Impeachment…

| January 21, 2020

Chucky Schumer

Veritas Omnia Vincit has taken some time from his busy schedule to give us a write up on the how’s and why’s of the evolution the impeachment process, who was for and who against. Losing the term “Maladministration” for “Misdemeanors” was in my opinion a wise move, as any administration can be accused of bad performance. Even Administrators *cough* here at TAH…

…as envisioned by the founders.

VOV

AW1ED had suggested the Federalist Papers as a series of articles when I finished the first ten amendments this past summer, it’s a worthy project and one I hope to get to at some point in the future. For now my random attempts at revealing the thoughts of the founders on some current events will have to suffice, although for those Federalist Paper fans impeachment is indeed Hamilton’s subject in number 65 for those interested.

It should be noted that Governor Morris and Charles Pinckney both hated the idea of impeachment originally. For Morris it was a concern that the process of impeachment if abused could force a president to feel beholden to the body which had the power to impeach him and thus render the Executive as nothing more than a tool of a faction in that body. An interesting perspective at that time and perhaps one that resonates a bit today. Hamilton and Madison both found the idea of impeachment an absolute necessity to prevent the abuse of presidential power. When questioned on the subject Benjamin Franklin was rather frank in his support of the impeachment clause, he stated it was far more preferable to the traditional way of removing of removing those who abuse power which was death in Britain and Europe and, to be honest, most of the world.

Eventually Madison would sway Morris to change his thinking and support the process largely due to the concept that no man, including a president, should be above the law in a nation to be founded on law and orderly transition of power. It’s interesting to note the original draft used the term “maladministration” and was written as Treason, Bribery, or Maladministration. That last word was unsettling to many of the founders and George Mason borrowed from the English proceeding to alter that to the ratified version of Treason, Bribery, and High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Also interesting to note that the Supreme Court was considered as the place of trial originally and that was altered for a couple of reasons, the first being that something as important as removal of the Executive should rely on more than a few justices, and second that after removal those same judges might find themselves also ruling on the subsequent criminal trials of that Executive who had been removed clearly creating a serious conflict of interest which would damage the public trust. Hamilton was the primary voice driving the shift from the Supreme Court to the Senate which he also felt by requiring a two thirds majority would tend to negate purely politically motivated impeachment trials from destroying a presidency.

The Founders truly believed that by and large the voting public would hold their elected officials accountable on Election Day. Removing those they felt no longer represented the public interest or those who no longer held the public trust. I suspect they could not have envisioned the effect of mass media on creating what should be an important exercise of the intellectual capacity of the electorate into nothing more than a popularity contest driven largely by candidates offering a variety of “free” benefits to various elements of our society. Because they had risked everything to create this nation they did not necessarily anticipate the apathy of those who for over a century have risked nothing to maintain their freedom or the integrity of their nation and its politicians. They anticipated a nation of interested, concerned citizens intent on pursuing the type of government that represented the majority of societal views of the day as opposed to the power of money to drive single issue politics as a wedge to disrupt society into smaller elements incapable of unseating incumbents on their own.

Today, almost two hundred and forty four years later, we find ourselves in a uniquely political scenario where the legal concepts on both sides will perhaps define the future use of impeachment for generations.

As someone often more interested in the process than the particular participants I find this current process absolutely fascinating. The House subpoenas at the center of the obstruction charge were subpoenas issued that directly prohibited agency counsel from appearing with the witnesses and only granted those witnesses the presence of personal counsel. That’s an interesting aspect of this case as at the end of the 2016 Obama presidential term the Office of Legal Counsel noted that in the case of Congressional subpoenas the prohibition of agency counsel raised serious constitutional concerns that undermined the President’s power to assert executive privilege where appropriate as the personal counsel of those witnesses would have no idea which areas of agency information were classified or inappropriate in a public forum.

How the Senate now chooses to consider the witnesses, those House subpoenas, and the OLC opinion become very interesting and might be litigated should they choose to allow the witnesses without agency counsel. Not that it changes the likely outcome of any Senate proceeding, but it might set some precedent for future impeachment proceedings.

The next few days should prove most interesting.

For those interested in the legal concepts Lawfare has an excellent piece on all of them at this link: Lawfare Blog: Impeachment and Constitutional Conflict

It’s most interesting and worth your time if you are bored, or need something besides Ambient to help you sleep….

As always thanks for reading, I appreciate your thoughts.
VoV

Thanks again, VOV. Looking forward to your next effort.

Category: Guest Post, Politics, The Constitution

Comments (31)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Well I see no one was in an itching hurry to get over here and comment so I guess I’ll go FIRST. Maybe they are typing as I am and will get to it. Or, they having so much fun Hogging on the other thread they can’t turn loose? Or, they still recovering from the summer school classes on the Amendments? Either way, you done good VoV, a very good synopsis and good read. Thanks! I read into some of the Federalist Papers just to refresh my memory banks a bit.

