Three pieces on different aspects of the subject. For the full columns, follow the links embedded in each headline.

Amy Klobuchar gets impeachment question right (Nov. 20): Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota made an important point early in the Democratic presidential debate when she acknowledged that one could believe certain conduct is “impeachable,” but still at least try to maintain formal objectivity until all the evidence and arguments have been presented.

Klobuchar gave everyone a bit of a civics lesson by saying there are good, formal reasons for senators to withhold final judgment on whether President Trump should be removed from office until the Senate actually holds a trial. She spoke, not quite literally but by very close analogy, about senators’ “job as jurors” that involves actually listening to the evidence. Even if senators are largely convinced that Trump’s conduct merits removal, they should strive to keep an open mind — and, at least as importantly, they should maintain a public show of at least attempting impartiality….

Gordon Sondland’s testimony is conclusive grounds for impeachment (Nov. 20): By all reasonable standards, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s opening testimony in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing should be the final evidence necessary to impeach and remove President Trump from office….

Trump’s defenders are making three bogus arguments (Nov. 22):

Several of the Republican arguments against impeaching President Trump are astonishingly illogical. Let’s examine them.

Impeachment shouldn’t occur because an election is less than a year away, and the voters can decide for themselves.”
This is a theme pushed incessantly on social media and by Republican officeholders and even by usually sensible conservative columnists. It is poppycock….

There can be no offense if the scheme isn’t fully effectuated.
The argument is that the aid that Trump threatened to withhold was eventually released to Ukraine, was it not? And Ukraine never had to publicly announce a new investigation into the Bidens. Therefore, there was no misconduct at all.

Again, this is a spectacular failure of logic. A crime becomes a crime with a concerted attempt to commit it, even if it isn’t successful. An attempted bank robbery remains a crime even if a security guard knocks away the robber’s gun before he can present the note demanding the money…..

The president can do anything he wants with regard to foreign policy.
No, he can’t. Congress has the powers to “provide for the common defense” and to “regulate commerce with foreign nations” and, of course, the sole power to appropriate public funds….

[The full column is here.]


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