“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.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 4
The Constitution sets forth the general principles which control the procedural aspects of impeachment, vesting the power to impeach in the House of Representatives, while imbuing the Senate with the power to try impeachments. Both the Senate and the House have designed procedures to implement these general principles in dealing with a wide range of impeachment issues.
Has no role in these procedures except as called upon for a Chief Justice to preside over any Senate hearings and decisions they make in the trial for impeachment.
In The Federalist, No. 65, Alexander Hamilton wrote that impeachment is “a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men.”
Words of Caution:
“A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.
The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs, speak for themselves. The difficulty of placing it rightly, in a government resting entirely on the basis of periodical elections, will as readily be perceived, when it is considered that the most conspicuous characters in it will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account, can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny.
House of Representatives:
The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials. The power of impeachment is limited to removal from office but also provides for a removed officer to be disqualified from holding future office. Fines and potential jail time for crimes committed while in office are left to civil courts.
An offense must be serious or substantial in nature to provide grounds for impeachment. This requirement flows from the language of the clause itself–“high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Although there is some authority to the contrary, it is generally accepted that the adjective “high” modifies “Misdemeanors” as well as “Crimes.” Impeachment–Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 682.
SERIOUS, IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE
one commentator has said:
To determine whether or not an act or a course of conduct is sufficient in law to support an impeachment, resort must be had to the eternal principles of right, applied to public propriety and civil morality. The offense must be prejudicial to the public interest and it must flow from a willful intent, or a reckless disregard of duty. . . . It may constitute an intentional violation of positive law, or it may be an official dereliction of commission or omission, a serious breach of moral obligation, or other gross impropriety of personal conduct that, in its natural consequences, tends to bring an office into contempt and disrepute.
Brown, The Impeachment of the Federal Judiciary, 26 Harv. L. Rev. 684,703, 704 (1912).
Well so far Trump has not broken nor disregarded any law with forethought, malice, or without first checking with a bevy of lawyers as to legality as far as we can tell.
The same cannot be said for Obama. Remember these? Operation Fast and Furious, DAPA, authorized a shipment of guns to the Syrian opposition, transference of funds out of agencies as cash millions to Iran and to Soros organizations, Operation Choke Point, IRS targeting of conservative organizations, Stripping all references to Islam and radicals out of federal agency and military manuals, Illegal Use of Tax Dollars to transport and settle illegal immigrants or refugees without state rebuttal, Intimidation of SCOTUS and DHS agents through public means (ie State of Union address and televised interview), Iran Deal, Benghazi, Use of Executive Orders and Executive Privilege to circumvent Second Amendment, Coordinating with UN to override US Laws, Sending FEMA to Russia for “Civil War” assistance agreement, Instructing Classified Clearance documents to be disseminated to many rather than only a few intelligence groups…..the list is far too long
The time when the offenses were committed is a factor to be taken into consideration. In 1973 the House declined to take any action on a request by Vice President Agnew for an investigation into allegations of impeachable offenses, where the offenses were not committed during his term of office as Vice President and where the offenses were pending before the courts. 93-1, Sept. 25, 1973, p 31368.
So Mueller fiddling with pre-oath activities and financial or other information concerning Trump is actually UNACCEPTABLE–so why are tax-payers continuing to pay him?
Exactly 100 years earlier, in a case that also involved the Vice President, the Committee on the Judiciary found that Schuyler Colfax could not be impeached for an alleged offense committed before his term of office as Vice President (the alleged conduct occurring while he was Speaker). 3 Hinds Sec. 2510.
Trump to date, except for running his mouth in a war against MSM, hasn’t broken any laws since January 20, 2017 and even in that it was not against the right of news to report but the right of the public to receive factual and truthful reports. Even in his Twitter battles against politicians, he has only been chiding their behavior not the right of them to speak. In fact most of his Twitter remarks especially those NOT reported correctly or at all by MSM are about positive things or serious national concerns such as voting fraud. They have all been found to be mostly if not completely correct. (collusion is subjective and could be applied to more than half of congress).
Impeachments have commonly involved charges of misconduct incompatible with the official position of the office holder. This conduct falls into three broad categories: (1) abusing or exceeding the lawful powers of the office; (2) behaving officially or personally in a manner grossly incompatible with the office; and (3) using the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.
See Deschler Ch 14 App. p 719
- Oh this one must be about One Man of Power bowing, kowtowing, and being subservient to a religious head of state right? But wait that wasn’t Trump, it was Obama.
