Jim Denison on Five Ways to View Impeachment

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., for a campaign trip to Battle Creek, Mich. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Jim Denison is the founder and CEO of the Denison Forum, a nonprofit Christian media organization that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.


The House Rules Committee voted yesterday to approve six hours of debate today on the House floor regarding two articles of impeachment. Unsurprisingly, the vote was along party lines.

Given its Democratic Party majority, it is likely that the House will impeach President Trump today or tomorrow. Given its Republican Party majority, it is likely that the Senate will then acquit the president.

According to a new poll, 85 percent of Democrats say the president should be impeached and removed, while 86 percent of Republicans say he should not. Independents are split 47 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed.

In other words, it seems that the two-party politics mirrored in the impeachment debate reflect the two-party divisions of our nation.

But I’m not sure things are that simple.

FIVE WAYS TO VIEW IMPEACHMENT

At least five positions are at work regarding the impeachment process. We can examine them on a spectrum from the president’s strongest critics to his strongest supporters.

Some critics have been trying to impeach President Trump for years. A House member called for his impeachment in September 2017 after the president criticized NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem. The same House member then introduced impeachment articles in December 2017 after the controversy in Charlottesville, Virginia. Those who take this position have long believed that the president is unfit for office and seek his removal.

A second view focuses specifically on President Trump’s conduct with regard to Ukraine and his refusal to provide requested documents to House committees, claiming that these actions constitute grounds for impeachment. Nearly the entire Democratic Party membership in the House has taken this position, though some Democrats are expected to vote against impeachment.

A third view is that the president’s conduct has been irresponsible but not necessarily impeachable. Those in this camp believe that rather than seeking to overturn the 2016 election, Congress should let voters decide the president’s future in the 2020 election.

A fourth view is that the president has done nothing deserving of impeachment. For example, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz claims that Mr. Trump has not committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, the four charges for which a president can be impeached.

A fifth view is that President Trump is being attacked by those who reject his conservative positions on abortion, religious liberty, and other cultural issues. Many of his supporters point to a report this month detailing major failures and lapses in the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. It is plausible that the president’s supporters will be energized by what they perceive to be unfair attacks on the president and that his chances of being reelected are improving as a result.

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Source: Christian Headlines