In an article in The Nation, John Nichols discusses support for impeachment investigations by Republican leaders. Citing recent pieces by Representative Jason Villalba and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, Nichols points out that Democrats aren’t alone in their call to hold Donald Trump accountable for his many constitutional violations, despite common expectations of party loyalties.
Whitman described Trump as “clearly unfit to remain in office,” while Villalba titled his op-ed, “It’s Time to Impeach the President.” Whitman didn’t directly call for impeachment investigations in her piece, but she did make a plea to her fellow Republican leaders: “We must put aside the GOP label, as hard as that may be, and demonstrate the leadership our country needs by calling on the president to step down.”
Whitman goes on her op-ed to say, “Only bold leadership can put the United States back on a path that values freedom and democracy, and truly puts America first.”
Nichols echoes this sentiment, drawing from history and the Nixon administration to emphasize his point:
Republicans have put America first before, most notably during the Watergate crisis, when a number of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee supported articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. Nixon quit after top Republicans—including conservatives such as former Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona—told him that if he remained in office he would be held to account. Nixon was a bad player, to be sure. But Trump is worse, and a new generation of Republicans is called to check and balance him with the remedy that the founders outlined in the Constitution.
Most Republicans will continue to resist the constitutional remedy, for now. But the fact that the discussion of impeachment is beginning to cross partisan and ideological lines represents a slim ray of hope for the republic.
John Nichols and members of the Republican leadership speaking out for impeachment proceedings are right. The nation must come together, regardless of party, to end this constitutional crisis and to begin an impeachment investigation of Donald Trump.