct effective foreign-policy oversight. Instead, we should focus on fighting Mr. Putin’s malign influence around the world, on combating Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. elections, and on helping our partner Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression.
In addition to Mr. McCaul, this article is signed by Reps. Chris Smith (N.J.), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Joe Wilson (S.C.), Scott Perry (Pa.), Ted Yoho (Fla.), Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), Ann Wagner (Mo.), Brian Mast (Fla.), Francis Rooney (Fla.), John Curtis (Utah), Ken Buck (Colo.), Ron Wright (Texas), Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Greg Pence (Ind.), Steve Watkins (Kan.) and Michael Guest (Miss.).