Elizabeth Holtzman, a former member of the Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach President Richard Nixon in 1974, warned Thursday that Democrats in charge of making the case against Donald Trump need to learn some lessons from the past.
“Perhaps because I participated in the only impeachment process that was a success in that it did remove a president from office, I see that as a pretty good example of what worked,” she said in an interview with Yahoo News.
Holtzman, now 78 and of counsel with the New York law firm Herrick Feinstein, was, in 1972, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, where she served for eight years. She has long been a critic of the current president, and in January of this year published “The Case for Impeaching Trump,” a book which detailed allegations of what she views as violations of the Emoluments Clause. The book also takes issue with Trump over his policy of separating families who illegally cross the U.S. border with Mexico. Holtzman also analyzes his obstruction of investigations into his potential abuse of power and his refusal to harden the election system to avoid further interference.
Those allegations, which predate by months and years the ones in the whistleblower’s report that came to light this week, are why Holtzman is urging this generation’s investigators to pursue multiple lines of inquiry.
To those pundits and politicians who are saying it might be simpler politically to focus only on Trump’s urging the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son, she responds that, because impeachment is a dramatic remedy, it requires a dramatic rationale.
“The constitutional framers argued about exactly this,” she said, noting that some of the Founding Fathers suggested that an impeachment provision was not necessary because “we have elections and we will solve the problem of a bad president with elections.” Others at the constitutional convention pushed back — and won — by arguing that “a president can become such a danger to democracy that he has to be removed promptly.”
The bar is high, she said, and “requires proving a threat to democracy. You show a number of grave, egregious abuses of power, you show that this is not an isolated…READ MORE