President Donald Trump stands during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for auto racing great Roger Penske in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Washington.

Byron York in his recent column says that the problem with Democrats is they can’t cite a law that President Donald Trump broke during the Zelensky call. Constitutional scholars agree that impeachment doesn’t require that a crime be committed. Despite that, the impeachment articles are likely to include bribery and obstruction of justice, which are crimes.

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York is attempting to provide a smoke screen for Trump, or it’s an ordinary case of ignorance regarding the impeachment process, which seems to be rampant and convenient these days among Republicans. U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham said it best in 1999 during the impeachment trial of Clinton. Graham said that a president doesn’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose his job if that president’s conduct is clearly out of bounds. Trying to dig up dirt on a political opponent from a foreign leader is clearly out of bounds. He also said that impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office. I think even staunch Republicans would admit in private that Trump has no honor and, as we all know, can’t even spell integrity and has no experience with it.

By the way, after watching many of the things that Lindsay Graham has said in the past before Trump was elected, it would be a joy to have preelection Lindsay Graham back. Perhaps then, the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, the old Lindsay Graham’s late friend and mentor, would be able to roll over facing upward in his grave again.

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Republicans constantly say, "Read the transcript." We can’t read the transcript; all we can read is a summary of the transcript. The verbatim transcript is hidden away somewhere on a CIA server that wasn’t intended for such documents. What other impeachable behavior might be revealed in the verbatim transcript? Trump’s people providing the summary of the verbatim transcript is a classic case of the fox watching the hen house.

If there were nothing wrong with the call, why hide the verbatim transcript? If there were nothing wrong with the call, why prevent people from testifying? If there were nothing wrong with the call, why change the story so many times? The call was fine, the call was wrong, there was no quid pro quo — OK, there was a quid pro quo, but that isn’t impeachable. The only constant from the Republican side is relentless deceit.

Trump said in the past that anyone pleading the Fifth Amendment is guilty of something. I submit that anyone doing the things stated above is guilty of something. Any other conclusion is an insult to common sense.

As the old Lindsay Graham said, “cleanse this office.”

Rikki Tharpe

retired production specialist

Baton Rouge