Impeachment

Justin Amash Is Right About Impeachable Conduct

The grounds for removing a president extend beyond statutory violations that could be proven in a criminal trial.

|

Justin Amash thinks Donald Trump is guilty of "impeachable conduct," and he is absolutely right. Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a point the president's defenders and some of his critics seem determined to obscure.

The House impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath about oral sex, and the conduct described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report is more troubling and consequential, even if it does not amount to a crime that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. When Amash, a five-term Michigan congressman, became the first Republican legislator to make that point, the reaction revealed how determined his colleagues are to evade their responsibilities.

Mitt Romney, the Utah senator and former Republican presidential nominee who a month ago said he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection" detailed by Mueller, this week praised Amash's "courageous statement" but added that he disagreed with his conclusion. Romney argued that "you just don't have the elements" to "make a case for obstruction of justice."

The Mueller report actually makes a strong case that at least some of Trump's attempts to interfere with the investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election involved the three elements of obstruction: an obstructive act, a nexus to an official proceeding, and a corrupt intent. When Trump tried to stop the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser, repeatedly demanded Mueller's removal, pressed White House Counsel Donald McGahn to deny that Trump had tried to fire Mueller, urged his attorney general to take control of the Russia investigation and limit its scope, and discouraged witnesses from cooperating with it, he arguably met all three criteria.

Mueller unambiguously rejected the view, advocated by Trump's lawyers and Attorney General William Barr, that the president cannot obstruct justice by exercising his otherwise lawful constitutional powers, which include control of the Justice Department. But even if you accept that theory, it does not cover Trump's public and private attempts to influence the testimony of witnesses such as McGahn, his former lawyer Michael Cohen, and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The fact that Trump's frequently clumsy efforts to impede federal investigations were mostly unsuccessful (mainly because of resistance by his underlings) does not get him off the hook, since attempted obstruction is also a crime. Nor does it matter that Mueller ultimately found no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign illegally conspired with Russian agents. Trump himself did not know the answer to that question in advance, and in any case he may have been motivated by a desire to prevent revelations that could prove embarrassing and politically damaging.

More to the point, as Amash noted, the "high crimes and misdemeanors" that justify impeachment extend beyond provable statutory violations to abuses of power that betray the public trust. Trump's own lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, last year conceded that it "would just be unthinkable" for Trump to pardon himself, which "would lead to probably an immediate impeachment," even though the Constitution imposes no limits on the pardon power.

Congress might reasonably conclude that a president who uses his powers to protect himself in a less dramatic way—say, by repeatedly interfering with an investigation of his own actions—is unfit for office. Perhaps the norm of avoiding even the appearance of such interference is worth preserving, whether or not it is legally required.

Romney argues that impeachment would be unwise in terms of "practicality and politics," since "the American people just aren't there" and the Republican-controlled Senate, which would conduct the trial that follows impeachment by the House, "is certainly not there either." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is discouraging her fellow Democrats from pursuing impeachment, seems to have reached a similar conclusion.

It is hard to argue with that political calculation. But members of both parties may come to regret the signal they are sending about the sort of presidential behavior Congress is willing to tolerate.

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: In Money We Trust?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They should all be much more worried about the surveillance state, because any one of them could be its next target.

    1. That is the much bigger issue. It appears the entire collusion investigation will make Nixon look like a jaywalker in comparison.

      1. Those Deep State bureaucrats who tried to coup Trump perpetrated something far worse than Nixon could have pulled off.

        1. In hindsight for the public, we have found out that the investigation was a sham. Trump, being the central figure, knew this at the beginning. He should have shut down the investigation that had significant ramifications for the country (such as negotiations with North Korea) from the get-go. Of course, that would have “looked bad”, so he let it proceed and was exonerated.

          Amash, for example, complains that Trump asked Sessions to un-recuse himself. Trump certainly can ask. Lots of people said that the recusal was unnecessary. Sessions was the top lawyer of the country and Trump’s AG. Trump asking a question is NOT a high crime or misdemeanor.

          1. @MarioLanza: Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. High crimes and misdemeanors are whatever Congress defines them to be.

