I am writing in response to the editorial, "Trump took the oath and must keep it," in the Oct. 17 edition of the Star Gazette. While it was appropriate to include the historical and constitutional background for impeachment, it seems neglectful to not mention precedent for these proceedings. Of the recent impeachments, there are three key components present in those proceedings that are missing in the current effort.
A vote: Speaker Nancy Pelosi has used many terms to imply that this is an official impeachment inquiry but, historically, impeachment has begun with a roll call and vote that puts our representatives on record for their support, or against, the inquiry. It seems obvious that she has not done so to protect members of her caucus in vulnerable districts, such as Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District.
Bipartisan support: The last two impeachment efforts were voted on, and supported, by bipartisan representation. Without a vote to begin proceedings, we cannot know if there is support outside the Democrat representation. Pursuing a process that in the published editorial, describe in solemn and constitutional terms in a flagrantly partisan manner belies any pretense of bipartisanship.
Transparency: We have been reminded many times that "the House makes its own rules," and it certainly seems true. While previous impeachment proceedings have been conducted in public, these unofficial interviews have been conducted behind closed doors, with only leaks of certain information that serves the purpose of Chairman Adam Schiff. Republican representatives on the committee have been limited in their input in a manner unlike other impeachment efforts.
The editorial ends implying that President Donald Trump need not fear if he has done nothing wrong. My response to you is, consider Gen. Michael Flynn. His treatment is a frightening example that the process is no longer fair and impartial. As you noted, impeachment differs from civil or criminal court. It is, by its nature, a political process and only the next step in a three-year effort to depose the president.
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