    We are seeing just now one of the things that the whole process of impeachment was designed to do. Protect the President from a strictly political attack. It is a freaking joke and the only “crime” that Trump is guilty of is “The Bitch of Benghazi didn’t get her turn” and “He hurt out feelings.” These mofos are circling the wagons to protect that sleaze bag Quid pro Joe, his coke headed spawn, and the skank of the house, Pigolosi. What a freaking waste of MY money.

  2. GDContractor says:

    I would submit that the process would have an entirely different flavor if the 17th Amendment did not exist.

  3. Skippy says:

    This is never going to stop until people are held accountable for what happened in 2016
    Instead the Clinton investigation was recently
    And may we say quietly closed down
    Heaven forbid we upset the base
    And the mess from 2016 is starting to look like
    It’s being swept under the rug quietly
    Trump is a idiot and it shows here
    I know plenty of people like me and many who were
    Trump supporters who are at the crossroads
    It’s time to “put up or shut up”
    By team trump
    the only reason why I would vote for this idiot again
    Is because everyone on the other side is truly
    bat shit crazy it’s definitely time for a
    3rd party candidate the only true republicans I’ve seen so far seem to be in the house
    A few in the senate the rest are a bunch of dirty rats
    Remember it’s the independents aka middle of the road from both sides who will decide the next election then the low info voters come to play
    This one group
    Will make or break the senate and house races
    So far the GOP is doing what they always do
    Find a hole and stick there head in it
    The next election is less then 300 days away
    It’s amazing isn’t it

    • David says:

      “the only reason why I would vote for this idiot again
      “Is because everyone on the other side is truly bat shit crazy it’s definitely time for a 3rd party candidate”
      Yes, they are truly batshit crazy. Now name that 3rd party candidate… we’ll wait. Meanwhile, compared to Bernie, Lizzie, Bloomberg, and the rest, Trump reluctantly still gets my Vote Against Them.

  4. Roh-Dog says:

    There’s a faction in the District of Criminality that is currently working to drastically change the course of this nation’s history. Already they’ve thrown prudence to the wind and are hellbent on destruction of Executive Privilege.
    Facts:
    -The President released the aid
    -At the direction of the President, after reassurance from the newly-elected Ukrainian president about allocation of aid, military aid WAS released, INCLUDING lethal aid WHICH the prior administration restricted by using EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE.
    -At no point did any court compel the President to offer documents requested by the House’s ‘investigation’, ergo the President can not ‘obstruct’ a damn thing.
    -After illegal wiretapping of the Trump campaign, no evidence was presented against the President.
    -It is the prevue of the Executive Branch to root out misallocation of aid AND directing investigations of US citizens conducting illegal activities outside of the United States with certain qualifiers.
    -This is a coup.*
    -Democrats sit down to pee.*

    Many flapping gums of politicos, manufacturing ‘evidence’ based on their feelings, hearsay and leaping to conclusions.
    F*ck this whole sham!!!!

    (*denotes theory, ain’t nothin wrong sitting to pee iffn your plumbing dictates that action)

  5. Poetrooper says:

    “Not that it changes the likely outcome of any Senate proceeding, but it might set some precedent for future impeachment proceedings.”

    That would be well and good if it weren’t for the fact that hypocrites tend to shun precedent when it does not favor them, and there are no more brazen hypocrites in existence than contemporary Democrats.

    This is being clearly demonstrated in the extant case where they seek to ignore the precedents of the Clinton impeachment trial. Precedents are rules and ALL rules are worthless if only one side agrees to abide by them.

    • Skippy says:

      What do you think the odds are he’ll start to drain the swamp ????
      I’m still waiting for there lame duck reason
      For why they are taking a hands off approach
      To the Clinton crime family
      What happened to holding these people accountable for what happened in 2016
      Are we now going to bury our heads in the ground on that issue too ???
      Because the Democrats are never going to stop until people are held accountable
      I’m still waiting for the Durham to do something
      Rumor has it they are doing a excellent job
      Of playing cover for Obama and his DOJ
      How much longer before justice is served

      • OldManchu says:

        I’ve been reading your posts… and your comments confirm my worst fear. Keep it up because the questions you pose are very much lingering in the minds of many others including myself.

        • Skippy says:

          I’m feed up with the lack of action
          From this administration
          And many others I know are to
          When is justice going to be served
          My comment reflects confusion
          Because many promises have been
          Made none have been followed
          Through. I’m still the same ole me
          But I’m stunned at the lack of action
          On what has happened.
          I’ve been helping some folks doing out reach for the next election
          The area I live in should be solid
          Republican but instead a lot of these people around here
          Are starting to question the lack of action cleaning house and they bring up good questions
          2020 should be a landslide year
          Not a nail biter

        • Skippy says:

          One more thought
          Pencil neck should be facing
          Prison time instead of another
          Shit show in the senate
          People are facing it for far less
          I’m sick and tired of the swamp
          Not getting drained

          • OWB says:

            He must be doing something right or they would not have done this impeachment thing. He apparently is more than just an inconvenience to the swamp. A real threat? Looks like from here.

  6. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    The Donks said that Impeachment is a political process.

    Now they will get “political process”, good and hard.

