Requesting help from Russia to obtain information on an opponent during a presidential campaign is an unpatriotic and ugly deed. It shows contempt for the countless people who have sacrificed their lives for our country and the principles it stands.
There are plenty of ideas around on how to win the presidency. These can come from friends, acquaintances and even strangers. When help is offered by anyone associated with a foreign government, the only question should be how best to contact the FBI.
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Millions of Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, hoped that the 2016 meeting at the Trump Tower involved issues of adoption policy. This is after all what the White House had told them. Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer connected with the Kremlin were present at the meeting.
President Donald Trump, however, disclosed recently that the meeting was held to obtain information on an opponent.
It should never be forgotten that the Soviet Union played a crucial role in winning the Second World War. At the same time, Trump is correct when he says that the U.S. is keenly interested in maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia that is both peaceful and cooperative.
It should however also be noted that any candidate or president’s highest loyalty should be to his country and not to winning the election. The Russian government ceaselessly works at weakening, undermining and destabilizing our country.
Neither candidates for high office, nor any presidential campaign, should ever consider accepting help from Russia to obtain information on their opponents.
This is not simply a case of common sense but is linked to the deepest fears of our nation’s founders. Many people don’t fully understand the provision in the constitution that limits only “natural born” citizens to be eligible for the presidency. It does, however, demonstrate that the founders desired to safeguard something they prized dearly: loyalty.
In previous debates on the impeachment clause, George Mason focused on the electoral process itself and asked if a person who has procured his appointment by practicing corruption should escape punishment. James Madison highlighted the risk that a president might betray his trust to a foreign power.
As of today, there is no evidence that Donald Trump knew about the meeting at the time, or that the meeting affected the 2016 election. There is, however, a general principle: Enlisting Russia’s help to procure the presidency successfully would be counted as a misdemeanor or high crime within the context of the impeachment clause.
It might also be a federal crime. The federal law states that it is unlawful to receive a contribution from a foreign national. A contribution could include anything of value with the purpose of influencing an election for Federal office. Lawyers are now debating whether “information on an opponent” can be seen as “anything of value.”