Impeachment: Problematic, but necessary

I have traipsed all over the proverbial pea patch in trying to assess whether the U.S. House of Representatives should impeach Donald J. Trump.

At this moment, and it appears to be a permanent view, I stand in favor of impeachment as a necessary evil. Will a House impeachment result in Trump’s removal from the presidency of the United States? Probably not. The Senate’s Republican majority isn’t likely to follow the House Democrats’ lead in determining that Trump committed impeachable offenses that merit his ouster.

My former view was that impeachment would be an exercise in futility. So, my thought held, what is the point?

I have determined that the point is that Congress cannot let stand what it believes are acts that constitute egregious abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

It is all but proven that Trump sought personal political help from a foreign government. That’s a crime. The president of Ukraine and Trump spoke on the phone. The Ukrainian thanked Trump for supplying his country with military weaponry, but Trump then said he needed a “favor, though” in return for delivery of the weapons to be used against Russian aggressors.

Trump has sought foreign government help in digging up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential political foe in 2020. How in the world is that not an impeachable offense?

The president’s ouster as a result of impeachment remains unlikely at this moment. The Senate will hold a trial. Republicans occupy 53 of the body’s 100 seats. The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds vote to convict a president for him to be kicked out of office.

The way I see it, it is entirely possible for most senators to vote to convict Trump, just not enough of them to kick him out of the White House. I can think of possibly four Senate Republican votes to convict: Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isaakson; the latter two are not seeking re-election in 2020 and are immune from any retribution Trump might seek to level against them. Then again, a slim majority to convict Trump presumes all Senate Democrats vote to uphold the House impeachment.

Yes, this impeachment inquiry remains highly problematic. However, I believe now that it must proceed and it should result in articles of impeachment against the president.

Donald Trump has richly earned the inglorious title of “the nation’s third president to have been impeached.” Whether he can parlay that epithet into a winning re-election strategy remains to be seen.

If he does, then there will be something terribly wrong with our nation’s political system.