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Letters to the editor

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, in justifying his "no" vote against the House of Representatives conducting a public impeachment inquiry, used a common Republican talking point. He said, "Impeachment is the nullification of an election."

He and his colleagues who say this are wrong.

By winning elections, candidates are granted authority by the people. In return, they take an oath of office in which they swear to utilize this authority for the benefit of the people they serve. They swear to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution and the laws of our nation.

If officeholders violate their oath of office, their actions nullify their election. Their authority is rightfully removed. Accusing the investigators of nullifying the election is like blaming the police for the actions of the criminal.

If the Congress, through its constitutional power of oversight, determines President Trump has abused his power, used it for self-serving political purposes, and violated his oath of office, he has forfeited his election. The election has not been nullified. According to the Constitution, Vice President Pence would assume the presidency. The election of 2016 would be still in full force.

I hope that Mr. LaHood and the other three Republican congressmen from Central Illinois who voted "no" will abandon this false argument and begin a principled examination of the facts of the situation. Mr. Trump's behavior, not the Democrats, has forced this situation on the nation.

Congressmen, your oaths of office require you to "support and defend" the Constitution, not Mr. Trump or a political party.

Tom Eder, Bloomington

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