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No president in US history was removed from office by impeachment.
Under the Constitution’s Article II, Section 4, impeachment and conviction require proving “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The Constitution’s Article I, Section 2 empowers House members to impeach a sitting president. Senate members alone are empowered to try them.
According to Law Professor Charles L. Black, obstruction of justice could be a justifiable ground for impeachment if “it occurs in connection with governmental matters, and when its perpetrator is the person principally charged with taking care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
According to the Ohio State Bar Association,
“any act that is intended to interfere with the administration of justice may constitute obstruction of justice.”
Examples include “any attempt to hinder the discovery, apprehension, conviction or punishment of anyone who has committed a crime.”
“The acts by which justice is obstructed may include bribery, murder, intimidation, and the use of physical force against witnesses, law enforcement officers or court officials.”
“The purpose may be to influence, delay or prevent the communication of information to law enforcement officers; to influence, delay or prevent court testimony; to alter or destroy evidence; or to evade a subpoena or similar court process.”
No legal basis exists for charging Trump with obstruction of justice. No evidence suggests it. Nothing indicates he or his team colluded improperly or illegally with anyone in Russia.
Anything related to his private sex life isn’t an impeachable offense. Nor are his views on any issues – no matter how extreme, offensive and unacceptable.
Only two presidents were impeached, neither convicted and removed from office. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment.
He was targeted for policies diverging from longstanding official ones, dark forces getting revenge by trumping up Watergate charges against him.
A similar plot is simmering to get Trump, wanting him impeached and removed from office for the wrong reasons, not the right ones.
Indicting a sitting president is another matter entirely. Nothing in the Constitution permits it. The supreme law of the land states:
“Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal of office.” It’s not a procedure to punish.
Knowledgable about parliamentary abuses of power, America’s framers limited impeachment to removal from office alone.
Indictments are about holding individuals accountable for unlawful acts. If removed from office, former presidents as private citizens can be charged with offenses, prosecuted and convicted – what never happened before in US history.
In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton said presidents “would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.”
If indicted while in office, a president would be unable to carry out his or her constitutional duties, notably if convicted and imprisoned.
Billionaire hedge fund manager connected to undemocratic Dems Tom Steyer spent millions of dollars on a campaign to impeach Trump and remove him from office, falsely saying:
He “brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the FBI and, in direct violation of the Constitution, has taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth.”
Trump called him “wacky and totally unhinged.” Wicked more aptly describes him. Reportedly he has presidential ambitions. Publicly he said he’s not ruling out a 2020 run.
Figures close to him indicated he intends to seek the presidency in 2020 if undemocratic Dems win majority House and Senate control in November, or close to it.
His Need to Impeach petition campaign got over 5.6 million signatures so far, stating: “We the people must impeach this president. Sign on now.”
According to an unnamed Dem donor,
“(t)here’s no secret he’s going to be running for president, especially if Democrats take the House.”
“Anyone who says this movement of his is purely about saving the country from Trump and not about any future political ambitions is just out of touch.”
Undemocratic Dems and media want Trump removed from office for the wrong reasons, not the right ones – further evidence that America’s political process is too debauched to fix.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]cglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Strategic Culture Foundation.