Opinion | Should the House Move to Impeach Trump?

To the Editor:

Re “Democrats Must Impeach Trump,” by Tom Steyer (Op-Ed, Nov. 10):

Mr. Steyer is right that the newly elected House must vote articles of impeachment against President Trump. It is not a question of choice but of duty.

Business conflicts of interest that violate the Emoluments Clause, obstructions of justice and illegal hush-money payments comprise three “high crimes and misdemeanors” mandating impeachment.

Some counsel a pragmatic approach, hoping to work with the president. Some say Republican control of the Senate dooms impeachment with the probability of an acquittal.

We must remember, however, that these are not normal times. Congress should not condone the president’s crimes. The House is honor-bound to impeach. If the Senate decides to acquit, then the people will have the final word in the elections of 2020.

Eric W. Orts
The writer is a professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

To the Editor:

That there is little appetite among many Democrats for impeachment is a positive and remarkably mature sign. A protracted impeachment effort will fail with a hard-line Republican Senate majority, and it will send the wrong message to Republicans and independents who helped elect so many Democrats.

Tom Steyer’s campaign ignores the desire of Americans to instead focus on solving problems related to health care, education, infrastructure and an entrenched leadership. We don’t need campaigns that will send frustrated voters back to the Republican Party.

It’s time for Democratic leaders to listen to their constituents and lead us toward real progress with well-considered proposals, and messengers who can captivate the imagination and know how to connect with people. Mr. Steyer’s money and energy would be better spent supporting energetic and thoughtful candidates.

Irv Rothbart
New York

To the Editor:

Rather than jumping directly to impeaching Donald Trump, Democrats should use their new House majority to focus on creating rules that will help prevent every president, including President Trump, from governing badly. For example, instead of subpoenaing Mr. Trump’s tax returns, Democrats should push for a law requiring the president to disclose his or her finances and place them in a truly blind trust within 90 days of taking office. Presidents who do not comply would be subject to automatic removal, and Mr. Trump would be given 90 days to comply.

The goal of this type of legislation should be pushing for ethical governance, regardless of who is in office, and not just to right the perceived wrongs of the 2016 presidential campaign. America will be stronger for having endured the Trump presidency, but only if we use it as an opportunity to make our institutions more robust against potential abuse.

Jacob C. Fisher
Ann Arbor, Mich.

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