      2. That’s my take on all this. Especially going after his tax records from prior to his term of office. It reeks of desperation on the part of the Dems. I’m not sure they know what Barr’s investigation is going to find, but I think they fear the worst.

        Going to the mattresses is one thing, Kami Kaze is something else entirely.

    2. They’re the current target, and know it, and know they’re too dirty to challenge it.

    3. 100% in agreement. The abuse of power exhibited by Comey, Brennan, Obama and his underlings is far more troubling. Somehow Trump ranting about the possible conflict of interest Mueller might have or that firing Comey after being advised to do so by the DAG certainly doesn’t rise to serious obstruction. I would argue that Hillary’s ankles are much more obstructing than anything Trump has done. Oh but wait yes I keep forgetting that the disgraceful Libertarian candidate W. Weld was a Hillary fan. God I can’t believe I voted for that ticket.
      Progressive-ism alive and well in the Libertarian ranks.

  2. Anyone seen Remy recently? He could probably do a great Amash impression.

    1. +100

  3. Behind this is the intent. From the bits and pieces I’ve gleaned, much of it appears to have been more about being able to move his administration forward without myriad distractions. That certainly doesn’t absolve him, but it doesn’t make him out to be the exact devil so many wish him to be.

    And this would be horrible if he were impeached in terms of splitting the country. Any animosity seen now would grow ten fold in both sides with both believing they are right. And to what end? The only person happy with that would be Pat Robertson.

    Here’s a question I’m too lazy to search for the answer. If impeached in their first term, can someone run for president again?

    1. Because I think it is obtuse. I mean Pat Robertson would be happy with Pence.

      1. Even though Pelosi is 2nd in succession, she is unwilling to risk impeaching Trump and Pence so she could be president.

        It is tempting with Hillary squawking in her ear to be named VP to Pelosi.

        1. I don’t believe that is possible. If Trump were removed from office, Pence would immediately name a vice president. If there was an attempt to remove both simultaneously, for the sole purpose of inserting ANY democrat (Pelosi or whatever surrogate was desired), it would result in a revolution.

          1. Not a revolution, the destruction of a failed coup.

            Lamp posts.

            1. +100

          2. If Pence became President, a new Vice President would have to be confirmed by both the House and Senate. Easy enough in the Senate, but don’t you think we’d see the McConnell nee Biden rule be evoked in the House, you know, this close to the election??

            Or maybe Merrick Garland could apply

        2. For Christ sakes do any of you so-called Libertarians have any shame?

          1. Why do you ask? Because, even if they dislike the President, they are unwilling to allow unlawful and unconstitutional conduct to remove him? That seems fairly principled to me.

    2. “If impeached in their first term, can someone run for president again?”

      That’s a novel question! I would imagine so, but it would obviously be pretty weird.

    3. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.
      Not if the Senate convicts.

      1. Not entirely the case. Alcee Hastings was impeached and removed from office when he was a judge, for taking bribes. He’s now a representative.

    4. “much of it appears to have been more about being able to move his administration forward without myriad distractions.”

      Every Presidential administration faces some type of headwind. You simple have to put your head down and keep moving. President Trump seemed to think he was entitled to not face this type of scrutiny. His administration brought this on with its close ties to Russia and tried to address the problem with obstruction. I don’t want impeachment, but I think we all have a right to a full explanation of what happened and why. Then we can decide in 2020 if we want to keep this President.

      1. Not quite.

        The criticism he faced was not about how Russia may have, on their own, involved themselves in our election. The criticism HE faced was that HE was a willing and active participant in their endeavors. I have no reason to think he would have had a problem of investigating troll farms and dank memes on FB if that’s all it was. But it wasn’t… it was a purposeful and, based on what evidence we do have, concocted story about his involvement with Russia regarding his election. THAT sort of “headwind” is not normal in the slightest. And a desire to get rid of THAT story is completely rational if you, the victim of it, knew it was bogus from the get go and that it was severely undermining your ability to do the job you were chosen to do.

