Rep. Mike Lawlor, who sat on the Select Committee of Inquiry that met to decide the fate of then-Gov. John Rowland in 2004, penned a piece for the Chicago Tribune offering his advice for Illinois lawmakers as they look to impeach their own governor.
This is not a criminal trial. There need not be specific allegations at first. When articles of impeachment are considered, they need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, there is no evidentiary standard. Hearsay, conjecture, your own political instincts are all fair game. There is no appeal from your decision.
It is, in effect, the undoing of a democratic election. By design, it is and should be extremely difficult to undertake.
I think a lot of people mistake impeachment proceedings for something very like a criminal trial, and Rep. Lawlor is correct to point out the differences.