Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, amzn.to/2sQBWYL). Professor. Nov. 13, 2019 3 min read

Good morning! Impeachment is finally here. It's something many of us have been waiting for—not because we have policy differences with the president, though we do, but because anyone who believes in rule of law cannot in good conscience support this president's continued service.

1/ Precisely none of my enthusiasm at the prospect of impeachment has to do with partisanship—my opposition to this president's continued service comes from having sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution when I was admitted to the state and federal bars in New Hampshire in 2001.

2/ If Mike Pence is found to have no culpability in any of President Trump's offenses, or to have committed any of his own, he should be president—and I say that despite opposing every policy position (to my knowledge) Pence has ever taken. This is about rule of law exclusively.

3/ In fact, if Republicans had responded appropriately to Trump's crimes from the jump, I'd have advocated for the GOP *not* being held politically responsible for those crimes (putting aside any GOP actors who were directly complicit, and GOP responsibility for Trump generally).

4/ One of the chief reasons (and there are so many) that claims of a "coup" are vile and false is that most of us have *always* presumed that the impeachment process would end with a member of the Trump 2016 ticket (VP Mike Pence) becoming the next President of the United States.

5/ I have always said that I do *not* respect the view of any Democrats who believe the impeachment process should be wielded as a partisan attempt to destroy the GOP. If you don't see Trump as a *unique* threat—but just as another Republican—you and I are *not* of the same mind.

6/ That said, Trump has indeed now poisoned the whole Republican Party. It didn't have to be so; had the party upheld its professed values, it could've credibly claimed it too considered Trump a unique threat to American democracy and rule of law—one *outside* of normal politics.

7/ I mention all this not because my opinions are in any way whatsoever special, but because I'll be writing a lot about impeachment in the coming weeks/months, and I want people to understand the perspective I'm coming at this from: I approach it as an attorney, pure and simple.

8/ As those of you who follow this feed know, I also approach this as someone who's published 1,400 pages on this topic in the last 18 months—pages supported by over 6,000 major-media citations. So no, I proudly *don't* come at the impeachment cold. I've a handle on the evidence.

9/ I also, like many of you, come at this from the perspective of someone who thinks a lot about how we individually and as a nation will be regarded by history centuries on. I believe we're being judged right now in the eyes of history on our commitment to America's core values.

10/ If you believe Trump's policies are cruel, know that I *agree* with you *wholeheartedly*. But know also that I consider discussion of those policies in the context of an impeachment process—unless they themselves are criminal or impeachable—beside the point of *this* inquiry.

PS/ It's sad that this presidency has cast as "radicals" those of us who simply believe in the healthy operation of our democracy and rule of law.

My opposition to this criminal presidency as a lawyer has nothing to do with my policy views—which are progressive, but not radical.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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