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I sincerely hope that no elected official ever needs to be removed from public office. In our democracy, we grant our fellow citizens power over us by electing them to office. We expect these public servants to use the powers of their office for the common good. All public servants take an oath of office to protect our democracy by enforcing the rule of law.

When allegations arise that any public servant has abused their powers for corrupt purposes or personal gain, we expect that officials with responsibilities for oversight will fulfill their oath of office by investigating the alleged offense. If the allegations have merit, we expect the public servant to be removed from office and/or referred for criminal or civil prosecution.

Americans expect our representatives to perform their oath of office faithfully and not attempt to remove another public servant from office for partisan reasons or political gain. To do so would be a violation of their oath of office and the public trust. It is also a violation of their oath if public servants with responsibilities for oversight simply ignore corrupt behavior.

Impeachment of a president is a solemn process. Any public servants who disrespect this solemn process by accusing members of Congress of partisan conduct during this impeachment inquiry, or by excusing corrupt behavior by the president, are themselves violating their oath of office. During this impeachment process, I encourage everyone to maintain their civility, open your minds and consider all facts without prejudice or preconceptions.

Richard Patterson

Moline

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