        Don’t get me wrong… the dude done screwed up a ton. He’s a buffoon and I don’t particularly like him. But as the old saying goes, why attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity.

        1. Don’t get me wrong… the dude done screwed up a ton. He’s a buffoon and I don’t particularly like him. But as the old saying goes, why attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity.

          There’s also an added dimension of his political vs. private and ex post facto… buffoonery. Having Russian nationals as legal advisers or business partners may not be wise, but it’s certainly not illegal and, unless we’re going to start doing some very different things with immigration policy (How distantly related to foreign “oligarchs” do you have to be before being allowed to vote or run for office?), not grounds to disqualify someone from running for President.

          Private individuals don’t have full access to US intelligence to know which natives and foreign nationals are, or were, in the employ of foreign powers and which ones aren’t and the idea that we should select or disqualify citizens/candidates based on their subscription to USINT groupthink itself carries some rather obviously bad implications.

        2. I think there’s another thing to this. Trump knew the accusations against him conspiring with Russia were nonsense. Knew as only he could know beyond a shadow of a doubt. After all, it was about actions that he clearly didn’t take. However, it was declared on international television as a proven fact for this.

          Investigation of this clearly would make him angry, and we know Trump doesn’t have a quiet temper. Anger at an investigation wasting time on things that he clearly knew did not happen. Cutting short time and money that you know are being wasted is generally a good thing. Sorry, but I cannot fault him for any of his minor interferences.

          1. The other compelling thing to consider is that Trump also thought / knew he was not going to get a fair review from the DOJ & FBI since senior people in both were actors in the construction of the campaign against him.

            It may not be morally right or legal to obstruct in that case, but it’s certainly an understandable path to take.

      2. Did you read the Mueller report? Close ties with Russia? How close were they? Closer than Hillary and Bill’s ties to China?
        Do you think the Russians really impacted the election?
        All just Unicorns and Santa Claus … there must be a wing of the Libertarian party that includes those with IQ’s in the single digits

        1. Hillary and Bill took money from the Russians. It’s in their Foundation’s records. Trump not so much.

    5. Impeaching him would be a bad idea for many reasons. It would also be a great boon to his reelection campaign. He’d be able to play the victim and his constituents would eat it up. And he’d never be convicted in the Senate, so it would just be a big, distracting show trial rehashing everything we already know about him, much of which is what got him elected in the first place.

    6. Impeachment is simply bringing charges against a President. It doesn’t mean he’s convicted. If he’s cleared or found not guilty he can run again if eligible.
      Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 but found not guilty by the Senate. After his term ended he sought the nomination of the Democratic Party for the presidency but was defeated by Horatio Seymour who lost to Grant.

    7. Only shitheads are discussing impeachment.

      First, you have to have a sufficient level of criminal activity, which this isn’t.

      Then, you have to prove it to the RNC controlled Senate.

      Then, they most likely “censure” him, meaning nothing.

      Worst case, if you do manage to get him removed, is President Mike Pence, and if you don’t like President Donald Trump, you will not like President Mike Pence even more.

      Shitheads will be shitheads, though. Especially Libertarians who’ve gone soft and become liberals.

  4. It’s really sad to see reason to disintegrate. Only a few years ago I thought Sullum was a smart, upstanding guy. Truly sad.

    1. When he was Reason‘s lead fabulist for TEAM TRAYVON?

      1. He was. Sullum has always been a moron who hacked the wokeltarian party line because it was all he had to offer.

      2. +5 stolen necklaces.

  5. LOLz.

    So Trump basically saying “This whole thing is bullshit, and I know it! Why can’t we get rid of this stupid fucking investigation? Can’t we fire some of these partisan hacks?”

    Is somehow a great evil? HE KNEW he was being fucked with for political reasons. The fact that he merely discussed such things, but really didn’t act on them, IMO shows that he isn’t very corrupt at all. Anybody being falsely accused of something this serious would be PISSED and at least discussing this type of stuff with close advisors. What kind of retards are you where you expect the most powerful man in the world to never have a conversation with anybody about doing things that are legally within his power to do to end a known witch hunt?

