Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a House manager in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, opened the first day of arguments with a nod to the country’s founders, USA Today reported.
Quoting Alexander Hamilton, as he did just over a month ago during the House impeachment hearings, Schiff argued that the founder had warned against a leader who would “pursue his own interests” by seeking office.
Hamilton wrote on Aug. 18, 1792, in his “Objections and Answers Respecting the Administration” letter to George Washington:
“When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the ability of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanor—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind’.”
Schiff said Trump “has acted precisely as Hamilton and his contemporaries feared.”
Hamilton, who was secretary of the treasury in 1792, was writing to Washington in response to concerns raised about the country’s policies during the panic caused by the debt crisis of the time, USA Today added.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have used Hamilton and other founders to make their case for and against the impeachment of Trump, who is accused of pressuring Ukraine to open investigations that would be beneficial to his 2020 campaign and leveraging official U.S. acts to do so. The House impeached Trump last month on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.