TIME

You can’t Impeach if there is no crime

S THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HURTLES toward impeachment ahead of the holidays, it is appropriate to consider, in as dispassionate a way as possible, what really is at issue for the country to decide. One must begin with the words of the Constitution. The removal of the President from office necessarily proceeds only with a determination, through House impeachment and upon conviction by a two-thirds majority in the Senate following trial, that “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” have been proved. What constitutes a “high” crime? Alexander Hamilton provided the answer in the papers: only those offenses within Congress’s appropriate jurisdiction that constitute “the

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