Leaders within the Democratic Party, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California, have suggested that the evidence against Trump is so obvious and strong that impeachment proceedings will just be a formality. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told The Washington Post that impeaching the president is "just not worth it." Does Pelosi think going forward with impeachment is elective? There are either high crimes and misdemeanors, or there are not high crimes and misdemeanors. Impeachment is not optional.
I am against impeachment. But the Democrats are so rattled by the president that they do not see the hypocrisy in their position. They have a constitutional responsibility to act if they believe they have the evidence. Aren't there supposed to be mounds and mounds of evidence against Trump? Democrats should follow the evidence, follow procedure, meet the burden of proof and respect that everyone, including the president, is innocent until proven guilty. What's keeping them? Now is their time.
Do the Democrats think that forgoing impeachment will prove to be a shrewd political maneuver? Is being shrewd really in the country's best interest if they think the president is guilty? Do the voters who elected them want them to finesse impeachment? Do Democrats in Congress really think it will be better for them politically not to impeach if they think the case for Trump's guilt is strong?
Today, most Americans - 54 percent, according to a Monmouth University poll - do not support impeachment. Nonetheless, in the weeks ahead, I suspect we will see all the wannabe Democratic nominees for president declare that Trump is an unfit, grotesque criminal who needs to be impeached. How is it their colleagues in Congress won't say the same?
Again, the Democrats are obsessed with Trump. But in their mad rush to exclaim not just disgust for the president but also zeal for removing him from office, they have stumbled at the impeachment choke point. So which is it? You cannot have it both ways. They took an oath to defend the Constitution, and the Constitution is clear regarding what to do with a president who is alleged to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
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