WILL YOU COMMENT ON THE LEGALITY AND THE CURRENT IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS?
December 1, 2019 | View PDF
I am beginning to follow the impeachment issues a bit more closely as the House public hearings have begun. Possibly this ordeal will be over before you read this. I will do my best to comment on the process.
I think like myself most of the country foresees the outcome. The Democratic majority House of Representatives will vote to impeach the President, most because they dislike President Trump so much and not over the issues considered and the Republican majority Senate will vote not to remove him from office. Truly since my life began during the Presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, I have never seen such incivility and viciousness in our government.
Section. 4 of Article II reads: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Let’s break this down. So the President, etc. can be removed from office on impeachment and conviction. Article I of the Constitution, Section 2 reads, “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. So just as the American public is following, the House has begun its investigation. So the first possibility that can be an impeachable offense is treason. Treason is defined as one who betrays their own country, a traitor. I would say in no way is President Trump a traitor. Bribery is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as “the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty”. Well I think this one might be seen either way, it probably depends more on who voted for President Trump and who didn’t. Trump is a businessman and negotiator and its always been the way one attempts to have other countries to be friendly with us by promising something if the other country will provide some form of allegiance to us rather than the Russians, Chinese or other country less friendly to us. I think the argument of the Democrats is that he is making a personal gain in affecting Joe Biden’s son and thus Joe as a Presidential candidate. But we also have an American citizen that may be taking advantage of his father’s position to enrich himself. The Ukranians of course fear losing defense tools to ultimately help stave off Russian aggression instead of it potentially being done by Americans and escalating issues.
So what about high Crimes and Misdemeanors? History shows us that high Crimes and Misdemeanors don’t have to be crimes at all. In 1970, before President Gerald Ford was President and was the House Minority leader being involved in the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, Ford said, "An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” Makes it a bit scary and it seems it is coming back to haunt a Republican party President. The high Crimes and Misdemeanors language was used in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in that the charge was violation of the tenure of office act which the act would later be repealed. Johnson was impeached and fell only one vote short of being removed. Less than a decade earlier President Buchanan had been charged with corruption and the impeachment proceedings failed. President Clinton was impeached on perjury and obstruction of justice but of course was not removed by the Democratic majority Senate.
The House Judiciary Committee prepared in 1974 the Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment, which was the best publication on high Crimes and Misdemeanors until 2015 when Impeachment and Removal was published by the Congressional Research Service. My understanding is that House and Senate members have been scouring this book and any allied publications in order to follow correct protocol. With this being a relative rarity there are probably few legislators that may have experienced Bill Clinton’s proceedings.
At this point we have the testimony of two White House officials that were for some reason listening in on the conversation. I don’t know if it’s for future clarity or just as witnesses which we see can turn against you. We will see where this goes from here.
The word “impeachment” has been thrown around ever since President Trump was elected. There have been Presidents elected that I didn’t care for at all, the more recent caused my health insurance premiums to jump by leaps and bounds and has had a very hard impact on available disposable income. But there are things you do not do to one that you do not like, you either hope they are voted out or know that eight years is the maximum that you have to endure. If the Democratic leaders are way off base in proving that President Trump did wrong, then this may amount to a coupe such as seen in third world countries. Purely a way to undo an election by the people.
The one saving thought is that God allows or appoints those to lead and removes them at his pleasure; we see so many examples in the Bible. I think in years past we were blessed by some of our elected leaders but it seems over time and even more so now we often get leaders at various levels that are exactly what we deserve.
This article is informative only and not meant to be all inclusive. Additionally this article does not serve as legal advice to the reader and does not constitute an attorney- client relationship. The reader should seek counsel from their attorney should any questions exist.
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