Arguing that President Donald Trump’s abuse of power is “precisely what the Framers had in mind” when they asserted Congress should have the right to impeach a president, more than 750 historians released an open letter demanding the U.S. House vote for impeachment.
The letter—posted to Medium late Monday night—was coordinated by the advocacy group Protect Democracy and signed by historians including Eric Foner, Kevin Kruse, and Robert Caro just ahead of the House’s scheduled impeachment vote on Wednesday.
“It is our considered judgment that if President Trump’s misconduct does not rise to the level of impeachment, then virtually nothing does,” the historians wrote in their letter.
“Every so often it’s incumbent upon historians to produce primary documents, not just study them,” tweeted Columbia University professor and writer Jelani Cobb, who signed the letter.
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Trump’s alleged attempt to bribe Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden is just one example of the president displaying “utter and deliberate scorn for the rule of law,” wrote the historians.
“That disregard continues and it constitutes a clear and present danger to the Constitution,” they continued. “We therefore strongly urge the House of Representatives to impeach the president.”
Along with Trump’s alleged abuse of power, the House will vote on a second article of impeachment regarding his obstruction of Congress, as he has refused to cooperate with lawmakers’ investigation into him while insisting he has immunity from all legal action. These claims amount to “a fictitious doctrine that, if tolerated, would turn the president into an elected monarch above the law,” the historians wrote.
The House is expected to approve impeachment along party lines Wednesday. Several conservative Democrats met last week to discuss pushing to censure Trump rather than impeaching him, but a number of moderate party members signaled this week they would vote to impeach. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) left the Republican Party earlier this year after announcing he supported impeaching Trump months before news of his alleged bribe broke.
Trump’s critics have said throughout his presidency that lawmakers should impeach him for a variety of alleged crimes, including the sexual assault of numerous women, violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, and obstruction of justice as described in the Mueller Report.
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to rally in all 50 states to demand impeachment.
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