TIFTON – Dr. Joseph Devaney sees a trend in impeachments “becoming a more acceptable means to dealing with particular issues” in modern times. 

Devaney, who teaches constitutional law at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, encourages people to take a step back and ask, “did the president commit high crimes and misdemeanors?”

Devaney said people tend to see these situations through their personal political lenses. Democrats want the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump and Republicans are opposed to the impeachment. 

Devaney said it is important to look at an impeachment outside of a personal political view.

"First, I want to understand what a high crime or misdemeanor is and then look at specific circumstances in this case and then come to your own conclusion on if this is an impeachable offense or not," he said.

Devaney sees Democrats wanting the Trump impeachment to prevent him from seeking office again. 

And Congress wants to reassert itself against the executive branch, Devaney said of the impeachment, adding it is an effort to reassert the separation of government powers. 

Impeachment is like an indictment, Sam Dennis said.

“When the House of Representatives impeaches, it's the formal charges against the president,” the Valdosta attorney said. “The Senate gets it and then they can vote and have a trial.”

With the impeachment trial scheduled after Trump leaves office, Dennis said, “I think they're trying to prevent him from holding public office again as part of the political strategy.

“It's interesting to me that they're choosing to do this now when there's so much talk about him pardoning himself. If he pardons himself then it's like an admission he's committed a high crime or misdemeanor. That's an idea that somebody against him could argue. They may be doing this to use it as an obstacle to a self-pardon.”

He said Republicans could be considering it in the Senate to undermine President-elect Joe Biden's first 100 days in office.

“The impeachment could occupy the Senate, which could stop Biden from completing his 100-day agenda.”

Dennis said no matter what happens with Trump, Biden will still be inaugurated Wednesday as president. 

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