The liberal Catholic publication Commonwealth defended the impeachment proceedings. 

It was right for Democrats in the House to proceed with impeachment, both how and when they did. The articles of impeachmentare narrow in scope but nevertheless damning. The first charges Trump with abusing the power of the presidency. In secretly withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until it announced an investigation of Joseph Biden for nonexistent acts of “corruption,” the president “[ignored and injured] national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit. He has also betrayed the nation by abusing his office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections” (the House Judiciary Committee report alleges multiple federal crimes, including criminal bribery and wire fraud, under this charge). The second article charges Trump with obstructing Congress’s investigation into these abuses. In defying subpoenas for documents and blocking staff members from testifying about the Ukraine scheme, Trump engaged in “categorical and indiscriminate defiance” that prevented the House from conducting its oversight role and violated the separation of powers. These actions meet the definition of “high crimes” as the Constitution’s framers understood the term. Envisioning (or dreading) such behavior by the executive, the framers were clear that it could not be countenanced. They “provided for impeachment of the president because they wanted the president, unlike the king, to be controlled by law,” as legal scholar Noah Feldman told the Judiciary Committee earlier this month, “and because they feared that a president might abuse the power of his office to gain personal advantage, corrupt the electoral process, and keep himself in office.”

These are risks the Democrats have to take. They cannot just stand by as a president violates the Constitution in full view.

Trump’s supporters in Washington and on Fox News often cite the approaching election in inveighing against impeachment, arguing that the voters themselves, through a free and fair election, can get rid of Trump if they don’t like him. But there is nothing in the Constitution restricting impeachment to non-election years or to second terms. In any case, the framers made explicit that cases of executive corruption are to be settled by Congress, not at the ballot box. This is partly because such corruption can make elections themselves less “free and fair.” Had details of the Ukraine scheme not come to light, Trump might have succeeded in abusing his power to damage the reputation of a possible opponent in the November 2020 election. Even after that scheme was discovered, the president publicly invited China to investigate the Bidens, and continued to recommend that the Ukranian government undertake “a major investigation” into a Democratic presidential candidate. It was precisely the risk that Trump might corrupt the 2020 electoral process that made it necessary to expedite the impeachment inquiry. Any later might have been too late.

By now the nation is used to the unwillingness of Republicans to criticize Trump’s behavior. Yet as impeachment grew more likely, the Republicans not only defended that behavior but also imitated it—the stonewalling, the lying, the intimidation and belittling of respected government officials, the peddling of debunked conspiracy theories—often in a state of performative high dudgeon. Perhaps that is the only option when there’s no disputing the facts at hand.