Greg Jarrett’s op-ed is must reading if you want to know the difference between the Democrats’ definition of impeachment and the Constitution’s definition of impeachment.
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution defines the basis for impeachment as an act of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Anything less than that is not an impeachable offense. Were it otherwise, those who authored that esteemed document would have so stated.
Sadly, then-Republican Rep. Gerald Ford, as House minority leader in 1970, forever mangled the impeachment provision when he mistakenly observed: “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
This was precisely what our framers did not intend. This is what they feared. They did not want a sitting president to be removed because a capricious Congress controlled by an opposing party disliked a chief executive or disagreed with his policies.
Republicans better get their act together on this. Democrats have declared war on President Trump and Republicans. Senate Republicans better prepare for warfare. They should opt to shut down the trial, if the House of Representatives approves articles of impeachment.
Here’s why: Nothing that President Trump has done comes close to meeting the constitutional test of “treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.” In fact, President Trump hasn’t come close to committing a crime, much less a high crime. When Bill Clinton was impeached, a grand jury identified a series of felonies that he’d committed.
Let’s remember that, in the end, President Clinton paid Paula Jones a small ton of money and surrendered his law license in Arkansas. He wouldn’t have had to do those things if he hadn’t initially been indicted.
Mentioning Biden’s name and Biden’s son’s name in the phone call with Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy wasn’t the best thing to do but it doesn’t come close to a high crime. That isn’t just my opinion. That’s Alan Dershowitz’s opinion, too.
The charade may eventually succeed in the House, where Democrats holds a comfortable advantage and a simple majority is all that is needed to impeach. But conviction in a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate will fail miserably because a two-thirds majority is constitutionally required.
This was the wisdom of the framers. They knew that unscrupulous politicians would inevitably try to subvert the democratic process for purely political reasons. The framers made it exceedingly difficult for such politicians to achieve that end.
I wrote about this recently because I’m convinced that governments shouldn’t be overthrown for “light and transient causes” any more than presidents should be impeached for light and transient causes. This isn’t a joke. This is serious stuff.
If, in addition to meddling, Ukraine possesses evidence that the former vice president’s bragging about a “quid pro quo” was a corrupt act intended to benefit his son by extorting $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds, it is incumbent on Trump to ask Zelensky to investigate. Biden isn’t entitled to a “get out of jail” free card simply because he is now running for president. Hillary Clinton coveted such a card, and it should never happen again.
Vice President Biden shouldn’t get that get-out-of-jail-free card because nobody is above the law, not even former vice presidents. This video sums things up nicely:
Hunter Biden was put on the board of Burisma Holdings and paid $83,000 a month for 5 years. What’s worse is that he didn’t have any expertise in the energy industry or in the Ukraine. Then, when investigators started checking out potential corruption, Vice President Biden threatened to pull $1,000,000,000 in loan guarantees from Burisma if Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general, wasn’t fired.
Impeachment is a political act because it involves the political branches of government. That being said, it also uses judicial principles if done properly. If articles of impeachment are passed on a straight party-line vote, Republicans should essentially throw the case out for not fitting the constitutional definition of impeachment.