Statement on Trump impeachment hearings

BY:Communist Party USA| November 15, 2019
Statement on Trump impeachment hearings


It’s about time. Bowing to public demand, Congress has launched impeachment hearings and is fulfilling one of its duties—oversight of the executive branch of government. The Communist Party USA welcomes this historic development.

We are not accustomed to witnessing such accountability. While the working class is held accountable for infractions on the job or nonviolent drug-related offenses leading to mass incarceration, the most powerful people are given a pass. The big shots who caused the 2008 economic meltdown, the corporate polluters, and the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies who gave us the opioid crisis never see the insides of a prison. Even the subpoena power of Congress doesn’t touch the powerful, as in the case of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who brazenly told three House committees that he would not comply with their subpoenas for documents relating to Ukraine.

Now, however, the House of Representatives is attempting to hold the president accountable.

It is not the impeachment we’d like to see, as it is narrowly focused on a single transgression: the attempted extortion of Ukraine’s leader for Trump’s personal gain. An impeachment held on behalf of the working class would hold Trump accountable for gross racism and sexism, human rights abuses at the U.S.-Mexico border, for interfering with Venezuela, for selling arms to Saudi Arabia, gutting the Environmental Protection Agency, and practically dismantling the State Department in favor of increasing military spending, in addition to his corrupt activities.

Congress was prompted to hold hearings because Trump did something that the Democratic leadership could not abide: place his personal and political interests over their conception of U.S. “national security.” Apparently, Trump’s violation of the emoluments clauses of the Constitution—which prevent federal office holders from receiving perks and gifts from foreign countries or the federal and state governments—was not enough for impeachment. His obstruction of the Mueller investigation was not enough to move Congress to act. Nor was Trump’s refusal to divest himself from his business interests and thus profit from government business held on his properties. (His Mar-a-Lago Country Club saw an $8 million increase in revenue from 2016 to 2017.) The accusations of sexual misconduct, including rape of a minor, were not enough. But national security gave the Democrats an “acceptable” issue to grab onto. One wonders: if Trump hadn’t released the transcript of his phone call with the Ukraine president, Volodymyr Zelensky, would there be impeachment hearings at all?

And so we have an impeachment that so far focusses narrowly on national security interests rather than on the overall corruption pervading the White House. But we’ll take it. History has shown that the working class, women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community don’t get to choose the ground on which struggle is fought. What’s important is that Trump’s corruption is being revealed—in detailed, credible testimony—for the world to see.

Besides exposing Trump’s corruption and bullying, the first hearing placed a spotlight on U.S. corrupt foreign policy. Ambassador William Taylor on several occasions invoked U.S. commitment to the sovereignty of other nations when discussing our government’s support of Ukraine.  This hypocritical stance ignores U.S. deadly interference in dozens of countries, more recently Honduras, Venezuela, and likely Bolivia. But hypocrisy aside, Taylor signaled that more benign interference is acceptable. With sincere concern, he described the “irregular channel”—consisting of Rudi Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and others—interfering on Trump’s behalf to pressure Zelensky to launch an investigation on the Bidens. But at one point, when Steve Castor, lawyer for the Republicans, questioned Taylor about the “irregular channel,” trying to get Taylor to agree that their activities were not “outlandish,” he mentioned Perry, “somebody with deep experience in energy markets, and [who] was pursuing some liquefied natural gas projects in the Ukraine.” Castor asked, “So his involvement—Secretary Perry’s involvement is perfectly acceptable?” Replied Taylor: “It is.” Perhaps Castor and Taylor had in mind Perry’s assistance in obtaining lucrative gas and oil contracts for two of his associates. Such is our government’s foreign policy: ensuring that other nations’ natural resources are available to U.S. corporations.

The hearing also reveals a case of a ruling class divided. Ambassador Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent are conservative hawks who view Ukraine as a line of defense against Russia. Their job is to ensure that U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine—whether to keep Ukraine’s markets open or to contain Russia—is carried out. When Taylor and Kent realized that Trump was undermining that foreign policy by temporarily withdrawing military aid to Ukraine, they were prompted to speak out.

The impeachment hearings are a lesson that elections matter. Had the Democrats not taken control of the House, the Mueller report would have been buried, and we would not be learning about Trump’s bribery and extortion of Zelensky. It was the people’s push in the 2018 elections that helped get us here.

The articles of impeachment have not been revealed yet. Whether these articles are broad or narrow, impeachment will be a huge people’s victory that will come about because of prior demands. That impeachment hearings are being held at all is a testament to the growing resistance to Trump and his anti-people policies, which began with the first Women’s March in Washington, DC, in January 2017, continued with the trouncing of Republicans in the 2018 elections, and moves forward with workers strikes, climate marches, and pro-immigrant rallies.

We need to dump Trump. The issue now is to keep the pressure on by creating an atmosphere of a workers and peoples impeachment: Write letters to the editor, circulate memes, call Congress, circulate petitions, and attend protests.  Trump has got to go whether by impeachment or the electoral process.  The very future depends on it.


    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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