WJW should have waited for Romney
Regarding “An unsatisfying process,” (Editorials, Feb. 6): Too bad you went to press before Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) inspiring speech explaining his vote to remove president Trump. Romney felt bound by the mandated senatorial pre-trial oath “to god” “to do impartial justice.” Jews should all have applauded Romney. Since the Israelites accepted the third commandment, “you shall not swear falsely by the name of the Lord your God,” we Jews have taken solemn oaths seriously.
Perhaps you would have applauded Romney’s stance and compared it with Mitch McConnell’s promise and the other Republican senators’ agreement to march in lock step with the White House in the impeachment trial.
Absent the press deadline, you might not have parroted Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.) conclusion that Trump’s actions were “a long way to from treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Constitutional standard for impeachment. Rather, it had a long history in the English common and parliamentary impeachment law dating back to the 14th century.
As the drafters of our impeachment clause knew well, the formula refers to a trustee or public officer’s breach of the legal duty to use his powers solely in the interest of the beneficiaries or the public, and not for his own benefit. It’s ludicrous to claim that every policy disagreement involves such misconduct, as criminal law professor Alan Dershowitz did. Far from being “a long way” from Trump’s abuse of power specified in the House impeachment articles, Trump sought to engage in precisely the kind of outrage the proponents of our Constitutional impeachment provision had in mind, namely a president conspiring with a foreign power to interfere in an election. How will voters be able to separate lies from truth, when, as Trump has promised, he tries again and then succeeds with China, Russia or whomever to plant falsehoods here.
We only learned of Trump’s attempt this time because of the courage of a whistleblower whom Republicans sought to out and punish. Romney understood; why didn’t WJW?
RABBI GEORGE. B. DRIESEN