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Politics & Government

Trump-Ukraine President Phone Call Impeachment Tipping Point says SUNY Cortland Political Expert


A SUNY Cortland Political Science Professor says the memorandum of a July phone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukraine President raises warning flags about the appearance of enlisting a foreign power for political gain. 

In the conversation, Trump asks the president to “do him a favor” and look into business dealings in Ukraine by Joe Biden’s son Hunter.  Professor Bob Spitzer says the account shows Trump and his administration have crossed a fine line, possibly violating constitutional obligations.

“Based on the facts that we already have, raised so many questions about misuse of the powers of office, about intermingling government authority with domestic political concerns, that it speaks for itself as a circumstance where an inquiry is now warranted even in the minds of some who did not agree with that idea up until now.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday launched an impeachment inquiry in connection to the contents of the conversation between Trump and the Ukrainian president.  Despite the increasing calls for a formal impeachment, Spritzer points out the release of the memo follows what began as a whistleblower moment.

“I think that tells you a lot about the fact that people in national security are extremely concerned about possible breaches of fundamental national security principals by President Trump.”

Spitzer calls the Ukraine episode a tipping point in a longer list of what critics claim are impeachable offenses.  Central New York representatives John Katko and Anthony Brindisi are opposed to the impeachment inquiry. 

Prof. Spitzer talks with WAER's Alyssa Lyons about opposition by Reps. Katko and Brindisi to the impeachment inquiry, as well as the future of the impeachment hearings.

This copy has been updated to remove the use of "transcript" to describe the information about the phone call relased by the White House.