Following Trump’s impeachment inquiry

To the Journal editor:

Republicans argue that the impeachment inquiry is unfair because it is being conducted by the House of Representatives behind closed doors. In fact, it is being conducted according to rules adopted by in 2015 by a Republican majority led by a Republican speaker, John Boehner. Currently, 47 Republican House members are participating in the inquiry and are questioning witnesses, the same as their Democratic colleagues.

The impeachment of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton followed investigations by a special counsel. William Barr, the attorney general appointed by President Trump, declined to appoint a special counsel, leaving it to the House of Representatives to investigate the whistleblower’s complaint. Republicans cannot control the conversation, are trying to distract us by demanding “due process” and insisting that Democrats betray the whistleblower whose identity is protected by law.

Because the whistleblower’s claims have been corroborated by the president and by witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of the facts, the whistleblower’s testimony is unnecessary. In fact, Republicans don’t want the whistleblower’s testimony because it would be harmful to the president.

But Republicans do want the public to believe that Democrats are hiding something important. It’s part of their due process argument. Due process — the right to a fair hearing at which one accused of wrongdoing can present a defense — does not apply to an an investigation such as an impeachment inquiry.

Due process governs the public trial in the Senate if the House files articles of impeachment.That has not happened, yet. If and when it does happen, due process may or may not save the Trump presidency.




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