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Why an Impeachment Inquiry Now? Democrats Cite the Clarity of the Case

来源:纽约时报    2019-09-25 04:57

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        WASHINGTON — For months, dozens of House Democrats anxiously avoided even the mention of impeaching President Trump — right up until the moment that they demanded it.        华盛顿——几个月来,数十名众议院民主党人甚至是不无焦虑地避免提及弹劾特朗普总统——直到他们提出弹劾的那一刻。
        The sudden embrace of an impeachment inquiry by previously reluctant House Democrats — most notably Speaker Nancy Pelosi — is attributable to one fundamental fact: They believe the new accusations against Mr. Trump are simple and serious enough to be grasped by a public overwhelmed by the constant din of complex charges and countercharges that has become the norm in today’s Washington.        之前有些不情愿的众议院民主党人——尤其是议长南希·佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi)——之所以突然同意弹劾调查,是基于这样一个基本的事实:他们相信对特朗普的新指控简单而且严重,足以被公众了解,而此前,公众已被不断传来的复杂指控和反指控的喧闹声所淹没,这在当今的华盛顿已成为常态。
        In contrast to the murkiness of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump, Democrats see the current allegations as damningly clear-cut. His refusal so far to provide Congress with an intelligence official’s whistle-blower complaint as required by law, coupled with the possibility that Mr. Trump dangled American military aid as a bargaining chip to win investigation of a political rival by a foreign government, strikes them as a stark case of presidential wrongdoing. They consider it egregious enough that they expect many Americans who had been cool to the idea of moving to oust the president to recognize the imperative for the House to act.        特别检察官关于俄罗斯干预2016年大选以及特朗普可能妨碍司法公正的报告显得含糊其辞,民主党人认为目前的指控非常明确,与那份报告形成鲜明对比。到目前为止,他拒绝按照法律要求向国会提交一名情报官员的举报,再加上特朗普有可能把美国军事援助作为谈判筹码,以赢得外国政府对政治对手的调查,他们认为,这些显然都是总统的不当行为。他们认为这非常严重,因此预计许多对推翻总统持冷静态度的美国人也会认识到众议院采取行动的必要性。
        “It has shifted the ground,” Representative Peter Welch, Democrat of Vermont and a member of the Intelligence Committee, said about the new allegations against the president, as party support for an impeachment inquiry solidified. “It makes the brazenness of the conduct and the simplicity of the misconduct easy for everybody to understand.”        “它已经改变了局面,”佛蒙特州民主党众议员、情报委员会成员彼得·韦尔奇(Peter Welch)在谈到针对总统的新指控时说。目前,民主党对弹劾调查的支持已经巩固。“它让所有人都很容易理解这种行为的无耻性质和不当行为的简单性。”
        A second factor was also at work. The national security implications of the president pressuring an embattled ally for political help threw open the door for more moderate Democrats — many of them products of the military and intelligence communities, rather than lifelong politicians — to justify their decision to pursue an impeachment case against the president despite his relative popularity in their districts. In Tuesday’s outpouring of new demands for an inquiry, national security loomed large as a rationale.        第二个因素也在起作用。总统向一个四面受敌的盟友施压,要求其提供政治帮助,这种行为对国家安全的影响,令更温和的民主党人认可对总统进行弹劾的正当性——这样的民主党人有很多都来自军事和情报社区,而不是终身的政治家——尽管总统在他们的选区相对受欢迎。在周二要求展开调查的新呼声中,国家安全似乎成为一个重要理由。
        “Make no mistake, these recent allegations are certainly dire,” Representatives Steven Horsford and Susie Lee, two Nevada Democrats who had resisted impeachment, said in a joint statement. “They point to a direct abuse of power at the expense of our national security.”        “不要搞错,最近的指控肯定很可怕,”曾拒绝弹劾的内华达州民主党众议员史蒂文·霍斯福德(Steven Horsford)和苏西·李(Susie Lee)在一份联合声明中说。“它们指向对权力的直接滥用,损害了我们的国家安全。”
