President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House
of Representatives on
Dec. 19, 1998 – almost exactly 21 years ago – I was 14 and paying
more attention to playing basketball, boys and homework. I knew the
impeachment was taking place, but didn’t follow every development.
are very different today. I can’t seem to stop paying attention and
am oftentimes overwhelmed by the gravity of what we’re
it’s my job to pay attention, the dynamics of this story – from
the president’s abuse of power, to the geopolitics, to the personal
stories of those who have testified – would draw anyone in.
reality TV president is now the subject of a reality TV impeachment
filled with dramatic twists and turns – and the show isn’t over
evidence in favor of impeachment seems overwhelming to me. And
President Trump’s misconduct seems a lot more serious than President
lied about sex – but his conduct didn’t endanger our national
security or threaten the system of government established in our
agree with Democrats seeking Trump’s impeachment for abuse of power
and obstruction of Congress.
my mind, it’s obvious that Trump threatened the president of Ukraine
to demand a political favor and improperly held back $391 million in
desperately needed military aid approved by Congress to help Ukraine
defend itself against Russian aggression. Trump eventually gave
Ukraine the money – but only after a whistleblower exposed the
president’s improper conduct.
even more obvious – and indisputable – that Trump has refused to
allow members of his administration to testify before Congress or
provide subpoenaed documents for the House impeachment inquiry. Those
brave and patriotic officials who testified did so in defiance of
can anyone argue with a straight face that Trump didn’t obstruct
Congress to block it from carrying out its constitutional oversight
framers of the Constitution created impeachment so that the president
of the United States could be held accountable for misconduct. Sure,
Trump doesn’t like it. But he doesn’t have the power to ignore the
Constitution and follow only the parts of it that he likes.
action by the House Judiciary Committee Friday adopting the two
articles of impeachment against Trump was historic. I find it
disappointing that not a single Republican joined Democrats in voting
to impeach. It seems they will stick with him no more what, putting
party loyalty over patriotism.
he was running for president Trump said: "The polls, they say I
have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand
in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose
any voters, OK? It's like incredible."
it comes to holding onto Republican support in the House and Senate, I
think Trump’s statement is actually true. As he said before,
“It’s like incredible.”
Judiciary Committee vote Friday along party lines to impeach Trump
wrapped up a contentious two days of debate that foreshadows continued
partisan bickering that will carry over to the Senate in an
impeachment trial for the president.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has made it clear will do
Trump’s bidding. It seems that no matter what Trump asks McConnell
to do, McConnell will reply: “Yes, sir!”
admitted as much to Sean Hannity of Fox News, telling Hannity “there
will be no difference between the president’s position and our
position in how to handle this … there’s no chance the president
will be removed from office.”
bad McConnell sees himself as Trump’s personal servant rather than
the public servant he was elected to be.
never thought there was a chance Trump would be removed from office by
the Senate. But now that McConnell has made it perfectly clear, we can
stop fantasizing about Republicans finding some moral courage. Their
actions are profiles in cowardice.
the week ahead the spotlight shifts to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,
and the full House, when Democrats are expected to impeach Trump by
approving the articles of impeachment adopted by the Judiciary
of Pelosi’s great strengths has been her willingness to give members
free rein to be themselves, vote their conscience and campaign for
their districts. This approach was surely critical to Democratic
victories in 2018, when Democrats won over 35 seats in purple or red
districts to regain majority control of the House.
gave Democratic candidates license to do what’s right for their
constituents, even if it meant bashing her and committing to not
voting for her to regain the gavel if Democrats were in the majority
it worked. Just like it will work again with the impending House vote
have been a lot of rumblings that Pelosi could lose Democratic votes
House members voted against opening the impeachment inquiry – with
Pelosi’s blessing – and the conventional wisdom is that there
could be more for next week’s vote.
the Washington Post reported, there are several moderate Democrats who
wanted other options, like a censure vote. They could also do what
many Democrats did for Clinton’s impeachment and only vote for one
article of impeachment to show some degree of independence.
Elissa Slotkin, one of the freshman Democrats who hails from a
vulnerable Trump-supporting district in Michigan, appeared on
“America’s Newsroom” on Fox News Channel to discuss the
challenges facing Democrats. Her struggle is one that over 30 of her
colleagues are grappling with.
said, Pelosi’s approach to managing her caucus when it comes to the
impeachment vote is already paying off. On Thursday and Friday three
vulnerable Democrats declared their intention to vote to impeach
Colin Allred, D-Texas, said: “It is clear the president engaged in
an abuse of his authority, putting himself above the law, and his
personal interests above the nation’s. These uncontroverted facts
are an unacceptable violation of his oath of office and constitute an
impeachable abuse of power. This is a somber moment for our nation,
and I have not reached this decision lightly.”
in Pennsylvania, Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb told a local radio
station: “The evidence is strong, and it warrants impeachment. The
facts show the president abused his office and compromised our
national security. I can't think of anything more serious than
Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., also said he will vote to impeach Trump.
“Party and politics will never come before the country I bled to
protect – and would unquestionably do so again,” Rose said in a
statement. The Army combat veteran who served in Afghanistan and
currently serves in the National Guard added: “A President
coercing a foreign government into targeting American citizens is not
just another example of scorched earth politics, it serves as an
invitation to the enemies of the United States to come after any
citizen, so long as they disagree with the President.”
Democratic House members are well aware of the potential ramifications
to their reelection and, at the same time, the importance of making
their decision known as a signal to other vulnerable Democrats that
this is the right path.
sure we’ll see more of this in the coming days. And Pelosi should
stay the course. It won Democrats control of the House in 2018 and
will hopefully get a vote to impeach Trump next week.