The political and media frenzy to impeach President Trump has reached a fever pitch.
The innuendoes … the distortions … the false and misleading accusations, information and statements … are dividing the country.
In a new poll, 40% of voters believe President Trump is the victim of a political “lynching” … but 54% of voters disagree.
So, what IS impeachment exactly … and when should it happen?
Here are 6 things you should know:
1. Impeachment and removal from office are two different things.
The causes for impeachment at the federal level are listed in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, which states:
“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.”
Impeachment is carried out in the House of Representatives according to Article 1, Section 2…
It is similar to an indictment by a grand jury. It’s a formal charge of wrongdoing that is considered worthy of removal from office.
The impeachment trial – concluding with either acquittal or conviction – is carried out in the Senate as required by Article I, Section 3.
In cases of impeachment of the president or vice president, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial in the Senate. In all other cases of impeachment, the President of the Senate – the Vice President of the U.S. – presides over the trial.
Each article of impeachment referred to the Senate from the House is considered separately – just like each “count” in a trial on criminal behavior.
A two-thirds majority vote “of the Members present” in the Senate is required for conviction on each article of impeachment referred by the House.
2. The process of impeachment in the House is determined by House rules.
There has been much controversy over the secrecy and the lack of due process in the current impeachment inquiry that has been taking place behind closed doors in the House Intelligence Committee.
Unfortunately for Republicans, the Democrats get to make the rules since they control the House … and all committees in the House.
This doesn’t give them the right to trample on the due process rights of minority members … but sometimes this happens.
In past presidential impeachment inquiries (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton), the full House first voted to authorize a committee or committees – usually the House Judiciary Committee – to conduct the inquiry.
This has not happened in the Trump impeachment inquiry.
Past presidential impeachment inquiries have been open and public, with:
- The president’s legal team allowed to be present
- Both the chairman of the committee and the ranking member of the committee having subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify
- All members of the committee from the opposition party allowed to cross-examine witnesses
- Transcripts of the proceedings made available to all members of the House … and to the public
In the President Trump impeachment inquiry, none of the above due process requirements have been met – at least not yet.
After the inquiry is complete and Articles of Impeachment are formally drawn up, the full House of Representatives votes separately on each Article. A simple majority vote is required for impeachment.
3. The case for impeachment: Treason is defined in the Constitution; high crimes and misdemeanors is not.
Treason is clearly defined in Article III, Section 3:
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
- Regarding high crimes and misdemeanors, the founders seemed to have a broader view of the term than just criminal conduct…
For example, in Federalist 65, Alexander Hamilton noted that impeachment could be based on “the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”
In the past, Congress has identified three general types of conduct that could constitute grounds for impeachment:
- improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office
- behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office
- misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain
President Trump has been accused of all three of the above types of conduct. However, if you think about it, many past U.S. presidents could have been accused of at least one – if not all three – of these types of conduct … including President Trump’s immediate predecessor!
4. The Deep State has wanted President Trump removed from office since the day of his inauguration.
On January 20, 2017 – the day President Trump was inaugurated – the Washington Post published a story with the following headline:
The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun
The U.S. intelligence agencies tried to destroy Trump during the 2016 election campaign…
When that failed, they attempted a political coup to nullify the 2016 election and disenfranchise 63 million voters … and subvert the electoral college vote.
How did they attempt it?
- They created an unprecedented number of classified leaks to damage President Trump’s credibility.
- They sabotaged meetings and ignored executive orders and policies.
- They issued government reports undermining the president.
- They have engaged in partisan political activity using taxpayer money.
- They have subverted and refused to follow Trump’s executive orders and policies.
5. Why Donald Trump is hated so much by so many career politicians and bureaucrats.
- He is the epitome of a political outsider – he never held any public office before being elected president.
- He’s not in the pocket of the lobbyists – he doesn’t owe them any favors in exchange for campaign contributions. (See chapter 7 of my book, The Deep State: 15 Surprising Dangers You Should Know – “K Street and the Lobbyists: The Invisible Deep State Support Network”) www.deepstatebook.com
- He is not a globalist – he puts U.S. interests first.
- He doesn’t cave in to the Washington political establishment – they can’t control what he says or what he does. He even uses social media to communicate directly to the American people … and to bypass the media.
6. Should President Trump be impeached?
Most rational, reasonably thinking people from both sides of the political aisle say No…
Ken Starr –
the special independent counsel who investigated the Bill Clinton-Monica
Lewinsky scandal and brought articles of impeachment against President
Clinton in 1998 – says, “Impeachment is hell.”
He believes it’s a wrenching experience to put the American people through … and Congress should be very hesitant to resort to it.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz – a lifelong Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter in 2016 – never has and still does not support the impeachment of President Trump.
He has written a book, The Case Against Impeaching President Trump.
Watch this video of Dershowitz arguing that impeaching Trump would put Congress above the law (3 ¾ minutes).
Watch this short video clip of Ken Starr warning that Congress should be very careful and cautious in deciding to impeach the President of the United States (37 seconds).
Watch this video in which Tucker Carlson breaks down the real “impeachable offense” for which establishment politicians want to remove President Trump from office: he disagrees with the political establishment’s foreign policy goals with respect to Russia and Ukraine (5 ¾ minutes).
What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the rest of this week’s articles:
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