        Ms. Pelosi’s reversal was a head-snapping change. Since early in Mr. Trump’s tenure, the speaker had been the leading voice for restraint on impeachment, recognizing the political danger to her hard-won majority as well as the potential for a backlash that could hand Mr. Trump a second term in the White House. Despite her own deep disregard for the president, Ms. Pelosi did not believe the public was behind a formal impeachment inquiry that she considered nationally divisive. She preferred that various committees pursue Mr. Trump on a range of issues before next year’s election without forcing formal impeachment action.        佩洛西的转变是一个令人震惊的变化。自特朗普上任之初,这位议长就一直是在弹劾问题上呼吁保持克制的主要声音,她认识到来之不易的多数党优势面临着政治风险,她还认识到,一旦出现反弹,可能会让特朗普在白宫连任。尽管佩洛西本人对总统不屑一顾,但她并不认为公众会支持将在全国范围内引发分歧的正式弹劾调查。她更希望各委员会在明年大选前就一系列问题对特朗普展开调查,而不是强行采取正式弹劾行动。
        That all changed with the disclosure of the whistle-blower complaint against the president.        随着对总统举报的曝光,这一切都改变了。
        Like her colleagues, Ms. Pelosi said that while the latest allegation against the president is but one candidate for an article of impeachment, “this is the most understandable by the public.”        和其他议员一样,佩洛西说,虽然针对总统的最新指控只是弹劾条款中的一个候选项,但“这是公众最能理解的”。
        “We don’t ask foreign governments to help us in our elections,” Ms. Pelosi said Tuesday at a forum sponsored by The Atlantic.        “我们不能要求外国政府在我们的选举中帮助我们,”佩洛西于周二在《大西洋月刊》(The Atlantic)主办的一个论坛上说,
        The initiation of a formal impeachment inquiry carries grave political risks for Democrats, allowing Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans to argue that Democrats are unfairly tormenting the president for partisan gain with an election just more than a year away. “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” Mr. Trump tweeted from New York, where he was attending meetings at the United Nations, as Democrats announced that they were opening a formal impeachment inquiry.        正式弹劾调查的启动给民主党带来严重的政治风险,让特朗普和国会共和党人能够辩称,在距离大选只有一年多时间的情况下,民主党人为了党派利益不公平地折磨总统。“总统骚扰!”民主党宣布将启动正式弹劾调查时,正在纽约参加联合国会议的特朗普发推称。
        Republicans paid a steep political price for moving to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, and some analysts believe this episode could backfire on Democrats as well.        1998年,共和党人为弹劾比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)付出了高昂的政治代价,一些分析人士认为,这次的事件可能也会对民主党人产生适得其反的效果。
        But with the party clamor growing for action against the president after the Ukrainian revelations, Ms. Pelosi and others who had been holding back faced the prospect that failing to move forward on demands to hold the president accountable could cost them more with their own party than pursuing impeachment might hurt them with Republicans and independents. Long a progressive hero, Ms. Pelosi had already drawn fire from the left for failing to act.        但在乌克兰事件曝光后,随着民主党要求对总统采取行动的呼声越来越高,佩洛西和其他犹豫者所面临的前景是,如果不能按照这些要求让总统承担责任,他们在民主党内可能要付出的代价将超过他们在共和党和无党派人士中可能要付出的代价。长期以来,佩洛西一直是进步主义的英雄,但由于未能采取行动,她已经遭到左派的抨击。