    I wonder if some of you people will ever get over your TDS.

    1. “Attempts to interfere”, which to most people means he didn’t interfere. These people calling for Trump’s impeachment based on something they acknowledge he didn’t do are insane. TDS for short.

      Saw this at Maggie’s Farm, refreshingly apt and succinct:
      “While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it.”
      Anon

      1. That’s exactly it. He got pissed, and did have a few angry conversations… But then basically restrained himself from doing anything that really crossed any lines… Not that it would have been that unwarranted HAD he done some stuff to fuck with these people back.

        1. And he demanded his lawyers do something and they demurred.

          Which, you know, is their job — given that they are supposed to know what the law is. Not Trump. People forget you hire lawyers because they know the law and will advise you on avoiding running afoul of it.

          It’s why the entire Cohen thing was hilarious. “Trump made me do it”. Fucker, you were his LAWYER. It’s YOUR job to tell your CLIENT “Nah, we cannot do that legally”. If you did it, then you fucked up.

          1. Excellent point

            Something lost on the “never Trump” group at Reason.

            You hire Lawyers to keep you from making mistakes (keeping you out of trouble) not to get you into trouble

            1. Retarded fucking point. You and I may hire lawyers to keep us out of trouble based on the assumption that lawyers know more about the law than we do – Trump knows more about the law than lawyers. Just as he knows more about banking than bankers, more about diplomacy than diplomats, more about the military than the generals, more about the 16th Amendment than anybody (as well as Article 12 of the Constitutions and Thessalonians Two as I recall) – and that’s just the shit he’s said that I can remember right off the top of my head.

              Remember when Trump was asked about who his top advisors are and the only one he could think of was his own very good brain? Trump is absolutely 100% convinced – just exactly as Obama was – that he’s not just the smartest man in the world but that he’s the world’s foremost expert on absolutely everything. It’s why he surrounds himself with sycophants and incompetents and two-bit shysters like Michael Cohen – to maintain the illusion that no matter where he’s at he’s the smartest man in the room.

      2. Some people wanted Trump impeached before he won the general election. They are throwing every stone on the ground hoping one will hit him. It’s a bias where impeachment as a recall vote reigns.

      3. This article, like the issue and the Amash gambit it addresses, smacks of political desperation.

        About impeachment, Sullum is right and Amash is right, but ‘So, what . . .?’ Their point is true but trivially true. Congress CAN impeach a president for almost any reason, or for no reason at all. It is a political gambit not a legal one. They can say “We don’t like the President” and impeach him but, again,’ So, what . . .?’ (Who’s to decide what constitutes a misdemeanor? The show trial in the Senate will be another story!)
        But this point is the just strong version of the Mott-Barley strategy. [Mott-Barley is a strategy in debate whereby a strong but trivial (therefore unassailable) claim is propounded to advance a much weaker (and far from trivial) claim.] Any President CAN be impeached; therefore, this President SHOULD be impeached.
        Meanwhile, Amash claims that Trump “obstructed” the Mueller investigation. Even Sullum admits that this is probably NOT true; that (perhaps) Trump only TRIED to obstruct the investigation. (Arguable, sure) But why the deliberate obfuscation? Is it because they both want to advance the more serious claim on the back of a less serious one?

        About Trump and impeachment, then, Amash (like Sullum) is more wrong than right, both in his judgment and in his statement of facts. Where he is right, his point is trivial and where he is wrong, it is anything but trivial.

    2. This. One thousand times this. Amash is grandstanding and so is Sullum. This whole goddamn investigation has been about putting Trump on a leash. What we are seeing is precisely what would have ground Ron Paul into the tarmac (see what I did there?) had he ever been unlucky enough to have won the office and these morons at Reason are incapable of seeing the big picture.

      1. Yup. It’s all just been a concerted smear campaign the whole time… And the left-libertarians at Reason have been cheering on the deep state dick wads for subverting our government because they don’t like a few of Trumps policies… Which are all still way better than what we would have got with Hillary.

        1. “Which are all still way better than what they wanted to get we would have got with Hillary.

