Op-Ed on Impeachment Inquiry in Long Island Advocate | Perry Gershon for Congress
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Op-Ed on Impeachment Inquiry in Long Island Advocate

Op-Ed on Impeachment Inquiry in Long Island Advocate

From The Long Island Advocate.

Headline: Protecting our democracy should not be partisan

Protection of our democracy requires extreme confidence in our election process, including removal of any doubt of foreign interference. A whistleblower’s accusation last week that President Trump may have encouraged a foreign actor to interfere in the 2020 election, using taxpayer money as leverage for his scheme, requires immediate investigation to protect the integrity of our systems. Initiation of a formal impeachment inquiry is the only option. While impeachment is a difficult process that will forever stain our nation’s history, failure to act and to allow Trump’s lawless behavior would establish an even more dangerous precedent by permitting election interference and abuse of powers. There is no defense for congressional inaction.

All of the charges are very serious, warranting an investigation to prove or disprove, and are impossible to ignore. Ukrainian aid was approved by Congress and the president cannot hold it up while demanding a political “favor” in return. It is premature to opine on Trump’s wrongdoing; the point of an “inquiry” is to establish the facts. A Trump-appointed inspector general deemed the charges “credible” and “urgent,” and failure by Congress to investigate would be to accept the misdeed.

Rather than act to uncover what happened, Congressman Lee Zeldin is ignoring the need to protect our laws and defend the election process. He is more bent on attacking the lead investigator, Adam Schiff, and the scheme’s potential victim, Joe Biden, than addressing the charges themselves. Zeldin views the developments only through the lens of presidential defender. His blind allegiance to this president over the Constitution should be no surprise, given his past history of blind praise, even as Trump has cavorted with dictators like Kim Jong-un.

A proper inquiry must explain why military aid to Ukraine was held back, why the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was involved with the U.S. State Department and meeting with Ukrainian officials as sanctioned by Trump (made clear on the released transcript), and why the summary of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian leader, and other records, were hidden away. These are legitimate ques- tions and the answers might clear Trump of wrongdoing. Zeldin instead obfuscates the facts and attacks the investigators. Parroting White House talking points is fodder for “Fox News,” and inappropriately designating the investigation a “socialist ploy” may raise campaign funds, but Long Islanders deserve more from our elected representative.

An inquiry into the president’s actions should not be taken lightly — in fact, I believe it should be the last-case scenario. But failure to act now is tacit acceptance, and that puts a worse stain on our country than the impeachment action itself. If the president of the United States used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and used U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage, that illicit behavior must be called out and stopped. Congress is elected to solve the real issues that confront us, like reversing the SALT deduction cap, securing affordable healthcare, reducing prescription drug costs, protecting our environment and improving our water quality. But Con- gress also has a constitutional duty to protect our laws when the president violates them. Oversight and policy are not mutually exclusive. And, regardless of the impeachment inquiry’s outcome, we must all emerge united as Americans — that is the greatness of our nearly 250 years of democracy.

Posted on October 3, 2019.

For 25 years, I have been a common-sense businessman — not a career politician — so I look at things differently. I know about fixing dysfunction. It starts with hard work, a commitment to results, and perseverance — not scoring cheap political points. We can work together to provide opportunity and create an economy that works for all of us.

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