        Even as momentum rapidly built, worries surfaced among Democrats that the drive could fizzle with the release of a transcript of the telephone call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president if it proved less explosive than anticipated — an outcome Republicans predicted. But the speaker and others said that such an outcome would not deter them and that they wanted to hear all of the whistle-blower’s account of what led to the complaint against Mr. Trump, which is believed to include more than the call.        就在弹劾调查的势头迅速增强之际,民主党人也开始担心,如果特朗普和乌克兰总统之间的通话记录没有预期的那么具有爆炸性,那么随着这份通话记录的公布,他们的努力可能会以失败告终——共和党人预计的正是这样的结果。但议长和其他人表示,这样的结果不会阻止他们,他们希望听到这位举报人之所以投诉特朗普的全部陈述,据信,其中的内容不止这通电话。
        The decision to back the inquiry was not easy for Democrats who had been hesitant to get on board.        支持调查的决定对民主党人来说并不容易,因为他们一直在犹豫是否要卷入此事。
        “I certainly didn’t run for Congress to be part of an impeachment inquiry,” said Representative Haley Stevens, Democrat of Michigan, who called the phone call an abuse of power. “It’s heartbreaking to look something like impeachment in the face,” she added. “No matter who the president is, we want them to succeed. At the same time, I have to maintain the rule of law and checks and balances.”        “我竞选国会议员当然不是为了参与弹劾调查,”密歇根州民主党众议员哈利·史蒂文斯(Haley Stevens)说。“面对弹劾这样的事情令人伤心,”她还说,“不管总统是谁,我们都希望他们成功。与此同时,我必须维护法治和权力制衡。”
        While the revelation of the whistle-blower complaint broke the logjam on impeachment, Democrats were becoming increasingly incensed at the proud defiance of the House by the president and his allies, essentially thumbing their noses at a coequal branch of government empowered to oversee the conduct of the administration. The Trump strategy had been effective as recently as a few days ago, when Democrats seemed stymied in their pursuit of the president with the prospect of a formal impeachment inquiry flagging.        举报的披露打破了弹劾的僵局,与此同时,民主党人对总统及其盟友傲慢蔑视众议院的行为越来越愤怒,实质上是对一个有权监督政府行为的平等政府部门的嗤之以鼻。就在几天前,特朗普的策略还很有效,当时民主党人对总统的追查似乎遇到了阻碍,正式弹劾调查的前景越来越渺茫。
        To many of them, the fact that Mr. Trump had so far escaped any reckoning had only emboldened him to encourage the Ukrainian government to open a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential 2020 opponent, and his son Hunter Biden.        他们中的许多人认为,特朗普迄今没有受到任何清算的事实,只会让他更加大胆,鼓励乌克兰政府对前副总统、可能的2020年竞选对手小约瑟夫·R·拜登(Joseph R. Biden Jr.)和他的儿子亨特·拜登(Hunter Biden)展开腐败调查。
        Now, Democrats who had been hesitant to open an inquiry are all in.        现在,曾经犹豫是否展开调查的民主党人都支持调查。
        “These actions, which the president has admitted, represent a gross abuse of power and an abuse of the trust we the people have placed in the office of the president,” Representative Lizzie Fletcher, a Democrat from Houston who flipped a Republican seat last year and will face a challenge in holding on to it, said in a statement. She said the “House of Representatives should act swiftly to investigate and should be prepared to use the remedy exclusively in its power: impeachment.”        “这些总统已经承认了的行动是对权力的粗暴滥用,辜负了人民对总统府的信任,”来自休斯敦的民主党众议员丽齐·弗莱彻(Lizzie Fletcher) 在一份声明中说,她去年从共和党手中夺下这一席位,如今面临着连任的挑战。“众议院应该迅速采取行动进行调查,并准备在其职权范围内使用唯一的补救措施:弹劾。”
        For months, it appeared that Ms. Pelosi’s calculus and the deep reservations of Democrats in swing districts would keep the House from moving forward on impeachment. The speaker told fellow Democrats in a private conference call in August that the House would not move to impeach unless the president gave them no choice.        几个月来,佩洛西的盘算,以及摇摆选区民主党人的强烈保留,似乎都阻止了众议院推进弹劾。佩洛西于8月在一次私人电话会议上对民主党同僚表示,众议院不会采取弹劾行动,除非总统让他们别无选择。
        In the eyes of Democrats, that is exactly what happened.        在民主党人看来,目前的情况正是如此。

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