Should President Donald Trump be removed from office? Much has been written on this question, but the vast majority of it deals in secondary and tertiary matters about politics and gamesmanship and tribal law.
And to answer the real question—the primary question—you have to strip all of those other considerations away.
It doesn’t matter how strong the economy is.
It doesn’t matter how many conservative justices he appointed.
It doesn’t matter how pro-life he is.
It doesn’t matter how many people voted for him.
It doesn’t matter how many Electoral College votes he got.
It doesn’t matter if he supported religious freedom.
It doesn’t matter if he supported the state of Israel.
It doesn’t matter how Christian, or not, his values are.
It doesn’t matter how many pastors support, or don’t support, him.
It doesn’t matter if the Democrats were biased against him.
It doesn’t matter how many times Democrats have wanted to impeach him.
It doesn’t matter if the Democrats were motivated by personal animus.
It doesn’t matter that removal would make Mike Pence president.
It doesn’t matter what legislation Trump has signed into law.
It doesn’t matter how much you like, or don’t like, him.
I’m not saying those questions are unimportant. Many are. But on the issue of whether Trump should be removed from office, there is only one question that matters:
Is he guilty of what the articles of impeachment charge?
The two articles of impeachment passed by the U.S. House of Representatives accuse the president of (1) abuse of power and (2) obstruction of Congress. These are most certainly impeachable offenses. Abuse of power was one of the main concerns of our Founders and the main reason they included the impeachment process in the Constitution. And presidents can’t be held accountable to the most representative branch of government if they are allowed to obstruct Congress.
According to the Constitution to remove a president from office, the House must first bring the charges (impeachment) before the trial takes place in the Senate.
And since the trial has not begun, it would be too early to make up our minds about whether Trump should be removed from office. The president’s team will have the opportunity to provide exculpatory evidence against the charges. But when the trial takes place, we should all—especially our senators—put aside partisan loyalties and look at the evidence with an open mind.
If the evidence shows that Trump is guilty of the charges against him, then he should be removed from office.
And if he isn’t, then he shouldn’t be.
Everything else is a distraction.