The House has historically offered presidents such courtesies in its impeachment inquiries, ranging from the opportunity to have counsel present to proposing witnesses to appearing themselves (although they never have). But this case is different.
Most crucially, unlike in prior cases involving complex, covert schemes, here the House already knows everything necessary to charge Trump with an impeachable offense. He committed his high crime and misdemeanor live on camera—in plain view of the House, which was then ransacked and vandalized by a mob he unleashed to block its certification of the election results. Law enforcement officials have already arrested and charged well over 150 perpetrators of the violence at the Capitol; there is no reason for the House to hesitate in charging the man who incited it all.
Swift action is further justified—indeed, required—by the clear and present danger that the president poses to the nation. Trump spent months engaged in a desperate, lawless scheme to overturn the results of an election he lost. He then summoned his followers to Washington, D.C. and incited violence that imperiled a coequal branch of government and the line of succession in the form of his vice president. While that insurrection unfolded, Trump inexcusably failed to defend the Capitol; since the attack, he has called his actions “appropriate” and expressed no remorse. With rumors of further violence by his supporters swirling through the country, and reports that he may self-pardon or engage in other abuses, Trump must not remain in office one second longer.
In light of these considerations, drawn out procedures that would slow or stall the House proceedings are unjustified. As the House Judiciary Committee has explained in a detailed analysis, the facts and the law are indisputable—and the circumstances are dire. The president came dangerously close to a coup. He threatened the peaceful transfer of power. And when the House offered him a robust set of procedural privileges during the last impeachment,