Lanny Davis discusses the need for an impeachment investigation of President Trump in a recent oped for the Daily Caller. Davis calls for a bipartisan effort in support of impeachment noting, “If ever there was a time for patriotic commitment to principle over party and the constitution over partisan interests, this is that time.”
I keep asking myself: If a Democratic president had conducted himself — or herself — as Donald Trump has in the first year, would I favor the beginning of an impeachment process? I ask all Republicans who care about our constitution and the future of our country to ask the same question.
My answer is yes. We cannot afford a partisan double standard on this essential question of impeachment under our Constitution.
The constitutional standard for impeaching a president, under Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, is a congressional finding that a president has committed “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
That phrase was not further defined in the Constitution. The Framers and most constitutional scholars agreed that an impeachable offense must involve a presidential abuse of power — one that threatens our constitutional system or national security. It must involve, as Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper No. 65, “the abuse or violation of some public trust…[and relates] chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”
In the case of Donald Trump, there are many examples of specific words and deeds that Republicans as well as Democrats should regard as deserving of investigation as to whether they meet Hamilton’s standard of “violation of some public trust” and “injuries done immediately to society itself.”
Let’s look at just one: Donald Trump’s serial, willful, material lies to the American people. In other words lies that he indisputably knew were lies when he uttered them.