From SIGURD C. “ZIGGY” RAHMAS
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter I sent to Congressman Antonio Delgado.
Dear Congressman Delgado,
It was a pleasure talking with you at the Middleburgh Town Hall. I was the person who asked the first question. We have the same goals, just a different approach.
I brought up the idea that an impeachment inquiry will prevent President Trump from preemptively pardoning persons, as was the case of Ford pardoning Nixon, and more recently by Trump pardoning Arpaio. The impeachment inquiry will, in my estimation, lead to possible convictions while preventing an abuse of the pardon power.
Here is a hypothetical:
Attorney General William Barr has been found in contempt by the Judiciary Committee; he still needs to be found in contempt by the full Congress.
After being found in contempt of Congress, Barr will fight the ruling in court. Assuming he loses in court, Congress will then impose penalties. Barr then continues to refuse to testify, in the end Trump simply pardons Barr, nothing was accomplished. Barr doesn’t testify and walks away from any consequences.
I again cite the Constitution: “The President… shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Impeachment is necessary.
You also brought up several reasons to delay impeachment where I disagree. During the Town Hall, I didn’t want to debate you, I remained silent; I respect you and did not want to keep interrupting, therefore I would like to outline some of the points where we differ:
1) Process: The “process” is an impeachment, not some new invented process. We are better off holding an impeachment inquiry instead of several ad hoc hearings. Witnesses will then know they will not be able to “weasel out” of jeopardy with the issuance of a pardon, all six proceedings under one umbrella. The facts will come out by starting the impeachment inquiry, it doesn’t need to end quickly.
I can make an argument for holding impeachment hearings into the election if the delaying tactics by Trump continue. Impeachment will give you unencumbered access to the Grand Jury information that Robert Barr is withholding.
2) Senate: The argument is that impeachment won’t pass the Senate; then why are you passing legislation that also won’t pass Senate? The act of starting an impeachment inquiry is an accomplishment. If there are impeachment hearings, and as evidence comes out, it will become harder for senators to politically defend Trump without running the risk of losing re-election.
Remember, when Watergate started, no Republican senator was in favor of removal; that changed when it no longer served their political purpose. Put the Senate on record.
3) Divide: That impeachment will divide the country is a fallacy. The country is already divided by Trump’s actions. It is difficult to become more divided. Right now less than one-third of the people in the country are determining the fate of the two-thirds majority. An impeachment inquiry can only help to bring the country back together.
4) Precedent: Impeachment, if not now, then when, or ever? You will be negating your Constitutional duty and allowing for an Imperial Presidency to exist where an elected dictator will do whatever he/she wants without regard to his/her subjects. That is a terrible precedent to set.
We agree there are urgent needs facing the country, from the Russian interference to combating Climate Change, as well as dozens of other very important issues. You’ve already passed over 50 legislative acts to take us into future. I commend you. We now need you to immediately end the obstruction of justice by the criminals in office with an impeachment inquiry, otherwise no meaningful legislation will ever become law.
SIGURD C. “ZIGGY” RAHMAS