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March Mania

Shaw: Re-election should not be the No. 1 concern

Jim Shaw

Dear Sens. Hoeven and Cramer,

The ball will soon be in your court. It is time for you to do the right thing. It is time for you to vote to convict President Donald Trump and remove him from office.

There is no dispute over the disturbing facts. Trump extorted Ukraine for his personal gain. He demanded a foreign country dig up dirt on the Bidens to help him politically, and would punish that country until it helped him. That punishment/shakedown was to secretly suspend $391 million in vital military aid to Ukraine, and to deny Ukraine President Zelensky a White House visit until he announced an investigation of the Bidens. Trump only eventually allowed Ukraine to receive the aid after he got caught.

Just to put this in perspective, Trump has met with thugs in the White House, such as Turkish President Erdogan, Egyptian President Sisi and Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, without any such demands.

Surely you know that Ukraine, an ally and emerging democracy, badly needs the aid because it is at war with Russia. Surely you know that Russia has invaded Ukraine and occupies 7% of its territory. You must know that 13,000 Ukrainians have been killed, 1.5 million of them have been displaced, and dozens of them are sitting in Russian jails.

Doesn’t it bother you that Trump secretly stopped the aid you authorized in Congress? That’s illegal. Doesn’t it bother you that for personal benefit, Trump hurt a desperate nation and damaged national security? Would it have been okay in 1941, before the U.S. entered World War II, for President Franklin Roosevelt to suspend critical military aid to Great Britain to use against the Nazis, until Winston Churchill investigated Roosevelt’s political rivals?

As members of Congress, why aren’t you upset that the Trump administration has refused to provide testimony and documents that have been legally subpoenaed by Congress?

You both act like you’re afraid of Trump. However, if you two and only about 18 of your Republican Senate colleagues vote to convict, Trump will be gone. Moreover, Republican Mike Pence would become president.

My guess is you’re worried about your own re-elections. That would be shameful if you’re focused on yourselves, rather than the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s serious offenses. Still, you have nothing to worry about. North Dakota’s primary election system ensures that. If you vote to convict Trump, and someone challenges you in a primary, many Democrats would crossover and vote for you. As for the general election, there’s no way any Democrat is going to beat you in this state. Not even if Moses ran as a Democrat.

Trump’s place in history as a corrupt president is secure, but you two have a chance to salvage your reputations. Do you want to be forever known as cowardly enablers, or as senators who support the Constitution, the rule of law, and national security?