          1. True enough… They really are all in on proggie social policies being more important than economic freedom, gun rights, limited government in general, etc. It’s sickening.

      2. I’m betting if somebody said we should impeach Obama over his actions, Reason would not be saying “You know, fuck it, that’s a DAMNED good idea!”

        1. I sure as hell don’t remember them ever saying that, and a few people did throw around impeachment as a not particularly serious thing when he was in office.

    3. “The fact that he merely discussed such things, but really didn’t act on them, IMO shows that he isn’t very corrupt at all.”

      To be fair, this is not what the Mueller report alleges. The accusation is that he DID act, but that his underlings declined to carry out his orders. If you plan a crime, and order someone to do it, the fact that the person disobeyed your order doesn’t just get you off the hook.

      All that said, this is all bullshit. If the report really alleges these crimes, then why didn’t Mueller say that he believes Trump tried to obstruct justice in his summary of findings? They specifically said “we cannot conclude the president committed a crime” and add “we cannot fully exonerate him”. If the stuff alleged in the report were *on its face* evidence of a crime, like Sullum asserts, then Mueller could have easily said “we believe these actions amount to obstruction (or attempted obstruction) of Justice.” But he didn’t. Why not?

      In fact, if you actually parse the stuff above, Sullum lumps a lot of stuff together. Pressuring someone to announce something at a presser is a PR campaign, not obstruction of justice. And executive pressure to limit the scope of an investigation may or may not be obstruction, depending on intent. And in fact some of the actions that Trump’s underlings supposedly declined to do, were done ANYWAY by their subordinates. So if the chief legal counsel declines to do something but has his deputy do it instead, it was attempted obstruction? How does this work? How would the chief doing something suddenly make it actual obstruction?

      Finally, even *if* the actions noted constitute a “High Crime”, this is a prosecutor’s allegation. The fact that Sullum is so eager to say “these are definitely crimes”, when the report was not required to provide any exculpatory or conflicting evidence is pretty bad form on his part.

      1. I pretty much agree… If there was anything real there, and not just more semi (or completely) fabricated nonsense, I think Mueller would have phrased things otherwise.

        If you’re reading between the lines this to me reads like: Well, we can’t prove he did anything… But we’re totally sure he did!

        He did that specifically because there was nothing there… But he wanted to give fodder to the anti Trump crowd still.

      2. “”The accusation is that he DID act, but that his underlings declined to carry out his orders.””

        Was it? I thought it was questionable because Trump was suggesting, not ordering. If Trump said I order you to do X, then Mueller would have outright said it was obstruction because it would be a clear cut case.

        1. If I say to my accountant, “Divide this transaction up into five payments, I don’t want the bank asking why I’m making this huge payment.”, and my accountant says, “That would be “structuring”, and is illegal.”, it makes a huge difference whether I say, “Darn, never mind.” or “I don’t care, do it!”

          Trump seems to have been more of a “Darn, never mind.” guy.

          1. And we all know how much libertarians support “structuring” crimes.

            Right Jacob?

      3. The fact that Sullum is so eager to say “these are definitely crimes”

        Not what Sullum said. What Sullum said:

        “More to the point, as Amash noted, the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that justify impeachment extend beyond provable statutory violations to abuses of power that betray the public trust.”

        Just as there is no limit to the pardon power, there is no limit to the impeachment power. Congress can impeach because they don’t like the cut of his jib, which is essentially what Amash is saying – i.e. we may not see clear-cut crimes, but we see someone whose presence in the Oval Office is concerning.

        1. …but a President spending money Congress didn’t approve, unilaterally changing laws, violating the War Powers Act, etc — nothing wrong with THAT!

          I guess Amash is one of those “Well, who am I to question the CIA or FBI type of Libertarians”

          1. …but a President spending money Congress didn’t approve, unilaterally changing laws, violating the War Powers Act, etc — nothing wrong with THAT!

            So . . . does this mean that no one gets to hold any political figure accountable ever again because what about that guy who got away with it before?

            1. It seems AWFULLY selective in outrage.

              If you will only hold one side accountable, then you’re a hack.

