Following the resignation of Richard Nixon and upon being sworn in, Gerald Ford said, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”
Since Jan. 20, 2017, some politicians and Americans have made it clear they disapprove of Donald Trump’s presidency. Just weeks after the inauguration, the first political action committee was formed with the goal of impeaching Trump. Calls for impeachment range from allegations of profiting from his office, obstructing justice and questioning his character.
For three years these charges have been tried in the court of public opinion, which is less dependent on facts and more tied to 30-second sound bites and catchy headlines.
Thankfully, our Constitution offers a process for trying the president. This process is more evidence-based and allows a chance for the public to heal and move on.
House members supporting this official impeachment inquiry, and those committees charged with investigation, should complete their work quickly with uncompromising due diligence and good faith. The investigation process should endeavor to be confidential.
It’s important to remember that despite allegations of wrongdoing, Trump still has duties to perform — and was elected to carry out those duties. Unending press conferences from overzealous legislators seeking re-election, instead of a fair process, would harm the nation’s interests. Accusing the president of abusing his powers of office while using impeachment for 2020 election purposes smells of hypocrisy.
If Articles of Impeachment are brought to the Senate, then senators should hear the case with open ears, cast aside party loyalty and understand the precedent their decision will set. The president is a citizen, entitled to the fairness of a trial we would expect for ourselves.
Regarding the president’s behavior, Trump should cooperate fully with the inquiry, comply with all subpoenas and log out of social media. Those 72-hour tweet storms only give ammunition for those who want to annul the 2016 election.
The president needs to calm down and understand that foreign interference in an election is a serious issue and is not to be encouraged or taken lightly. The actions of Joe and Hunter Biden deserve scrutiny, but should the sitting president be the one with the bullhorn? Equanimity in the face of allegations, while not one of the president’s stronger character traits, will create a climate for healing.
If a case makes it way to the Senate, an impeachment trial will be necessary. Whatever outcome awaits us after this process, we must return to unity. Give Trump’s detractors a chance to have their voices heard, and give the president a final platform to defend himself.