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Franklin Foer on Trump Impeachment Inquiry and Volker's Resignation
1 October, 2019
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Franklin Foer, a writer at The Atlantic magazine, speaks to Hromadske in July 2017. Oleksandr Popenko / Hromadske

U.S. President Donald Trump is facing impeachment after the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives announced that it will be pursuing an impeachment inquiry following whistleblower revelations that the U.S. President used the power of his office to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into investigating a political rival of Trump’s, current Democratic presidential candidate frontrunner Joe Biden.

Franklin Foer, a writer at The Atlantic magazine and the first U.S. journalist to investigate Republican political operative and one-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s links to fugitive ex-Ukrainian president Yanukovych spoke on the Sunday Show about why he believes the whistleblower report was the last straw for Donald Trump.

READ MORE: What Trump’s New Scandal Means for Ukraine

“...The Democrats have been looking for an opportunity to impeach Donald Trump because the man has behaved in a lawless sort of way and he’s violated so many of the norms of American democracy that there was this sense that he needed to be checked...they hadn’t made a move toward impeachment until the whistleblower came forward and there was this sense...that Trump had violated American constitutional norms in a very clear sort of way,” said Foer.

But he doesn’t believe that impeachment will be successful. While commenting on the likelihood of Trump being impeached in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, he added that “We really don’t know what happens when the impeachment proceedings move into the second phase in the Senate where it seems highly unlikely that Trump will be removed from office simply because the Republicans have the numbers there and there’s really no evidence that the Republicans will move in any significant numbers against Trump.”

READ MORE: “A moment of humiliation for two presidents” – Marie Mendras on Trump-Zelenskyy Scandal

It’s not just Trump that’s under fire, however – U.S. Attorney General William Barr, appointed by Donald Trump, refused to prosecute the whistleblower’s allegations, according to Foer. “What’s so deeply troubling to Americans about this is the way in which the President of the United States is using the machinery of state to punish a political opponent. And the Department of Justice is supposed to be the most neutral part of the government, it’s supposed to be the representative organization that embodies the rule of law...so I think that [AG Barr] will be under enormous scrutiny.”

And Ukraine could suffer from this scandal as well. Franklin Foer believes that the resignation of Kurt Volker, the now ex-Special Representative to Ukraine, is troubling – and that the resignation, which has not been commented upon by Volker himself, was due in part to Volker’s own conscience.

“My instinct is that that he resigned because he knew that what Trump was doing is wrong, and he didn’t want any further part of it...My impression is that he was in a very difficult position not just because he was asked to solve a difficult problem in terms of negotiating a peace agreement, but also because he had a leader who was asking him to do things that I think flew in the face of his conscience,” speculated Foer. Volker has been called to testify in front of the U.S. Congress regarding his work in Ukraine.

In Volker, Ukraine loses a significant ally against Russian aggression and against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foer mentioned. And while the U.S. may still support Ukraine, Ukraine might start to feel differently, according to Foer: “How can Ukraine feel secure in its alliance with the United States if the President of the United States acts so capriciously?”

READ MORE: NYT's Andrew Kramer: There Are 2 Narratives in Trump-Biden-Ukraine Controversy

/By Romeo Kokriatski