Constitution Day is little-noticed; on today’s, honoring the 232nd birthday of the American republic’s foundational document, we recommend a close look at Article I, Section 2, Clause 5:
“The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”
And so we encourage New Yorker Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, as he sets about systematically gathering evidence that may or may not pile logs on the fire and light the match holding the president of the United States accountable for a train of abuses.
Activists on Nadler’s left flank want articles of impeachment drafted and sent to the Senate for trial yesterday. To his right are Democrats who fear that doing so will supercharge President Trump’s sense of victimization and improve his chances of being reelected next year. Also to his right are Republicans furious that the House might effectively invalidate an election.
Credit Nadler for proceeding, but doing so with care. He is seeing whether probes into the president’s obstruction of justice, self-dealing, dangling of pardons and scarily impulsive foreign policy yield a strong enough case to actually convince a critical mass of the country that Trump is unfit to serve.
It’s said over and over, but it’s true: Impeachment is a political act. If Democrats are to make the case, and in an election year no less, it must be ironclad.