“The Impeachment Inquiry of Donald J. Trump” is a special edition podcast of The Wash. Graduate journalism students in the School of Communication at American University talk with political and media experts about this historic time. Hosts Leona Dunn and Molly Feser report from Washington, D.C.
LEONA DUNN: Hello and welcome to TheWash, a special edition podcast we call, “The Impeachment Inquiry of Donald J Trump.” I’m Leona Dunn…
MOLLY FESER: And I’m Molly Feser, coming to you from the School of Communication Graduate Journalism program at American University in Washington DC.
LEONA DUNN. An historic week in the nation’s capital, as the House of Representatives begins an impeachment inquiry of the president. This comes after reports that Mr. Trump had pressured the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden.
MOLLY FESER: Our guest today will shed some light on impeachment, whistleblowers, media ethics, and some political history and analysis. American University history Professor Allan Lichtman predicted Mr. Trump’s election early on, we’ll talk with him and with A-U law Professor Luis Caldera about whistleblower laws; With AU journalism professor John Watson about media ethics and NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving, who will do some news analysis; he also teaches public affairs at AU.
LEONA DUNN: We begin by talking with the only person to correctly identify the outcome of all presidential elections since 1984, that person is American University Professor Allan Lichtman. He says going through the impeachment process makes moral sense no matter what the outcome.
ALLAN LICHTMAN: “I’m waiting for the impeachment itself, which I’m absolutely certain is going to happen. Nancy Pelosi would not go on national TV and announce an impeachment inquiry that just was going to fizzle out, and there’s so much already just days into the inquiry; There’s already enough for articles of impeachment.
LEONA DUNN: In his book, “Keys to the White House,” Lichtman reveal 13 keys that have helped him predict who will be elected. According to Lichtman, three of the keys have already been nailed down against the Republican party, with it only taking six for defeat.
ALLAN LICHTMAN: The party mandate key based on the losses in the midterm elections, the foreign policy success key, no big farm policy breakthroughs like Trump has promised, in Iran or North Korea, and the incumbent charisma key because Donald Trump appeals to an narrow slice of the electorate. That’s why the impeachment is so important because that would nail down a fourth key, putting them just two keys short to defeat.
LEONA DUNN: Lichtman admits that because it is still so early in the impeachment process no one knows what might happen as more information could be revealed with time.
ALLAN LICHTMAN: When they began the investigation of Richard Nixon, they were focused on the Watergate break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, but as the inquiry preceded and covered much worse crimes than that, including illegal wiretaps, illegal break-ins, illegal campaign contributions, illegal attempts to rig elections; so the Watergate scandal blossomed into what to that point in our history was the worst scandal in America history. We don’t know where the evidence may lead us this time, we know that the White House not only put the conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky in the super secret server, they also put conversations with the Saudi royal family and Vladimir Putin and there may be much worse stuff; if Congress can get our hands on those conversations.
LEONA DUNN: As for his final prediction….
ALLAN LICHTMAN: The truth is, so much is in flux, that even I can’t make a prediction yet.
MOLLY FESER: Speculation about impeachment started almost the day Mr. Trump took office but it wasn’t until late September that the public found out about a whistleblower complaint. It concerned Mr. Trump’s phone call to the president of Ukraine asking him to investigate former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. The younger Biden had joined the board of a natural gas company in Ukraine. The Whistleblower wrote he was concerned, the president had used the power of his office to pressure a foreign country to investigate one of the president’s main domestic political rivals. Under the intelligence community’s Whistleblower Protection Act the complaint must come from, an employee of an element of the intelligence community, or a contractor to the intelligence community. Our Cami Gregorian has more on this aspect of the story
(the podcast continues but is shortened here for demonstration purposes; you need to include a compete transcript….)
American University Graduate Journalism Program
House Speaker announces impeachment inquiry