On Impeachment & Democracy

new-york-1800020_1920.jpg

Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Up until this week, Move Forward Staten Island has declined to call for the impeachment of our president, despite our opposition to many of his policies and our concerns over the multitude of scandals and accusations made against the President over the last three years. However, we have reached the point in which we can no longer stay silent.

As a nonpartisan organization we are uninterested in the idea of using impeachment as a partisan or political witch-hunt which is why we have been hesitant to call for impeachment. Nevertheless, we believe our democracy depends on upholding a value system where no person, including the President of the United States, is above the law. Transparency, accountability and ethics within the political system are a core component of Move Forward’s value system. We have vowed to hold our elected officials accountable at all levels of government, regardless of party affiliation, and that must include the President.

The allegations made against the President as outlined in the whistleblower complaint are serious, and we believe warrants an equally serious response. We should also note that the President has not even denied the underlying allegations regarding his conversations with Ukraine, but rather maintains that his actions were lawful. We cannot allow such an egregious abuse of power to go unanswered which is why we’re now calling on Congressman Max Rose to support the impeachment inquiry.

While we don’t always agree with Congressman Rose, we have always appreciated his willingness to debate the issues with us and engage in frank, respectful dialogue. We appreciate his thoughtfulness here and his cautioned approach to the question of impeachment. We share his concerns that impeachment is within its very definition a polarizing and disruptive practice. It is not something that should be taken lightly. But again, we believe that the whistleblower complaint and transcript have changed things and so too must Congressman Rose’s position on this issue.

We are not naive to the realities of the political landscape on Staten Island or the political hotspot the Congressman finds himself in. But as a leading progressive voice on Staten Island, our role must be to push for ideals and values, not partisan politics or the political security of any one candidate. It comes as no surprise that the holdout Democrats who have opposed the impeachment inquiry are all from vulnerable swing state districts, like NY11. We believe Congressman Rose must lead with integrity, a trait we have always known him to embody, and put the good of the country above his own individual political security. The public’s interest in our national security and a fair election without foreign influence must be tantamount.

As to Congressman’s Rose’s latest statement on the issue of impeachment, bemoaning the idea of a timeline, we maintain that time is of the essence. With the 2020 elections already underway, the allegations against the President are especially disturbing. We believe swift action is appropriate, especially in light of the whistleblower complaint, to safeguard our elections and restore the American people’s faith in our electoral system.

We look forward to continued dialogue with Congressman Max Rose and hope as the days go on, he will join his colleagues in Congress in upholding the Constitution and demanding a fair and meticulous investigation into our President’s attempts to undermine our electoral system.

Julienne Verdi