It’s an open question whether House Democrats will initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump for obstructing an investigation into claims that Russians interfered to help get him elected in 2016.

Calls have grown louder since the April release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. While it didn’t conclude that Trump or his campaign coordinated with Russia, it also failed to exonerate him, and in fact outlined several possible instances of obstruction.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resisted calls to begin impeachment proceedings, an act that would bring even more chaos to Washington less than 18 months before the next presidential election.

But what would impeachment articles against Trump look like?

A New York Times editorial assistant who to grew up in Maine attempted to answer that question.

In an interactive piece published on the Times’ website Wednesday, Ian Prasad Philbrick, a 2012 graduate of Greely High School in Cumberland, created draft articles of impeachment against Trump using as templates articles that were brought against Richard Nixon in 1974 and against Bill Clinton in 1998.

Nixon resigned before the House could vote on impeachment, largely because it became clear he would not be cleared of charges that he interfered with an investigation of the Watergate break-in. Clinton was impeached by the Republican-led House, but was acquitted of charges by the Senate for lying about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philbrick, 25, who has worked as a researcher for the Times opinion page since graduating from Georgetown University in 2017, outlined the ways in which Trump’s alleged conduct mirrors Nixon’s. Both declined to be questioned by FBI. Both provided false information to potential witnesses.

“An impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump is far from guaranteed And whether impeaching him would politically help or hurt Democrats remains an open question,” he wrote. “But there is no question that by the standards for high crimes and misdemeanors applied to past presidents in living memory, Donald J. Trump has committed impeachable offenses.”

So far, 60 House members have publicly supported impeachment, including Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine.

In an interview, Philbrick said the piece was conceived shortly after the Mueller Report was released. He said it’s his first in the Times that he authored alone.

“We wanted to visualize what we know of the president’s conduct and contrast that with past efforts,” he said.

The piece drew attention on social media Wednesday – NBC News legal analyst Mimi Rocah and historian Kevin Kruse were both discussing it – and Philbrick called it a privilege to participate in the debate over impeachment.

“I’m especially proud in the visual aspects of the piece,” he said. “It felt like a different way to tell this story.”


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