So what would I do if I had to vote on impeachment in the Senate?
From the first, I’ve described President Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6 as impeachable – particularly in the context of what went on in the weeks since the election, but even without that. I was not trying to be cute.
I have been wrestling with the wisdom of proceeding with impeachment due to the lateness of Trump’s term. But I would not call something impeachable unless it was serious enough to be condemnable by conviction, removal, and disqualification.
Indeed, I have written a book about impeachment, “Faithless Execution,” in which I argued that several actions taken by President Obama were impeachable. None of them was as egregious as what President Trump did – and, especially, what he omitted to do – on Jan. 6.
Alas, whether serious executive misconduct warrants conviction by the Senate by the constitutionally required two-thirds’ supermajority vote is not solely controlled by the question of whether the conduct in question is impeachable.
This is why I can’t bring the same clarity as such friends and colleagues as Ramesh Ponnuru, Matthew Continetti, Kevin D. Williamson, and Jay Nordlinger, for whom the imperative to convict, remove and disqualify Trump is more obvious.
I ultimately agree with them, but let me try to explain why I’m having a harder time with it.