I observed that all politicians act out of mixed motives: They seek to further the public interest with an eye toward the ballot box. A desire to be re-elected is not necessarily a “corrupt” motive. I also said that if the politician sought anything—a “quo”—that was “in some way illegal,” that would “make a quid pro quo unlawful.”

The main thrust of my hourlong opening presentation was that a president could be impeached if he committed crimes or criminal-like behavior, regardless of whether his claimed motive was the public interest. I made this self-evident point in response to arguments by House impeachment managers that mixed motives could turn innocent conduct into a crime, and that a motive to help one’s re-election could be corrupt. I never suggested that if a politician believed that his re-election was in the public interest, that would excuse criminal or impeachable conduct.

Why the mendacious distortions? Because my arguments resonated with some senators.