    4. Seriously. I don’t think the feds could even get to a jury on the issue of intent once the President put forth an explanation for his conduct that was other than an attempt to interfere in a proceeding to protect himself or someone else from otherwise valid prosecution. I knew the investigation was purely political and based on bullshit. Of course I wanted a wasteful, bad faith, pointless investigation to end and I had an obligation to the country to do so. That isn’t “improper” — it is quite proper. The only reason Trump didn’t do this in the first place is that the press is so in the tank that doing the right thing was not politically wise. He could have fired Sessions and hired Barr and then there is no need for a “special counsel.” But for the loading up of the special counsel’s office with partisan lunatics, it doesn’t last 4 months. Why Mueller did that is beyond me. I guess he actually believe that the Dems believed there was collusion. Even thought Podesta and Hillary, I’m sure, we laughing the whole time about how they got their bullshit story swallowed by the intel geniuses.

    5. Trump brought this all on himself. At any point in 2016 he could have admitted Russians approached his campaign. After the election he could have cooperated and admitted the Russians interfered. All he had to say was that yes they interfered by he didn’t cooperate and no, it did not make a difference and that he earned his victory. Many would have disagreed but would have conceded.

      But nope, from the start he dug in his heels and lied and deceived. This is undeniable. Yes, the FBI looked into his campaign because that was the responsible thing to do. If they didn’t look into it when there was credible evidence that something was up that would have been negligence. And no, they didn’t make it a big campaign issue like Comey did with Clinton’s email investigation which actually did influence the election. So that line of argument is just a distraction.

      And this is just obstruction. Having crowds chant that we should lock up the investigators is another form of obstruction and quite simply, appalling. It’s desparate and sadly, may well work. He has his supporters so ginned up that even if he is impeached the Senate will not dare remove him out of fear of getting his supporters angered. THAT’S Trumps strategy here.

      1. If you say anything against the government it is obstruction.

        NEVER oppose government.

      2. “Trump brought this all on himself. At any point in 2016 he could have admitted Russians approached his campaign.”

        Why would he? They didn’t do shit. Ukraine was FAR more involved in Hillary’s campaign. His son had a meeting that he left within minutes because it was bullshit. That’s the extent of it.

        When he said that Obama spied on him — which is factual, mind you — people condemned him for doing so. So, yeah, your idea is totes logical.

        “Yes, the FBI looked into his campaign because that was the responsible thing to do.”

        I’m not sure lying in FISA requests is “responsible”, but YMMV.

        “Having crowds chant that we should lock up the investigators is another form of obstruction”

        *giggle*. Sure. Comey, Brennan, et al should go to jail. Should have already been there.

        Nice idiocy, though.

        1. It is amazing that he considers certain speech by a third party (the crowd) is Trump obstructing the investigation. So, did all the editorials by people like Hannity and Tucker Carlson also amount to Trump obstructing the case? Did Trump doing interviews on how he was innocent amount to obstruction? And if this latter is obstruction, then how would that square with the idea all he had to do was deny it in 2015? Wouldn’t that also be obstruction on this (il)logic?

      3. Allowing a crowd to excercise their 1A rights by saying lock someone up is obstruction?

        1. Hell, allowing an investigation to continue that he had every right to stop immediately is ALSO obstructing justice, apparently.

      4. You think it is wrong to question the origins of a baseless investigation and the actions of those who carried it out?

  6. Political grandstanding and a waste of time and money. Our Federal government at work.

  7. “The House impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath about oral sex, and the conduct described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is more troubling and consequential”

    The House impeached him, but the Senate acquitted. So that’s the precedent. Will the Democratic Senators acknowledge it was a bad precedent?

    Clinton’s misbehavior, recall, was to lie during an investigation of his sex life – an investigation authorized under *a law he signed* (Molinari Amendment). Clinton approved a controversial new tool against alleged sex offenders – interrogate them about other alleged offenses – and then by his actions he indicated that he wished to exempt himself from rules he had imposed on the plebes.

    Yet Clinton’s acquittal shows that lying in an investigation like this is not impeachable.

