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ICYMI: What is Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids’ view on impeaching President Trump? She won’t say
Natalie Baldassarre | December 2, 2019

Looks like Sharice Davids is once again afraid to tell Kansans where she stands on impeachment…

In case you missed it…

What is Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids’ view on impeaching President Trump? She won’t say

The Kansas City Star

Michael Ryan

December 1, 2019

https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/michael-ryan/article237842784.html

There’s a fine line between being overly cautious and overtly evasive.

The longer Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids sits comfortably atop the impeachment fence, the more the congresswoman from Kansas risks crossing the line to evasiveness.

And many believe she’s stepped over that line before.

As minds are increasingly being made up on the question of whether to overturn the 2016 election results a year before the 2020 election — polls indicate impeachment has tellingly lost favor among the voting public in the wake of House Intelligence Committee hearings on the matter — Davids apparently wants you to think her mind is a blank slate.

After winning big applause at a district event for having supported the inquiry. And even after her privileged proximity to the hearings.

In a FOX4 television interview Monday, Davids was asked twice whether she’d vote to impeach, based upon what she heard in the hearings. Both times she declined to offer an opinion, saying she’d have to see the actual wording of any articles of impeachment.

A third time, she was asked if she’d merely heard anything in the testimony about Ukraine that sounded like a crime on the part of President Donald Trump, rather than just inappropriate. Again, no real answer.

I respect Davids’ stated desire to see what the articles of impeachment look like before committing herself to them or against them. At the same time, doesn’t she have a fairly good idea at this point? Besides, being non-commital, as she is wont to do on most major issues, just might be a good way to avoid standing on principle before standing for election in a district divided between the two parties.

A leader’s decision on an issue need not wait for the ink to dry on every period and dash in a document.

Polls are mixed on whether the hearings have made a compelling case for impeachment, which isn’t good news for the “prosecution.” If Americans’ views on it don’t skew heavily toward impeachment, members of Congress should ask themselves: Should the severe penalty of removal from office, which impeachment seeks, be administered when half or more of the country is opposed to it?

Members of Congress from both parties also should ask themselves if a president should be thrown out of office without evidence of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt — the threshold we’ve erected for ordinary criminal cases, and a standard certainly due a duly elected president.

Then there’s the very practical question of what the point of impeachment is if the Senate isn’t on board for removal — at which point Democrats should not only ask themselves whether this is good for the country, but also whether it will be good for their party.

Former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz could help Davids with that last calculation.

“Look, I’m a liberal Democrat,” Dershowitz said in a recent interview. “I think the worst thing the Democrats can do is have a vote for impeachment. Then the president wins in the Senate. He then uses that to help him win the election … So it’s the most foolish thing, from a Democratic point of view, to impeach the president. But the Democrats have shown that they’re prepared to engage in foolishness, for minimum political advantage, so he may be impeached.”

The fair-minded Dershowitz also could help Davids with the legal calculus:

“Take the worst, worst, worst-case scenario: The president abused his foreign policy power to gain political advantage. How many presidents have done that over time? It’s not among the listed impeachable offenses. It’s not any kind of a crime. It may be a political sin — that’s a good reason for deciding who to vote for — but it’s not a good reason for removing a duly-elected president. … You need to show bribery, treason or high crimes and misdemeanors. And even in the worst-case scenario by the phone call, it’s not there.”

It would be a help to her constituents, and a show of some leadership, if a sitting member of Congress such as Rep. Davids were as open and explicit as Professor Dershowitz, and was more forthcoming about her opinion on more issues — especially one as momentous as impeachment.

As a regular citizen and sometimes-pundit, I have the luxury of withholding my judgment on such matters. But I’m willing to say that as a citizen-juror, I have yet to be persuaded to impeach.

Heaven only knows what Kansas’ 3rd District member of Congress is thinking.

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