To the editor:
I am writing to publicly thank Representative Derek Kilmer for supporting a presidential impeachment inquiry.
Donald Trump is dangerously lawless and delights in undermining the fundamental institutions and norms of our society, government, and democracy. Impeachment is a political tool that may be difficult to apply in the present environment, but Mr. Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors are so egregious that the House of Representatives must take a stand against him, or be complicit in the damage that daily results from his ongoing misconduct.
The president should be impeached readily on at least four separate grounds:
• Obstruction of justice: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has established these crimes in excruciating detail; we have all witnessed them live on television.
• Campaign finance crimes: To avoid losing the 2016 Election, the now-president secretly paid over a quarter of a million dollars to silence two prostitutes so that the American voters would not learn about Mr. Trump’s extra-marital affairs. The president’s attorney is now serving time for this crime, which the president directed, lied about, and paid for from Air Force One and the Oval Office.
• Emoluments clause violations: Trump Inc. is open for business. It sickened me to see representatives of T-Mobile, a Washington company, brag about parading around the lobby of Trump Hotel DC wearing T-Mobile logo gear and colors during the government’s review of the pending (and subsequently approved) Sprint merger. How many other people, companies, and countries have done the same? How much has Mr. Trump taken as bribes?
• Dereliction of duty: While Russia continues to attack the United States and undermine our elections, the president — while benefiting both personally and politically — has done nothing but help our adversaries perpetuate their crimes, at the expense of our intelligence agencies and the United States’ credibility in the world.
If the House of Representatives impeaches but the Senate acquits, that’s on the Senate.
If the president is reelected because of some perverse reaction to impeachment by the American voters, that’s on the voters.
If Representative Kilmer’s constituents fail to reelect him because he supports impeachment proceedings, that’s on his constituents.
But if Representative Kilmer — in the face of the clear and present danger that Mr. Trump represents — shied away from impeachment due to these political concerns, that would be on him.
I hope that more in the House will follow his lead, and shame on those who don’t. “Fiat justitia ruat caelum.”