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It is very likely that Donald Trump will be charged with articles of impeachment and face a trial in the Senate.

But the truth is, he is not the one who is really on trial. We are! I say that for one important reason.

This entire impeachment process is forcing each of us to answer a fundamental question: Do we actually trust the rule of law?

While Trump’s personal future will be determined by the House and the Senate, we, the people, are deciding the future of our democracy as we have known it since September 17, 1787. Here is why I say that.

From the beginning, we have said we are a nation of laws, but this is one of those rare moments in history when we get to decide if that is true or false, something to which we are genuinely committed or something to which we give lip service.

It doesn’t matter if Trump believes his impeachment is unfair or a “witch hunt,” nor does it matter if his supporters believe the same thing. Nor does it matter if others believe he is guilty.

In our system of laws, people can be charged with a crime, with the constitutional guarantee of a fair and speedy trial that gives them a chance to prove they are innocent.

The law does not say someone cannot be charged unfairly. That happens all the time. It is unfortunate, but it happens because that is how a nation ruled by laws works. It cannot be any other way.

Fairness comes into play when you have a right to defend yourself as vigorously as possible before a jury whose members have pledged to decide the case based on the facts.

The rule of law is why Donald Trump is being impeached. It’s the way the system that is found in the Constitution works.

Evidence has emerged that he violated his oath of office in at least three ways: (1) Abuse of power – he solicited help for his re-election from a foreign government, which under U.S. law is a crime; (2) he engaged in bribery, holding a White House meeting with the Ukrainian President and military aid Congress appropriated for Ukraine in exchange for investigations into Joe Biden and the debunked theory of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election; (3) he has intentionally obstructed Congress’s investigation.

Trump insists he has done nothing wrong. Perhaps so, but the Constitution (Article II, Section 4) says that, if suspected, a president can be charged with the above crimes and abuses of power.

That is what impeachment is, a charge made, followed by a president’s constitutional right to prove his or her innocence.

Again, this is what the rule of law is all about.

Trump defenders who are trying to undermine the process are de facto saying they don’t believe in or trust the rule of law. Anyone who insists we throw Trump out before a trial would be guilty of the same thing, though I confess I have not heard anyone say this.

The point is, the rule of law says he can be charged (impeached) and it says that he can defend himself in a Senate trial. That is how our constitutional form of government works.

A person being charged doesn’t mean he or she is guilty or innocent, only suspected of doing something wrong, to be tried in the hope that the truth will emerge.

So let’s be clear. This has nothing to do with trying to overturn the will of the people. Just as an aside, let’s remember that Trump was elected with a minority vote in the first place. But impeachment has nothing to do with the election. It has to do with Trump’s behavior since. That is all, and both his election and his impeachment exist because of the Constitution.

And let’s also be clear about something else.

Any member of the House or Senate who makes his or her decision based on anything other than the weight of evidence, regardless of their personal feelings, opinions, or political party, is guilty of treason.

That is right – treason. That person will have betrayed his or her oath of office to “support and defend” the Constitution.

The same holds true for the rest of us. If we are genuinely committed to supporting and defending the Constitution, if we trust in the rule of law, we will decide Trump’s fate based on the best available evidence. Nothing else.

To do otherwise will be tantamount to convicting an innocent man or letting a guilty one go free.

It is up to us to ensure that neither happens.