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colorized_lincoln_photo_cropRepublicans and Democrats have a choice today. They can back American values by voting for the House Resolution directing the appropriate committees to continue their investigation stemming from accusations of impeachable activity by Donald Trump. Or they can attack American values by refusing to support the investigation, and worse, promoting falsehoods and cover ups invented by Donald Trump, and likely, Vladimir Putin.

This is a no-brainer folks.

The Republican party has been screaming for a full House vote on the impeachment process. Their arguments are specious, no, downright dishonest, as no such vote is required by the Constitution, which the Republicans fully know. In fact, the Democratic majority in the House is using the same set of rules established by the Republican party when it was in the majority. In addition, the Republican party has been dishonestly complaining that the proceedings to date have been done in secret. That’s simply not true. Like any grand jury type investigation, testimony is taken in private so as to avoid potential witnesses conspiring to synthesize their stories. Republicans on the three relevant committees are in the room hearing the testimony first hand; there is nothing secret about it. Yet Republicans scream.

Another reason for such closed door testimony to gather facts is to protect witnesses from blatant witness intimidation and obstruction of justice by Donald Trump and repeated sophistry in Congress like that most blatantly by Republican Representatives Nunes and Gaetz.

And now the House is voting to do what Republicans kept dishonestly asking for – bring the investigation and hearings into public view. The resolution even gives Republicans the opportunity to question the witnesses (which the Republican members of the three committees already have had the power to do) and to subpoena witnesses.

As we’ve already seen, the Republican party has already tried moving the goalposts, again. Their actions prove that they have no interest in getting the facts or looking out for American interests; instead, their entire goal is to obstruct investigations and cover up the obvious and repeated wrongdoing of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.

Today’s vote gives all Republicans and Democrats a choice. Stand up for America, or stand up for Vladimir Putin and corruption.

Republican Representatives Nunes, Gaetz, and others seem to disdain American ideals. But the rest of Republicans in the House – and later the Senate – have a chance at redemption. You made a pact with the devil, now is your chance to reverse course and show that you care more about America than you do about the corruption of your party leaders.

Most Democrats have indicated they will vote for the Resolution. For those Democrats who aren’t sure, the above applies to you too. This isn’t about party. This is about choosing between American values or corruption.

To adapt Lincoln’s famous quote, originally referring to lawyers:

“Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest politician, resolve to be honest without being a politician.”

Whichever choice you make will stay with you forever, both while you remain in Congress and in your private and public lives afterward.

It’s your choice. America, or Corruption.

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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