May 22. 2017 7:54PM

The I Word: Let's all take a breath

EDITORIAL


The impeachment clause of the United States Constitution is not a do-over button.

Congress cannot remove a sitting President because he is unpopular, or even incompetent.

Yet hysterical critics of President Donald Trump are leaping to impeachment as a way to reverse an election they have yet to accept.

The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including if there was any collusion with the Trump campaign, should have given everybody a chance to step back from the daily chaos of the Trump White House and take a breath.

Trump, naturally, was never going to do that. But calls for his impeachment are thus far unfounded. Mueller should track down the truth. Ultimately, it will be up to Congress to determine if Mueller’s findings, whatever they may be, amount to “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, normally a voice of conservative reason, mused that instead of impeachment, Trump’s Cabinet might invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. But that amendment is for when Presidents are incapacitated, not inept.

Trump’s words and actions are unprecedented in any number of ways, but that should not excuse his critics from abandoning rationality. The call for removal of a President, without any real evidence to support it, undermines the rule of law.