The conduct involved is serious enough, but this is what makes this trial unique: It involves an ongoing high crime and misdemeanor. The key difference between this investigation and the Mueller probe is that Trump’s misconduct in Ukraine is prospective—it involves attempts to meddle with the upcoming election, not the last one.

His presidency remains an active crime scene.

So the Democrats felt a sense of urgency, but made a strategic error. Back in December I wrote about the dangers of undue haste. Moving too fast, “risks ignoring new evidence that might emerge, failing to pressure key players to testify and/or turn over records, letting the story’s momentum die over the holidays and playing into Trump’s hands.”

But even though the Democrats made a mistake by rushing their investigation, that does not change the Senate’s obligation to conduct a full and fair trial.