I am not asking for an opinion based answer, just factual.
This time last week, there was talk of three articles of impeachment.
Now, bribery has been dropped. Has any senior offical said why?
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Schiff himself thought that this was bribery
"I don't think there's any question that the uncontested facts show this president solicited a bribe," Schiff told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview in the congressman's office on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
"Bribery ... most importantly in terms of what the founders had in mind, that is conditioning an official act for something of value," Schiff said, adding, "I think this certainly meets that definition."
The best argument I've heard why the Judiciary Committee doesn't see it that way is this WaPo article which notes
The Democrats’ worry appears to be that it would then put them in the position of satisfying the statutory requirements of bribery, which is a valid concern.
Bribery is a very specific crime. Something of value is exchanged for some illegal act by an elected official. But what value did Trump get out of it (in a legal sense)? Another article fleshes that out a bit more
Frank O. Bowman, the author of a recent book on impeachment (titled, as it happens, “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”), said proving there was a “thing of value” could be tough. The Justice Department opted not to pursue an investigation of the whistleblower complaint because it determined the value of a government investigation could not be quantified. (That decision is not without controversy, though.)
“If we consider Trump as the recipient of a bribe, the ‘thing of value’ is presumably an investigation of Biden/CrowdStrike, or an announcement that such an investigation is being undertaken,” Bowman said. “Whether these are things of value is an interesting legal question. I can certainly make the argument that they are.”
The house heard no evidence that that the President explicitly solicited a bribe from Ukraine. The closest they got was Sondland's testimony that he assumed it was bribery based on information relayed to him. Furthermore an aide to Ukraine's President Zelensky refuted parts of Sondland's testimony relating to any quid pro quo or bribery. Abuse of power is a more general claim and doesn't require getting evidence that Trump himself was involved in soliciting a bribe from Ukraine to possibly convict on that charge. The abuse of power claim is also related to Ukraine so if evidence that the President did solicit a bribe he is still guilty, so nothing is really lost by not having a specific bribery article.
Support for impeachment is also dropping, and in key swing states Trump is polling better than Democrat candidates, so avoiding easily attacked articles based on essentially no good evidence is good strategy, because it avoids an easy way for the President to take control of the narrative. Taking time find more solid evidence to support a direct bribery article would risk impeachment support falling further, which would put Democrats in a tough spot of moving forward with an unpopular impeachment and loosing independents, or not impeaching at all and loosing their base.
As demonstrated in other answers, most people have preconceived and incorrect notions of what constitutes bribery, in general, and there could be further misconceptions that what constitutes bribery in a criminal context also defines and limits the broader term.
Given the well-coordinated propaganda machinery that includes members of the potential "jury" collaborating with the accused on the best strategy for acquittal, the strategy by the Democrats has been to stick to simple, clear-cut concepts that are less likely to get muddied or bogged down in minutia and arguments over "what is is." That's why some pretty damning evidence on charges, like emoluments, has not been persued, at all, and the specific evidence in the carefully worded Mueller Report have also not been used.
The most logical explanation would be: the House has no evidence of bribery.
While impeachment doesn't exactly follow the rules of jurisprudence, there should be some basis for the charges preferred, lest those making them end up looking rather foolish.
Remember that the entire House is re-elected every two years, so voter reaction to House activities can be swift.
The answer to this one is simple - the only logical reason to drop this article of impeachment is because there is no evidence that bribery, as it is legally defined, took place. Adam Schiff's definition of bribery is wholly irrelevant and it's baffling to see that answer receive any up-votes at all. If the evidence did exist, it would be a slam dunk for Democrats and a major blow to Donald Trump's future as president.
We can talk all day about how shady or unethical the president's behavior was but none of that changes the legality of it.
These are the articles of impeachment that the House is going to give to the Senate, and the House would really, really like the Senate to actually deliberate them on their merits instead of dismissing them outright on a partisan basis. You'll note that 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' isn't the actual charge either, it's Abuse of Power. This is because the terms 'Bribery' and 'High Crimes' have very different definitions when it comes to public opinion, current US law, and impeachment procedure.
In the last couple of weeks, Mitch McConnell has shown a willingness to consider charges based on the definition most favorable to the President, not the definition as stated in our Constitution, and it appears that the correspondents on Fox News have decided to spread the popular opinion version: that attempting a crime and failing shouldn't be a crime, and that if we can't put a specific price tag on the value of the information that could have been provided, we can't prove it was a tradeoff between two physical things: Monetary aid and valuable information.
So while Bribery is very much a valid and frankly, open-and-shut charge on the proper merits, the Democrats are realizing that McConnell will dismiss it outright based on the popular opinion definition. As such, they've stuck to the two charges that will be the most difficult for McConnell to deny: That the president told his staff not to answer a lawful subpoena (visible, understandable to anyone, and very impeachable), and that it is wrong to use everyone's tax dollars for an individual's personal gain, especially the individual who is in control of those tax dollars.
It's not uncommon for the articles of impeachment that pass to be focused on the most-serious crimes. It was pretty clear that Nixon committed tax fraud, but the house decided to focus on the bigger issues and didn't include that in the articles of impeachment.
You also have to realize that these are the articles which will be voted on in the Senate, which has a small Republican majority. Just listen to what Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he plans to have those Republican senators do (you've probably already heard it by this point, but here's one source for the clip).
There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.
We have no choice but to take it up, but we'll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president.
That's right, a man who is to serve as a jurer in the Senate trial has openly admitted to colluding with the defense. So much for that oath he will have to take.
I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.
Therefore in order to give justice the best chance of being served, it is best to focus on the most-irrefutable charges available.
If we assume that the Democrats' decision-makers believe this to be true, fewer articles of impeachment reduces the number of available distractions and false narratives. Which would give these decision-makers a reason to drop the bribery article, even if they believe the article is supported by the evidence.
Specific concerns that allow distractions in the context of an explicit bribery allegation:
If we go into speculation mode, that last point about witness availability also preserves the option for Democrats to reintroduce Impeachment for bribery if the witnesses become available in June 2020.