Statement signed by more than 300 former national security and foreign policy officials
September 27, 2019
As national security professionals, many of us have long been concerned with
President Trump’s actions and their implications for our safety and security. Some of us
have spoken out, but many of us have eschewed politics throughout our careers and,
as a result, have not weighed in publicly.
The revelations of recent days, however, demand a response. Specifically, all of us
recognize the imperative of formal impeachment proceedings to ascertain additional
facts and weigh the consequences of what we have learned and what may yet still
emerge. We applaud those Members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi, who have
now started us down that necessary path.
President Trump appears to have leveraged the authority and resources of the highest
office in the land to invite additional foreign interference into our democratic
processes. That would constitute an unconscionable abuse of power. It also would
represent an effort to subordinate America’s national interests—and those of our
closest allies and partners—to the President’s personal political interest.
Having worked across administrations of both parties to uphold and advance those
national interests, we consider the President’s actions to be a profound national
security concern. Our relations with the rest of the world and our policies on the global
stage must be based solely on what is in the national interest. The introduction of any
other considerations of the President debases our democracy, has the potential to
make us more vulnerable to threats, and sends a message to leaders around the world
that America’s foreign policy can be dangerously corrupted by catering to a single
individual. If we fail to speak up—and act—now our foreign policy and national security
will officially be on offer to those who can most effectively fulfill the President’s
To be clear, we do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congress’
deliberative process. At the same time, there is no escaping that what we already
know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings. From there, the facts—and
nothing but the facts—should dictate how Congress holds the President to account
and signals to the world that our foreign policy and national security are not for sale.