    Unless the Democrats now say they were wrong to acquit Clinton, they’re bound by a precedent that obstructing an investigation isn’t in itself impeachable.

    How is obstructing an investigation into a noncrime (or giving orders to obstruct which were not carried out) worse than Clinton, who signed a law to subject plebes to inquiries over their sexual behavior in unrelated cases, but thought he was above obeying what the plebes had to obey?

    1. Principals over principles.

    2. I think in both cases the opposition party is impeaching over character mostly (Clinton and Trump being not that different, really), but trying to dress up character flaws as high crimes. Which is why politically it backfired with Clinton and probably will with Trump, too.

  8. So basically you are saying anyone is impeachable for anything no?

    1. Like a Grand Jury can indict a ham sandwich, the House could impeach a president for eating a ham sandwich.

      Whether either is good for our justice or political system is another matter.

    2. According to the Constitution, no. The Constitution clearly sets limits, high crimes and misdemeanors. Impeachment as a form of recall because their side lost would be unconstitutional, not that Congress cares about what is constitutional or not. But since it’s the hands of Congress, they can play it how they want until they are challenged.

      1. The only arbiter of what “high crimes and misdemeanors” actually means is Congress.

        1. The only? Maybe so far because it’s never been challenged.

          Are they the only arbiter of the definitions of search as mentioned in the 4th amendment? The definition of infringed in the second amendment?

          1. It would almost assuredly be a political question and non justiciable. The framers created a quasi-judicial system for impeachment and textually committed it to the Congress. Not to mention, if the Court invalidated a conviction of impeachment in the senate, 100% chance Congress, so unified, would strip the Court of a bunch of its jurisdiction, including over impeachment.

          2. Impeachment is plenary. The Constitution clearly assigns the entire process to the Legislative branch.

            1. “Are they the only arbiter of the definitions of search as mentioned in the 4th amendment?”

              That seems a rather silly question. Who performs such actions? And for what purposes? The Constitution is likewise rather clear on the whos and whats involved. Which is the real danger of what Congress is trying to do with their subpoena of Trump’s tax records – since it includes a time when he was not a sitting President it cannot involve anything to do with impeachment. Congress is not the executive branch, but wants to play one on TV.

              1. “”That seems a rather silly question. Who performs such actions? And for what purposes? “”

                Not really. If Congress decides to define reasonable search as anything they want, are they the final arbiter? No. Perhaps they think they are until it’s challenged.

            2. Actually, impeachment of the President requires the Chief Justice to preside over the trial.

              1. Sure, but other than keeping the process orderly can he exert any other control over the members? What Congress wants, Congress will get, and having done so nobody can say otherwise.

                1. Consider that, any CJ who tried to reign in Congress in such circumstances and prevent them from doing whatever it is they were set on doing, might just find himself subject to impeachment.

                  His role there is largely ceremonial.

                  1. As an afterthought – isn’t it entertaining to see how many people – who otherwise do not recognize any sort of ultimate moral authority or first principle – get so skittish at the thought of Congress being entirely unfettered as to what constitutes an impeachable offense?

                    1. I don’t think it’s an incorrect position to acknowledge that the founders put limits on what an impeachable offense is by specifically saying high crimes and misdemeanors.

                    2. Sure. But that is about the same as noting that the term ‘nebulous’ has defined limits. Because how else do you know something is cloudlike if you cannot view it from the outside?

                      More seriously consider the alternative – how would you envision the ramifications of any sort of actual defined limits? Or especially any prohibition on ex post facto. Wouldn’t that just serve to tell the Executive where they are free to do whatever they wish? With the legislature forever playing catch up with ‘you can’t do that again.’

                      This situation is almost the mirror image of the rest of civil law. In our system of limited government criminal laws should be strictly defined, so as to ensure the greatest degree of liberty for the citizenry. When dealing with an individual wielding the full authority of the state pretty much the opposite should apply. Presidents, when not expressly effecting the execution of existing law should be cautious and especially aware of the political ramifications of their actions.

