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End Vendetta and Find Solutions for Americans

Over the last year a million illegal migrants were taken into custody at our southern border — the highest level since 2007. A renegotiated trade deal with two of our largest trading partners — Canada and Mexico — is stalled. Skyrocketing prescription drug prices continue to increase health care costs on Americans.

Yet instead of seriously addressing these issues, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and liberal Democrats in Congress have begun an unfair, politically motivated impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Rather than working on issues to improve the lives of Americans, Pelosi and her allies are instead rushing headlong into a fight that will divide the country.

In launching their impeachment inquiry, Pelosi and her lieutenants have violated rules of basic fairness and broken from past precedent. They have rushed into an impeachment investigation without first bringing it to a vote of the House, which is unprecedented. They have violated due process by not allowing President Trump and his team to defend himself by presenting evidence or calling witnesses.

Even more troubling is the appearance that the Democrats are using impeachment not only to negate the results of the 2016 election but to sway the 2020 election, little more than a year away.

According to Federalist Papers No. 65 and No. 66 and debate at the time, our Founding Fathers never intended for impeachment to be weaponized to be used for purely political reasons. They hoped Congress would use impeachment sparingly. For almost 200 years, the guidance on impeachment our Founding Fathers laid out in the Constitution and Federalist Papers prevailed. Only one President (Andrew Johnson) was impeached — and he was acquitted by the Senate.

Then something changed. In the last 40-plus years, this will be the third impeachment proceeding. Impeachment has increasingly become a political weapon that is used with little restraint.

You don’t have to go back many years to find a similar situation. The Clinton impeachment imbroglio has many parallels to the current debate. Like Trump, Bill Clinton elicited strong feelings from his opponents, who were frustrated by their inability to defeat him. Years of wide-ranging investigations dove into matters ranging from foreign interference in the 1996 election to financial improprieties.

Eventually, the investigations turned up inappropriate behavior, and Republicans thought they finally had him. However, their distaste for Clinton blinded them to public opinion. Most Americans, while shocked at the president’s behavior, did not believe his actions (including lying under oath) rose to an impeachable offense.

Congressional Republicans had overreached.

Fast forward 20 years, and a similar situation is playing out before our very eyes. Many Democrats — and their allies in the media — have never accepted the outcome of the 2016 election. Since Trump was elected, the left’s anti-Trump fervor has led them to look under every rock for something, anything, that can be used to remove him from office.

Calls for impeachment began almost as soon as Trump was sworn into office. Just four months into his term, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, began calling for impeachment.

Trump has been investigated relentlessly for over three years. In the eyes of his opponents, Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine is the evidence they need to finally remove him from office.

Many of those leading the charge to impeach Trump are the same people who were condemning Republicans for subverting the will of the American people 20 years ago during the Clinton impeachment.

In December 1998, Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the Republican impeachment push on the House floor saying, “We are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said at the time, “There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other.”

It’s clear that Democrats have forgotten the lessons of the Clinton impeachment. They are moving full speed ahead to drag the American people through a nasty and divisive fight — even though Americans are divided on whether President Trump’s actions rise to an impeachable offense.

Using impeachment as a tool to take down a political foe does damage to the institutions of the presidency and Congress and will divide the country. Republicans were wrong to deploy it against Bill Clinton. Democrats are wrong to do it today.

Impeachment was intended to be used on the most serious of occasions — not trivialized as a way to score political points.

Instead of wasting time with an unfair, partisan impeachment process, Speaker Pelosi should rein in the radicals in her caucus and focus on the issues Americans really care about. From addressing the border crisis to fighting the opioid epidemic to lowering the cost of drugs — Americans deserve solutions.

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