Some evidently have concluded that accountability for this president will come with the 2020 election, and they want to leave it at that. They could not be more wrong. Losing an election (should that even happen) will not erase Trump’s end run around the Constitution. Democrats have resisted impeachment in part because of a belief (not grounded in history) that impeachment should ensue only if removal is probable in the Senate.
But linking impeachment with removal loses the unique purpose of this constitutional check — spelling out and limiting the unconstitutional behavior of the president, which could serve to inform voters in 2020. That’s what happened to Andrew Johnson, who was impeached but not removed and also not reelected. Impeachment is only a political question insofar as those making the decision are politicians with elections forthcoming. Win or lose in 2020, the long-term damage to our Constitution might well be done if the House fails to act now.
There’s more than enough evidence. Let’s skip the Mueller report for now. Skip the Russian interference; skip at least 10 identifiable acts of obstruction of justice. Even without the report, Democrats have plenty to act on to hold the president accountable for potentially unlawful behavior and abuse of power.