The June 9 front-page article “ To Democrats, question of impeachment is personal” led to the conclusion that whatever course is selected should hold President Trump accountable for any misdeeds and create precedents to deter future presidents from similar conduct.
An impeachment inquiry is to determine whether impeachable conduct has occurred. Such an inquiry would publicly validate the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. What message will future presidents take if the House decides not to impeach? And if it is true that an impeachment inquiry must inevitably lead to a decision by the House to impeach, what precedent is created to deter future presidents if the Senate refuses to convict?
To achieve accountability and deterrence, the House hearings should go forward. Even if the Senate remains unmoved after these hearings, the House could act alone by censuring Mr. Trump’s conduct. It could also adopt bills dealing with Mr. Trump’s misconduct, e.g., require those connected with a presidential campaign to report foreign contacts, add statutory clarity to the Constitution’s emoluments clause, limit the attorney general’s partisanship role, etc. This would allow the House to put its views on the record. No future president would want a similar legacy.
Norman Wulf, Fairfax