More than 300 historians and constitutional scholars have signed an open letter calling for the impeachment and removal of President Trump. They say his continuation in office after encouraging supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol posed “a clear and present danger to American democracy and the national security of the United States.”
Those who signed the letter, released on Medium on Monday, include best-selling authors like Ron Chernow, Taylor Branch, Garry Wills and Stacy Schiff, as well as many leading academic historians. A number of the signatories had joined a previous letter in December 2019, calling for the president’s impeachment because of “numerous and flagrant abuses of power” including failure to protect the integrity of the impending 2020 election.
“Since November 2020,” the new letter says, “Trump has refused to accept the results of a free and fair election, something no president before him has ever done.”
Politically, the condemnation by historians may carry less weight than the president’s loss of support in recent days from business groups that once supported him or his policies. But David Greenberg, a historian at Rutgers who drafted the new letter, said that historical expertise mattered.
“Trump has defied the Constitution and broken laws, norms, practices and precedents, for which he must be held accountable now and after he leaves office,” the letter says of his presidency. “No future president should be tempted by the example of his defiance going unpunished.”
In September, the American Historical Association issued a statement condemning the first White House History Conference, held at the National Archives (and planned, the statement noted, without the involvement of any professional historical groups).