From left are UC San Diego’s Sarah Kachaluba, Rachel Klein and Rebecca Jo Plant, who signed letter. Photos via UCSD

At least three UC San Diego faculty members have joined more than 700 other historians in calling on Congress to impeach Donald Trump.

“President Trump’s actions committed both before and during the House investigations fit [Alexander] Hamilton’s description and manifest utter and deliberate scorn for the rule of law and ‘repeated injuries’ to constitutional democracy,” says the essay posted on Medium they’ve signed.

“That disregard continues and it constitutes a clear and present danger to the Constitution,” it added, reflecting a sentiment heard in a similar open letter signed by more than 850 law professors nationwide, including 11 from San Diego. (But that one called Trump’s conduct impeachable and didn’t necessarily urge his impeachment.)

The UCSD signers are:

Plant, who has taught at UCSD since 2002, is expert in 19th and 20th century U.S. women’s history and the histories of motherhood and childhood, according to her online bio.

Her book projects include one called “Child Soldiers: Militarism and American Youth from the Revolution through World War II” and another tentatively titled “Governing the Unconscious: American Psychiatry and War Trauma during World War II.”

On Tuesday, Plant said she signed the letter as a scholar of U.S. history an a concerned citizen, not as a representative or spokesperson for UCSD or her department.

“While I do not believe that signing the letter exposes me to any real professional risks, one of course always opens oneself to critiques or attacks when venturing an opinion on a controversial subject,” she said via email.

“I’ll just say that, as someone who has studied US history extensively, I think that when the dust settles and historians of the future look back on this moment, they will struggle to explain how so many people — especially those who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution — could defend behavior on the part of a president that is not just immoral and undignified, but that actively undermines the rule of law.”

Klein teaches U.S. cultural history from the 18th through the 19th centuries. Her publications dealt with the American South and the politics of slavery during the Revolutionary and “Early National Eras.”

According to opensecrets.org, Klein gave Sen. Angus King of Maine $250 in December 2017. King is an independent but caucuses with Democrats. Plant gave $250 to presidential nominee Barack Obama in September 2008, the same site says.

On LinkedIn, Kachaluba reports activism in Amnesty International, the League of Women Voters and the Democratic Party.

In November 2009, when she was a humanities librarian at Robert Manning Strozier Library at Florida State University, Kachaluba joined dozens of women’s rights advocates in signing a letter to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to investigate violations of women’s human rights in Honduras.

“We urge you to condemn the orchestrated campaign of violence against women being waged by the current de facto regime,” they wrote. “Finally, we urge you to insist on a withdrawal of armed forces from the streets, neighborhoods, and homes of Honduras.”

The New York Times reported Monday that Sean Wilentz, a professor of American history at Princeton, and Brenda Wineapple, author of a book on President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, drafted the statement and “sent it to a long list of historian friends.”

Among the more prominent signatories are documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and authors Robert Caro and Ron Chernow.

A floor vote on impeachment is expected Wednesday in the House of Representatives, where Democrats appear to have enough votes to send two articles to the Senate for trial.

Updated at 1:23 p.m. Dec. 17, 2019

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