In this hyper-polarized age in which we live, I understand that because Mr. Trump wears a red tie and is a Republican it would be tempting for Rep. Ben Cline to denounce Ms. Pelosi's call for a impeachment hearings. However, it is time for bipartisan recognition of the cumulative damage President Trump has caused by way of his ongoing conflicts of interest, innumerable incidents of graft and nepotism, his undermining of our institutions and democratic norms, his blatant activation of underlying racial tensions for short-term political gain, and his complete disregard for international alliances, treaties, and established geopolitical strategies.

There are of course numerous other potential crimes and ethical violations Mr. Trump has been accused of, but the point should be obvious and the potential for hypocrisy clear: At any other time in history, if a Democratic politician were censured for any of the more serious charges that President Trump is currently accused of, not to mention all of them, impeachment hearings would have been called for and carried out many months ago.

Demanding an investigation is not equivalent to reaching a verdict or drawing articles of impeachment, one way or the other. Rather, supporting an investigation into President Trump's conduct, however politically inexpedient, is in the most solemn sense putting the interests of country over party, rule of law over sectarianism. It is incumbent upon Mr. Cline to make the difficult yet necessary decision to support the investigation of Mr. Trump, wherever that investigation ultimately leads, before the norms and values that undergird our democracy are shattered beyond repair. 

KEITH JOHNSON

ROANOKE

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