Impeachment is a constitutional procedure that should be reserved only for extraordinary times with the most extreme examples of abuse of power by a president. That is why, in our country’s history, only two presidents have been impeached.
But this is one of those times.
The evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump is overwhelming. The impeachment inquiry has been conducted so far in a sober, responsible way. As Wednesday’s hearing made clear, the witnesses are credible and clear, and the story they tell is alarming. All members of Congress are now compelled to listen to the witnesses and independently determine whether the president’s conduct warrants impeachment.
Mr. Trump used the immense powers of the American presidency to pressure an ally to open investigations that would help him personally. That much is clear just from the call memo of the July 25 conversation between President Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Any American who has not read the call memo should do so, because it is as shocking today to realize that Mr. Trump said the jaw-dropping phrase, “I would like you to do us a favor,” as it was the day it was released. He followed that by expressing his desire for Ukraine to investigate the 2016 election and the Bidens. That is sufficient in itself to prove unacceptable wrongdoing by the president…
Pressuring a foreign power to investigate a political rival is, alone, a potentially impeachable offense. But Mr. Trump’s effort to condition needed military and diplomatic aid on investigations helpful to his personal political interests may also constitute bribery as contemplated by the Constitution for the purpose of impeachment. It also likely violates criminal laws, including the federal bribery statute.
The president’s allies in the House tried to distract from the devastating facts against him, but they do not hold up to even the briefest scrutiny. [Continue reading…]