Trump impeachment: More than 700 scholars write letter calling for president’s removal

Document denounces US president as ‘a clear and present danger to the Constitution’ 

Felicia Sonmez
Tuesday 17 December 2019 09:14 GMT
Democrats unveil two articles of impeachment against Trump

A group of more than 700 historians, legal scholars and others published an open letter on Monday urging the House of Representatives to impeach US president Donald Trump, denouncing his conduct as "a clear and present danger to the Constitution".

The letter's release comes two days before the house is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment.

"Mr Trump's lawless obstruction of the House of Representatives, which is rightly seeking documents and witness testimony in pursuit of its constitutionally-mandated oversight role, has demonstrated brazen contempt for representative government," the scholars write in the letter.

This was published online by the nonprofit advocacy group Protect Democracy.

"So have his attempts to justify that obstruction on the grounds that the executive enjoys absolute immunity, a fictitious doctrine that, if tolerated, would turn the president into an elected monarch above the law," they add.

Protect Democracy also released a letter earlier this month from more than 500 law professors asserting that Mr Trump had committed "impeachable conduct".

Among the notable signatories of the latest letter are award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, biographer Robert Caro and historians Ron Chernow, Jon Meacham and Douglas Brinkley.

In the letter, the scholars criticise Mr Trump's "numerous and flagrant abuses of power" and state that his actions "urgently and justly require his impeachment".

"As Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist, impeachment was designed to deal with 'the misconduct of public men' which involves 'the abuse or violation of some public trust,'" they wrote.

"Collectively, the President's offences, including his dereliction in protecting the integrity of the 2020 election from Russian disinformation and renewed interference, arouse once again the Framers' most profound fears that powerful members of government would become, in Hamilton's words, 'the mercenary instruments of foreign corruption,'" they add. "It is our considered judgment that if Mr Trump's misconduct does not rise to the level of impeachment, then virtually nothing does."

The Washington Post

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