Dear Editor,

Some U.S. Senators have made public statements that they will not convict President Trump even before they have heard all the impeachment-related evidence. There should be a full hearing of evidence before any determinations are made by the Congress and Senate.

Article Two of the U.S. Constitution says that the President shall be removed from office for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” A “high Crime” in the Constitutional context does not necessarily mean a felony, nor does a “misdemeanor” refer to a minor infraction.

When this phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” was written by our Founders the word “high” was understood to mean to offenses committed by “high persons,” or public officials who serve in unique positions of authority, bound by an oath. The President takes an oath in which he solemnly swears to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. He is also constitutionally required to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The President is the highest of all public officials and is bound by his oath.

Our Founders did not limit “high crimes and misdemeanors” to statutory violations. This phrase included any offences that a “high person” may commit which violated his oath, violated the sense of justice of the people, or abused of his power or authority. During the Constitutional Conventions, when the Framers were debating what terms to use to describe cause for removal from office, they had proposed such phrases as, “mal-practice or neglect of duty,” “treason, bribery or corruption,” and “maladministration,” before settling on “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

All the evidence must be heard. And we should remember that holding an office of high trust is not a right, but a privilege. Abuse of office is a “high crime” and removal from such an office is not a punishment but is an action which denies the office holder from any further opportunity to serve in a job for which he/she is unfit or has abused.

Barbara Glakas


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