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Thu Dec 5, 2019, 06:54 PM

Donald Trump Is a Clear and Present Danger to the 2020 Election

The report released on Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee begins with a powerful indictment: “The impeachment inquiry,” the first sentence says, “uncovered a monthslong effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”

Mentions of the “2020 election” and the president’s re-election campaign can be found scattered throughout the 300-page document. The core message comes through loud and clear: The harm here is not a historical one. This report warns of a future harm: that an American president used his enormous power — and may use it again — to compel a foreign country to alter the outcome of the next presidential election.

We are faced with a direct threat that is unfolding before our eyes. If left unchecked, the president’s abusive behavior stands as a clear and present danger to the future of our democracy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as much on Thursday when she announced that the House Judiciary Committee would begin drafting articles of impeachment. “The facts are uncontested,” Ms. Pelosi said. “The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit, at the expense of our national security.”

Our criminal law has three main goals: to punish a person who has broken the law, to stop that person from causing a current harm and to deter future harm. It is the last goal, and the importance of preventing future wrongdoing, that resonates so clearly in the work of the Intelligence Committee. And it is through Article I of the United States Constitution, which establishes impeachment as the mechanism for holding the president of the United States accountable for criminal conduct or other wrongdoing, that this goal can be achieved.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/opinion/trump-impeachment-2020.html

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