As the Ukraine story develops, the public focus has remained largely on wrongdoing by the president outside the realm of criminal law, focusing instead on President Trump’s apparent use of his office for personal gain. On one level, this makes sense: Impeachment is only about removal of the president from office, not about criminal prosecution and imprisonment. So the standards and processes for impeachment are different.
Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has practiced law and served in various government positions, including as the executive director of the 9/11 Commission.
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The Charlottesville tragedy came close to home for me because I teach at the University of Virginia and because it signaled the reappearance of a threat I had encountered before: the rise of well-armed private militia groups. For those close to the action, including the law enforcement personnel on duty, hardly any aspect of the Charlottesville confrontation was more menacing than the appearance of organized, often uniformed, private bands of men in military getups, openly brandishing assault rifles and other long guns.