    -Naturally- they will bitch about it. “Unfair!” that they have to live by the rules they foist on others “Unfair!”

    Give them “political process”. No grease.

  7. GDContractor says:

    I don’t know if any of you dickweeds use Twitter, but it’s a solid platform to find news, at least 12 hours before the networks pick it up.

    Basically, Iran is HOT…meaning I think they have a fire going that the mullahs will not be able to put out.

    Last week, there were multitudes of posts by Iranians with the hash tag #PelosiFakeNews. They HATE Pelosi for not supporting or even acknowledging their protests and struggle.

    Today I’m noticing #RussiaLeaveIran. They hate the rooskies too and want them OUT.

    Also, today, for the first time, I’m seeing a lot of #MIGA. Make Iran Great Again! (Not to be confoosed with TexMex “Migas”, which I also love).

    It seems to me that if the regular citizens of Iran had a say in this impeachment process, the Democrats would not fare well.

    Oh well. Just wanted to share #MIGA with the #MAGA crowd. We live in interesting times.

  8. Slow Joe says:

    We need term limits for all those people in Congress.

    When people ask me, “if you could change anything in the Constitution what would be?”

    I would add two things:

    -Term limits for everybody, limited to two terms.
    -Free Market Capitalism as our mandatory economic system.

  9. Thunderstixx says:

    Read this about what is really going on.
    All the posturing in the world won’t change one simple fact, America belongs to the People of the United States and not the bureaucrats, deepstaters and general morons that are currently inhabiting the hallowed halls of our government.
    Trump is no idiot, I may not make any friends here by saying that, but I sincerely doubt that any of us could hold a candle to his intelligence level. He plays 3-D chess and all his opponents on the right or left are stuck playing Chinese checkers…
    Sorry, but I call ’em like I see ’em.
    This is a great read and indicative of the sea change currently underway across the world, yes, the world…
    You have to step back and look at the big picture to see what Trump is really doing. Trump is a big picture guy, This great article explains a lot of it better than I ever could.
    Besides….
    We’re all DOOMED !!!!

    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/01/impeachment-end-era-conservative-challenge-donald-devine.html

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      That’s a good read. Thanks for the link.

    • OWB says:

      No, YOU’RE doomed, T…

      (Really? I need to identify that as sarc???)

    • David says:

      Guess I am in a humorless mood: if he is so goddamned brilliant, why has nothing been done to clean up Justice? Remember Fast and the Furious? Benghazi? Obamacare? All things he not only promised to fix but hasn’t even attempted to address, along with many more. 3D chess? More like just another mediocre checkers player reacting to opponents’ moves rather than taking the initiative. And I would match any number of folks’ intelligence here against him, any day of the week – none of them seem to step on their dicks on Twitter on anywhere near as such a routine basis. To me, he is at best the least worst of a slimy lot, and not by a huge margin.

      • Thunderstixx says:

        Yeah, yeah, yeah…
        Everybody knows better how to get rid of the deep state better than Trump does.
        Everybody is smarter than him and everything they want done should have been done twenty minutes after he was inaugurated…
        And remember the Bush and Rove administration and how they handled the fighting in Iraq etc by not fighting back ???
        You really want to go back to agreeing with the libturds, accepting their way of thinking and accepting their stupid programs and such, really ???
        I’m glad he fights back and I would bet dollars to donuts that you have been looking for someone that will fight back against the stupidity of the d-rats…
        You can’t have it both ways.
        I love it when he steps all over them with his tweets. Those clowns don’t know whether to shit or go blind when they are dealing with him.
        Look at all he has gotten done, oodles and oodles of regulations killed, Conservative judges appointed to the Federal Bench by the hundreds, the EPA has been gutted and he’s begun moving lots of DC swamp creatures out of DC if they still want to work for the various government agencies that are being removed from DC, Virginia etc ???
        Geez man, sit back, take a break and pull up a bowl of Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn and watch the fur fly.
        Just remember, Ron Paul gave us oblowme by diverting lots of votes from McCain and Romney…
        I’m not sure how to come down on those two candidates, but the fact stands on its own that had Ron Paul not run either one of those two could have won…
        Chill out, relax and be thankful that we FINALLY have a businessman that is actually running the country like a business.
        This isn’t personal, I just want people to look at the bright side of all that Trump has done, and the list is long. If we get him back, the d-rats know they won’t stand a chance on getting him out, no matter what…
        Myself, I will lowcrawl through an old Nazi minefield to vote for him, as will many others here.
        Then there’s larsy-boi pulling to get him out of office by singing Kum By Yah every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner !!!

  10. OWB says:

    Not sure which was sadder: the House Managers or the talking heads trying to make something worthy of reporting out of it. Took as much as I could stomach.

    Is there a medal for watching this crap? Kinda feel like we who are paying for it should at least tune in for some of it, but can think of a whole lot of things that would be much more entertaining. And comfortable. It feels like watching moments among families which should be private moments of raw emotion. Or just plain silly. Maybe both.

    • Skippy says:

      You know it’s bad when most of the senate is a no-show or taking a nap
      While these morons are running there traps