There are three aspects about the attempts to impeach our president that stand out for me.
Firstly, in the House of Representatives, both parties voted as a block according to party lines: all Democrats voted to impeach the president and all Republicans voted against impeachment.
With the exception of two Republican senators, the same party line vote was taken in the Senate in consideration of allowing new witnesses to be questioned. It seems to me these votes from our elected officials represent a herd-like behavior rather than conscientious decisions, or those representing the will of their constituents. Especially when polls show 75 percent of the public wants to see witnesses.
Secondly, if the president believed he was truly innocent, why would he not want people on his staff to testify on his behalf? This doesn’t sound like the behavior of one convinced of his own innocence.
However, the most troubling issue was Alan Dershowitz’s argument that the president cannot be impeached if he believes his actions will help him be elected in the public interest.
I am not a lawyer but if this is so, we need to change the Constitution. Isn’t it enough that the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United allows money to influence political outcomes? That gerrymandering and the electoral college do not represent the voting public?
Are our elections to now be subject to political interference from foreign countries at the behest of the candidates themselves? If that isn’t a high crime, will it qualify as a misdemeanor?
In my opinion, Mr. Dershowitz’s argument represents yet another structural problem compromising our democracy.
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