Our first president, George Washington warned about the dangers of political parties in his farewell address in 1796. He saw political parties as the means "by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government".

What better description of the Democrats impeachment attempt could there be? This has nothing to do with serious offenses by the president because the Democrats have been trying to remove him from office since immediately after the inauguration. They went from "Russian collusion" to "obstruction of justice" to "quid pro quo" to "bribery" to "extortion" back to "quid pro quo" and finally to "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress" in their attempts to find something they could build a case on.

Rather than follow precedent, the Democrats held secret hearings, limited participation of Republican committee members and almost totally excluded any defense of the president like you would expect from a communist tribunal. Trump was denied his right of due process and the right to confront the witnesses against him.

In an amazing act of hypocrisy, after excluding Republicans in the House proceedings, Senator Schumer is demanding witnesses and other concessions in the Senate trial to support the flimsy impeachment articles. Can there be any doubt that this impeachment attempt is anything more than a political coup attempt? Democrats could not win the 2016 election and with Trump's accomplishments, his reelection is almost a certainty. The only hope of Democrats regaining power is if they can remove Trump from office by impeachment.

President Trump was correct when he characterized this impeachment attempt as "open war on American Democracy." Impeachment was designed to address violations so serious that there would be bipartisan support. However, the only thing bipartisan about this attempt is the two Democrats who joined Republicans in announcing their opposition. This misuse of impeachment authority is a dire threat to the Constitution that can lead to future impeachments whenever the president and congressional majorities are of different parties. This coup attempt must be strongly condemned.

Raymond Settle

Blue Mountain

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