Washingtonpost – Bob Inglis, a Republican, represented South Carolina in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 1999 and 2005 to 2011.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) asserted last week that if the president were a Democrat, the House wouldn’t be pursing impeachment. He must know that’s not true.
If FBI Director James B. Comey had angered a President Hillary Clinton by restarting the investigation into her private email server and she had fired him, Republicans would be howling. Rightly so.
Instead, Donald Trump won the election. Comey was pursuing an investigation into Russian meddling. It angered President Trump, and he fired Comey. But rather than howling, Republicans are whimpering. The chair of the Republican National Committee has even called for a halt to all investigations of collusion with Russia. That’s a problem.
I was on the House Judiciary Committee that began the consideration of impeaching of President Bill Clinton. Armed with information from independent counsel Kenneth Starr, we were convinced the president had lied under oath. We drafted articles of impeachment, and a majority of the House concurred with our assessment. The Senate subsequently determined that there wasn’t sufficient cause to remove him from office. In retrospect, a public censure or reprimand may have been more advisable.
Regardless, Clinton was impeached for charges less serious than the ones before us now. In the current case, Comey was exploring the possibility of American involvement in the Russian plot, a treasonous offense. While it’s not time to start drafting articles of impeachment, it is time to pursue this investigation into Russian meddling in our presidential election with vigor, without friends to reward and without enemies to punish.