Im­peach­ment for­ever changes Trump’s le­gacy

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jonathan Lemire

NEW YORK >> The first line of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s obit­u­ary has been writ­ten.

While Trump is all but cer­tain to avoid re­moval from of­fice, a por­tion of his le­gacy took shape Wed­nes­day when he be­came just the third pres­i­dent in Amer­i­can his­tory to be im­peached by the U.S. House.

The two ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment ap­proved along largely par­ti­san lines on Wed­nes­day stand as a con­sti­tu­tional re­buke that will stay with Trump even as he tries to triv­i­al­ize their mean­ing and use them to power his re­elec­tion bid.

“It’ll be im­pos­si­ble to look back at this pres­i­dency and not dis­cuss im­peach­ment. It is per­ma­nently tied to his record,” said Ju­lian Zelizer, a pres­i­den­tial his­to­rian at Prince­ton Univer­sity. “Trump now al­ways be­comes part of the con­ver­sa­tion about mis­us­ing pres­i­den­tial power. Ukraine will be his Water­gate. Ukraine will be his Lewin­sky.”

His­tory books will add Trump to the sec­tion that fea­tures Bill

Clin­ton, im­peached 21 years ago for ly­ing un­der oath about sex with White House in­tern Mon­ica Lewin­sky, and An­drew John­son, im­peached 151 years ago for de­fy­ing Congress on Re­con­struc­tion. Richard Nixon, who avoided im­peach­ment by re­sign­ing dur­ing the Water­gate in­ves­ti­ga­tion, is there, too.

Trump him­self is keenly aware of the im­pact that im­peach­ment may have on his le­gacy.

Al­lies in re­cent months have de­scribed him as seething over the prospect, tak­ing im­peachLEGAC­Y >> PAGE 2

EVAN VUCCI

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks dur­ing a cam­paign rally at Kel­logg Arena, Wed­nes­day, Dec. 18, 2019, in Bat­tle Creek, Mich.

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