In a previous post in these pages, your humble servant opined that congressional Republicans would begin to abandon ship if the allegations of President Trump’s extortion attempt on the president of Ukraine were fleshed out.  Alas, it now appears that confirmation bias will carry the day.
Right now it isn’t clear whether the defense will be that Trump did not engage in the actions alleged, or that he did so but that his actions were legitimate. Either way, the zeitgeist appears to be that he will be impeached in the Democratic House but acquitted by the Republican controlled Senate.
But the Democrats don’t need to put all of their impeachment eggs in the extortion basket. All they need to show is that the President engaged in some sort of high crime or misdemeanor. 
Well, how about the fact that “Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation [the Donald J. Trump Foundation] to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents” by The Washington Post.
“Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four…documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against ‘self-dealing’ — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.
“In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the height of a flagpole.
“In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.
“In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.
“In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.” 
This behavior was blatant. Mr. Trump basically stole from his non-profit foundation. As The Washington Post further reported,
“‘I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,’ said Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Venable law firm in Washington. After The Washington Post described the details of these Trump Foundation gifts, Tenenbaum described them as ‘really shocking.’
“‘If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in awhile,’ Tenenbaum said.”
It’s true that Trump engaged in this activity before he was President. But so what? The Constitution doesn’t require that impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors must be committed while in office. And how are Trump’s partisans going to defend this?
If House Democrats think that what they’re doing is worthwhile, they should not sacrifice thoroughness for speed. They’re going to need an airtight case if they don’t want the impeachment to die in the Republican controlled Senate. Trump’s misuse of the funds of his non-profit is going to have to be an article of impeachment. And the matter is going to have to be investigated sufficiently to be tried before the Senate.