To the Editor:

Articles for the impeachment of President Trump will soon go to the Senate from our United States House of Representatives.

Conversations are taking place throughout Eastern Oregon: He didn’t do it. Well, maybe he did it. But it’s OK because everyone does it. OK, he did it. But it’s OK because he’s the president. So what? It’s not a crime. So who cares about Ukraine anyway?

If we care about the future of American democracy, we have to have these conversations. But it’s super confusing and the GOP is trying to take advantage of our confusion.

So, let’s simplify things. Presidents are public servants. They work for us. Their work should benefit the country, not their own personal gain. Asking a foreign country to interfere in our elections for the president’s personal benefit is an abuse of power, an impeachable offense. As is withholding military aid to prod that country to do the president’s dirty work.

A president who does this and helps cover up by refusing to permit testimony and refusing to provide relevant documents to a congressional investigation is committing another impeachable offense — obstructing Congress.

The questions to ask in your next conversation with your friend, your neighbor or your family are these: Do you think it’s OK for a president to pressure a foreign power to take action to benefit his own political campaign? Do you think the president should be above the law? Do you think U.S. senators should take seriously their oaths to defend the Constitution and to serve as impartial jurors in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump?

Get "yes" or "no" answers. The future of American democracy is at risk.

Bill Whitaker

La Grande

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