- - Monday, January 27, 2020

Republicans should resist the temptation to summarily dismiss the House’s deficient impeachment charges against President Trump. Otherwise, Democrats will continue scavenging for more “evidence” to revive the charges by addendum, ad nauseum.

Nor is a full-blown trial the way to go. Even with acquittal assured, protracted proceedings would permit Democrats and their compliant media to continue their campaign of trying to poison the electorate against the president. Instead, Republicans should hold their fire as the House managers present their case and then announce the failure of the Democrats’ charges to cite elements of any crime or breach of any constitutional provision which constitute even prima facie evidence of an impeachable offense justifying constitutional removal of the president from office.

They should then call for a full vote of the Senate to decide the president’s acquittal of the articles with finality. This would amount to a kind of senatorial stare decisis, with the chief justice witnessing that the House’s deficient “obstruction of Congress” and “abuse of power” articles cannot constrain the authority of this president or any future one from exerting executive privilege or negotiating with foreign leaders as he or she sees fit.

House Speaker Pelosi, after signing the articles of impeachment, held her ceremonial pen high triumphantly. She had tarnished Donald Trump as only the third president in all of American history to be impeached, and that, she gloated, is “forever.” The Senate should borrow her pen to sign his acquittal. That will last forever, too.

JOHN A. LANZETTA



Miami

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