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The Walls are Closing in on Donald Trump

Photograph Source: Simon Bowie – CC BY 2.0

As witness after credible witness appears before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry, the walls are closing in on Donald Trump and he knows it.

If any more proof was needed, he actually tried to intimidate one of the witnesses, former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, by posting a derogatory tweet about her while she was testifying. Such open and obvious attempts to bully a witness and obstruct the justice headed his way is beyond the pale of any occupant of the White House in the 230-year history of our nation — and is just another blatant indicator of why this occupant must be removed from office as quickly as possible.

Given Trump’s long and disgusting record of lying, cheating and intimidation as he swaggered his way through life, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to see him bully and intimidate Yovanovitch, whom he called “the woman” in his communication with the newly elected president of Ukraine. That he directed and carried out an open campaign to smear Yovanovitch, a faithful public servant with decades of laudatory performance in her various diplomatic posts, should alarm all Americans.

Even worse, as testified to by Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and State Department official George Kent, the actions to remove Yovanovitch and ruin her career were carried out not by State Department officials, but by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani, who has exactly no official capacity to represent the United States government in any way, shape or form.

That Trump and Giuliani’s back channel scheme to undermine one of our own diplomats to prop up some of the most corrupt individuals in Ukraine’s government stinks to high heaven. The stench only gets worse when you factor in Trump’s withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in its on-going war with Russia for one reason — to manufacture investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter to aid Trump’s re-election campaign.

The problems for Trump are only growing as more witnesses to his corrupt activities realize their own peril and ignore his demands to refuse to testify. A second firsthand witness to Trump’s notorious phone call with Ukraine’s president has just come forward. Despite the feeble efforts of Republicans to defend the indefensible acts of this disgraced president, the facts continue to mount against, not for, Trump.

As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told the president, if you have any “exculpatory” evidence — and explained “that term means evidence to prove your innocence” — he should bring it forward. Instead, Trump is doing the opposite — fighting tooth and nail to prevent Congress from getting official documents because they further incriminate him and his henchmen.

But now Trump finds himself assailed by far more than Congress. A federal appeals court has just ruled the state of New York has the legal right to demand and receive eight years of the tax returns that, unlike decades of presidents before him, Trump has refused to release.

Meanwhile, Roger Stone, one of Trump’s closest associates and former campaign official, was found guilty of seven felony counts, including witness intimidation, witness tampering, lying to lawmakers and congressional investigators about Russian interference in the 2016 election, and his interaction with Wikileaks to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

It’s worth remembering that the first president of the United States, George Washington, is said to have confessed to chopping down his father’s cherry tree with the words “I cannot tell a lie.” We now find ourselves with a president who, as mounting evidence shows, simply cannot tell the truth.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

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