- - Thursday, October 10, 2019


There can’t be a blanket rule that the president and Department of Justice are never allowed to investigate a political rival’s overseas activities. This would confer immunity on criminals who subsequently run for president. But there also should not be an unfettered license for a president to use the DOJ as an instrument for seeking electoral advantage.

So what to do in this instance, where President Trump asked the president of Ukraine to look into presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden?

The answer is not to shoehorn campaign-finance regulations into unintended high crimes. Impeachment is not justified because there was no clear violation. Congress should send the message that this activity is improper by passing an unambiguous criminal statute forbidding it prospectively. The people should then vote Trump out of office.

This is how our system is supposed to work. And it should not be jettisoned simply because Donald Trump is president.


Walnut Creek, Calif.

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