Democrats in the House of Representatives remind us of the old West judge who promised defendants he would give them a fair trial — then hang them. The “impeachment inquiry” engineered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is no more than her attempt to pursue a vendetta.
Our nation’s Founders never meant for impeachment to adhere to the same standards as a criminal trial, of course. They understood impeachment is a political process.
Still, they envisioned safeguards for that process. One is that even an inquiry should have some bipartisan support.
Mr. Trump, in refusing to allow those in his administration to testify before the House inquiry committee, has cited that as one of his reasons. Mrs. Pelosi, D-California, should have asked for a vote by the whole House on whether to launch the process, the president maintains.
And why not vote on the matter?
Democrats hold a comfortable majority in the House. There are 235 of them opposing 197 Republicans (one lawmaker is an independent and there are two vacancies). Mrs. Pelosi could win a vote.
Clearly, however, her fear is that no Republicans would vote in favor of the inquiry — exposing the process as a purely partisan one.
If the case against Mr. Trump is as strong as Mrs. Pelosi and other Democrat leaders claim, Republicans should be in favor of pursuing the congressional investigation. Most of the allegations are known.
Democrats in the House are on a fishing expedition, purely and simply. They hope to come up with enough allegations — whether they can be proved or not — to harm Mr. Trump in next year’s presidential election. That is not the purpose for which the nation’s Founders provided a mechanism to try and, if advisable, to remove a president.