- Was this one about castigating and ridiculing Americans when something didn’t fall in line with his opinion about guns, tragic targeted attacks, or Islam? Oh, no that wasn’t Trump. It was “Teacher Obama.”
- Was it about sending arms and aid to the armed radicals in the Middle East? No that wasn’t Trump. It was Obama.
- Was it about threatening a foreign ally not to do BREXIT or be sent to the back of the line for trade? Nope, not Trump. It was Obama.
- Was it speaking in front of the UN about how wonderful Islam is while chiding US citizens about how terrible they are? Definitely not Trump. It was Obama.
- Was it about how all the foreign dignitaries during his trip turned their backs and disrespected the President for his “soft touch”? Hell no, it wasn’t Trump (at least not yet). It definitely was Obama…..should I continue?
In the history of impeachments under the Constitution, the most closely debated issue has been whether impeachment is limited to offenses indictable under the criminal law–or at least to offenses that constitute crimes–or whether the word “Misdemeanors” in the impeachment clause extends to noncriminal misconduct as well. Although the precedents are not entirely uniform, the majority clearly favor the broader definition. As stated in the Ritter impeachment, the modern view is that the provision for impeachment in the Constitution applies not only to high crimes and misdemeanors as those words were understood at common law, but also to acts that, though not defined as criminal, adversely affect the public interest.
69-1, H. Rept. 69-653, pp 9, 10.
GW Bush administration characterized by significant income tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, the implementation of Medicare Part D in 2003, increased military spending for two wars, a housing bubble that contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-2008, and the Great Recession that followed. Economic performance during the period was adversely affected by two recessions, in 2001 and 2007-2009. Stock market – 4.6% annual losses suffered by the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks. But he was appreciated for ushering in “civility”.
Obama administration added over $9 trillion in debt in eight years, opened the borders to mass illegal immigration, and brought in hundred or more thousands of refugees than had been authorized by congress. Economic recovery under President Obama was sluggish and underwhelming. U.S. equities surged 12% a year, not counting dividends, in what turned out to be the second-longest bull market in history. During his eight years, Obama managed to alienate nearly half of the country with his policies and stand on issues while bringing into the limelight the rights and overly sex-driven attitudes of less than 5% of the nation. He drove a wedge between ethnic, religious, and racial groups that until then had begun to change for the better.
Trump ushered in a combative attitude where needs of the majority of the people of the US took precedent over the rights of a few or definitely foreign powers. His bombastic attitude and determination to right all the wrongs of politicians has clashed. Where taxes, healthcare, national security, and incomes were concerned he has managed so far to have success in eliminating many regulations which had their source not in congressional debate but within the halls of agencies whose agenda coincided with Obama plan. He has yet to eliminate Obamacare and set up a new health plan because of congressional delays and deliberately combative attitudes. Taxes have been on the back burner not because congress wasn’t in session but because liberals and Democrats had decided that they would be divisive and instigate a soft coup. Stock market according to Wilbur Ross had unleashed $4 trillion in stock market gains from January to June. Judgement is still out on how many actual jobs have been added though figures do show a rise in employment.
So this may still be an area of contention. However, the proper way to look at this is that it is the PUBLIC INTEREST and still nearly half of the citizens have no doubt that he is acting in the public interest of citizens of the sovereign country of the United States–not socialists who are unlawfully pushing for a Marxist government or individuals in congress who have their own best interests, finances and illegal activities at stake.
The historical evidence establishes that the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors”–which over a period of centuries evolved into the English standard of impeachable conduct–had a special and distinctive meaning, and referred to a category of offenses that subverted the system of govern.
The theory of the proponents of impeachment of President Johnson was succinctly put by one of the managers in the Senate trial:
An impeachable high crime or misdemeanor is one in its nature or consequences subversive of some fundamental or essential principle of government or highly prejudicial to the public interest, and this may consist of a violation of the Constitution, of law, of an official oath, or of duty, by an act committed or omitted, or, without violating a positive law, by the abuse of discretionary powers from improper motives or for an improper purpose.
The Constitution of the United States of America–Analysis and Interpretation, p 558, Government Printing Office, 1992.
Well where was congress and their rants on this one during the Obama years? Amazing how the general public was demanding impeachment on these issues and yet congress and MSM stood quietly by allowing him full reign.
So there are the facts and in red are my opinions, what say you…Has Trump done enough to be impeached or are those whose names sign off on the impeachment documents the ones that need to be removed from their positions since they don’t seem to grasp the laws and rules of impeachment but instead are determined to destroy a sitting president duly elected by the citizens of our sovereign nation? Or am I totally off base?