Of particular interest to me in this week’s House impeachment hearing was a moment when the chief counsel for the Republicans read aloud a quote about the dangers of a purely partisan, policy-based impeachment of a sitting president. This was from page 140 of my book with Joshua Matz, “To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.” The passage continued by describing the even greater dangers posed by a purely partisan, personality-driven refusal to impeach and remove a president who has clearly committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But the Republican counsel left out that part.
After weeks of House impeachment hearings that resume Monday, Republican defenders of President Donald Trump have contented themselves with pointless, time-wasting calls for roll call votes; baseless complaints about the process, which was the most protective of a sitting president in the nation’s history; and deliberate distortions of what others had written or said. It all amounted to nonsense in the face of a deadly serious matter.
A president who uses the powers unique to his office to solicit what by any plausible definition is a bribe, commits one of the cardinal sins the Constitution identifies as requiring that president’s removal from office upon conviction by the Senate. No ifs, ands or buts about it. So the constitutional case is clear: Trump has done what the Constitution says any president must be removed for doing. [Continue reading…]