Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, October 18, 2019

From the very first days of our nation, the founders were intent on ensuring that foreign entities did not influence America's democratic system. They knew that foreign involvement in U.S. elections or policymaking posed an enormous threat to our sovereignty and that a president who would invite foreign interference for his own political benefit would be subject to impeachment.

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What did the founders say about the dangers of foreign involvement in American elections or a president who might solicit such corrupt involvement?

George Washington, in his farewell address at the end of his presidency, argued that one of the greatest dangers to the United States involved the "insidious wiles" of foreign powers and their multiple avenues to improperly influence our political system. Washington urged Americans "to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

Thomas Jefferson also sounded the alarm about "entanglements" between the United States and foreign governments, which he and other founders viewed with "perfect horror" due to the corruption that could result. Jefferson knew that a republic could not function if its chief executive would abuse his office"and the public trust"by soliciting personal political assistance from a foreign government.

John Adams had similar beliefs, writing to Jefferson in 1787 that he understood Jefferson's apprehension about "foreign Interference, Intrigue Influence." Adams, too, was concerned about corruption in the political system, leading him to assert that America should not conduct elections too often. "As often as Elections happen," Adams wrote, "the danger of foreign Influence recurs."

Alexander Hamilton warned specifically about a foreign power's ability to cultivate a president or another top official. In Federalist Paper Number 68, published in 1788, Hamilton wrote:

These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistry of the Union?

The founders set up our system of checks and balances among three branches of government, in part, to restrain potential presidential corruption. They knew:

... that if the checks and balances proved to be not strong enough to restrain the executive, or if the legislative and judicial branches, convinced by a crisis, yielded too much power to the executive"well, that way lay tyranny, because a president would then be able to do whatever he pleased, even if in the process he destroyed the republic.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-18 07:45 AM | Reply

Our Founding Fathers would've taken both Trump and Democrats to the woodshed for their corruption over Ukraine.

#2 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-10-18 07:49 AM | Reply

One means of preventing this type of tyranny was through impeachment. As James Madison noted, there needed to be a way to remove the president other than through a subsequent election, or else "[h]e might pervert his administration into a scheme of [embezzlement] or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers."

The founders bestowed the impeachment power on Congress, therefore, as a constitutionally approved method to remove presidents who proved disloyal to the country.

For the founders, "the possibility particularly of foreign influence in any of many potentially insidious forms was an essential reason to bestow the impeachment power on the U.S. Congress, to check the power of a president beholden to or actively working with foreign nations." Similarly, the founders believed that some forms of foreign-related corruption could violate the emoluments clause, which also could lead to impeachment. Edmund Randolph"governor of Virginia and first attorney general of the United States"said during the ratification debate, without reservation, that where a president becomes corrupted by receiving any present or emolument from foreign powers, "he may be impeached."

The founders could not have been clearer: There should be no undue foreign influence in the internal affairs of the United States, especially in elections. And certainly, no president should be inviting it, especially for his personal gain. Through the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and other writings and debates, the founders attempted to erect a solid framework"and a clear expectation"that would prevent this sort of corruption and abuse of power.

Sorry for the extended quotations, but when Republicans try to say that what Trump has done/is doing/is planning to do (as it regards G7) might be bad, but they don't rise to impeachable offenses, let the words of those who wrote the Constitution stand in defiance of such ignorance. Impeachment was designed for the very things that this President does. That is why it's so important to place what is going on today into the context of the Founders' intentions which couldn't be clearer.

Donald Trump must be impeached, convicted and removed from office for his transgressions against the US Constitution for that is what IT says must be his fate for the sake of the nation's sovereignty.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-18 07:56 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Our Founding Fathers would've taken both Trump and Democrats to the woodshed for their corruption over Ukraine."

What did the Democrats do in Ukraine? You're "both sides are the same meme" is very tiring and false.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2019-10-18 10:30 AM | Reply

Our founders would have impeached a number of presidents for their misdeeds.

#5 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-18 11:07 AM | Reply

Speculation porn ...

#6 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-18 11:09 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Our Founders Would Have Impeached Trump For Ukraine Mess

Funny

o'bummer would have bitten the dust.

#7 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-10-19 12:34 PM | Reply

The administration hasn't just confessed to impeachable offenses, they've bragged about them. And all Russian trolls like #6 and #7 can do is try to deflect. What else can they do?

#8 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2019-10-19 02:03 PM | Reply

Our Founding Fathers would've taken both Trump and Democrats to the woodshed for their corruption over Ukraine.

#2 | Posted by PinchALoaf

Could you please refresh us as to what exactly was the role that Democrats played with respect to the corruption in the Ukraine?

OCU

#9 | Posted by OCUser at 2019-10-19 05:26 PM | Reply

Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Trump is what he had in mind.

There seems little doubt, given his writings on the presidency, that Alexander Hamilton would have been aghast at Trump's behavior and appalled by his invitation to foreign actors to meddle in our elections. As a result, he would most certainly have endorsed the current impeachment inquiry. It's not an exaggeration to say that Trump embodies Hamilton's worst fears about the kind of person who might someday head the government.

Among our founders, Hamilton's views count heavily because he was the foremost proponent of a robust presidency, yet he also harbored an abiding fear that a brazen demagogue could seize the office. That worry helps to explain why he analyzed impeachment in such detail: He viewed it as a crucial instrument to curb possible abuses arising from the enlarged powers he otherwise championed.

Unlike Thomas Jefferson, with his sunny faith in the common sense of the people, Hamilton emphasized their "turbulent and changing" nature and worried about a "restless" and "daring usurper" who would excite the "jealousies and apprehensions" of his followers. He thought the country should be governed by wise and illustrious figures who would counter the fickle views of the electorate with reasoned judgments. He hoped that members of the electoral college, then expected to exercise independent judgment, would select "characters preeminent for ability and virtue."

From the outset, Hamilton feared an unholy trinity of traits in a future president " ambition, avarice and vanity. "When avarice takes the lead in a State, it is commonly the forerunner of its fall," he wrote as early as the Revolutionary War. He dreaded most the advent of a populist demagogue who would profess friendship for the people and pander to their prejudices while secretly betraying them. Such a false prophet would foment political frenzy and try to feed off the confusion.

Hamilton pretty much foresaw someone like Trump gaining the immense power of the presidency and using it for their own gain against the nation's expressed interests. And he rightly feared how such a person might destroy our government from within, and he was right to anticipate such.

#10 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-20 10:19 AM | Reply

The administration hasn't just confessed to impeachable offenses, they've bragged about them. And all Russian trolls like #6 and #7 can do is try to deflect. What else can they do?

#8 | POSTED BY SOMEBODYELSE AT 2019-10-19 02:03 PM | FLAG: If you really believe that they have impeachable offenses against President Trump, then ask yourself why Pelosi does not demand a vote for it.

#11 | Posted by MSgt at 2019-10-20 01:20 PM | Reply

If you really believe that they have impeachable offenses against President Trump, then ask yourself why Pelosi does not demand a vote for it.

#11 | Posted by MSgt

There only needs to be ONE vote when it comes to impeachment, and that's when they are presenting the actual Articles of Impeachment. Besides, is there a requirement that every time a House committee decides to look into something, ie. open an inquiry, that the full house has to approve it before the committee can hold hearings? I think not. BTW, did the whole House vote to approve Tray Gowdy holding his marathon investigations into Benghazi? I don't recall any votes, and I don't recall anyone demanding that there be one either.

Actually, I suspect that Pelosi has held off having a vote out of respect for the Republican members of the House.

OCU

#12 | Posted by OCUser at 2019-10-20 04:30 PM | Reply

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