The Editorial Board of this paper recently declared that the decision to impeach President Trump is “not even close” (“Our View: President Trump betrayed the nation and should be impeached,” Dec. 17). They obviously haven’t read the actual articles of impeachment.

Even if you believe wholeheartedly that President Trump has engaged in impeachment-worthy conduct, the House of Representative’s articles of impeachment are just as great a threat to what we think of as the rule of law. It’s bad enough that so many legislators can’t keep straight the difference between extortion and bribery, but the authors of the impeachment articles would prosecute a president for acts they think he will commit.

Unlike prior impeachment resolutions, and the vast majority of criminal law, House Resolution 755 justifies the impeachment of Donald Trump for crimes he has yet to commit. The summary paragraphs of both articles start with the same wording: “Wherefore, President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law…”

President Clinton was impeached on the grounds he had engaged in specific acts, as was President Johnson before him, and President Nixon’s impeachment would have been for specific acts already committed.

There are accepted standards for proving whether or not a person committed a criminal act. How do you prove with any certainty that a person will commit a criminal act? For that matter, who among us can prove what crimes they will or won’t commit in the future?


William Clardy


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.