With public impeachment hearings starting, Congressional Republicans should look to their predecessors from the last time a Republican president was impeached.

Rep. M. Caldwell Butler, Republican from Virginia, said, “It is we, not the Democrats, who must demonstrate that we are capable of enforcing the high standards we would set for them.”

Rep. Lawrence Hogan, Republican of Maryland and father of the current governor of Maryland, told his colleagues, “For our system of justice and our system of government to survive, we must pledge our highest allegiance to the strength of the law and not to the common frailties of men.”

They were right. The Republican Party needed to divorce itself from the shame of Nixon and Watergate so it could reinvent itself. In a prediction of our current moment, Connecticut Republican Lowell Weicker said, "If we try to play coy or to be less than extremely forceful in getting the truth out, people are going to impute to us this rather sorted succession of events."

Republicans, take note.

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Stan Twardy is a lawyer at the Day Pitney law firm and a legal advisor to Republicans for the Rule of Law.