  9. Again, Amash has not made a case for impeachment. He has made nonspecific insinuations that he could make a case for impeachment, leaving others to speculate what exactly his basis for impeachment might be.

    “Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a point the president’s defenders and some of his critics seem determined to obscure.”

    And then it up to the voters and history to judge if the House is not abusing its authority for petty vengeance on someone outside the normal political class daring to intrude on their turf. Seriously, is Sullum really endorsing a boundless authority that does not have to be constrained by at least some sort of ethic?

    1. I didn’t read the article that closely, but I missed the part where Sullum said Trump should be impeached, just as I missed the part in Amash’s comments where he said Trump should be impeached. In both cases, I did see where they were making the point that Trump could be impeached but it should go without saying that if the feds spent a couple years digging through any random person’s actions they could find something to charge them with – three felonies a day and ham sandwiches and all that.

      For my part, I suspect Trump would love to be impeached, knowing there’s no way he’s getting convicted by a Republican Senate but can you imagine the ratings for such a spectacle? The fact that impeachment would edge us that much closer to out-and-out civil war (or a third American revolution depending on who’s telling the story) is of little enough concern to those who are determined that if they cannot rule the country it’s better the country be destroyed than to allow anyone else to rule.

      1. We get it. Sullum and the Lefties are just standing behind Amash because “Amash is right about the ability to impeach Trump”.

        Of course, no Lefty is actually advocating impeaching Trump. This is all just an academic exercise.

        Lefties are fooling nobody. They are testing public opinion to see if Civil War 2.0 will break out if they try to impeach Trump.

      2. The last paragraph is where Sullum is suggesting that Trump should be impeached but in a very passive-aggressive way.

      3. Impeaching Trump would allow him to put on a defense. Part of that defense would be him pointing out the illegal nature of the entire investigation. The Democrats don’t want to look under that rock and that is why he won’t be impeached.

        1. While I think this whole thing is horseshit, I don’t think it would turn out as you expect. How do you “Put on a defense” in an inherently political show trial when the judge and jury are populated by a majority of partisans whose votes are already counted?

          Remember, there is no rule of law here around discovery and court proceedings. I am sure Trump can muster up a bunch of evidence for his side, but do you think that will really matter? The press will happily parrot whatever crazy BS Pelosi throws out there, and any exculpatory evidence will be rendered to foot notes. The goal here is not to get the truth. Everyone knows that impeachment will die in the Senate. The goal is to give enough Representatives the political cover in their districts to vote for impeachment. If you think any journalist or analyst will care what is under the rock enough to affect the “Narrative”, get ready for a really rough couple years, John.

          1. What you are saying would be true if the Democrats controlled the Senate. That is what would have happened to Nixon. But the Republicans control the Senate and would control what evidence got admitted and the entire narrative of the trial.

            1. Chief Justice Roberts would preside over the impeachment trial too.

        2. I think the smarter ones realize it will backfire on them too. But that may not stop the dumber ones from trying to do it anyway!

          1. Some of the dumber ones ran on a impeach the fucker platform and they thought they could make it happen with no consideration about the process.

  10. Democrats don’t have the balls to try and impeach Trump.

    First off, they might not have the majority votes when the time comes to vote for impeachment. It is clear that career Democrats are not convinced that impeachment is anything but political suicide for the Democratic Party. Not having enough votes would be even more embarrassing than Trump getting even more EC votes in 2020 because of the failed impeachment.

    Second, there is no way in hell that the Senate will remove Trump. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both acquitted by the Senate. Bill Clinton committed the actual crime of perjury and he was acquitted.

    Third, it would set up a very bad precedent for Democrats. The next time Republicans control the government, their supporters will push them to impeach every fucking Democrat in office. All the judges, including Sotomayer, Breyer, and Kagan. RBG will have been replaced by a Trump nominee, so the SCOTUS will be 6-3 anyway.

    1. I agree on points 1 and 2. As for 3 – the Dems are counting on the fact that the Repubs will never have the balls to play as dirty as the Dems would. Theoretically, it’s possible, but in reality, I don’t see the party of Mitt Romney, Justin Amash and Jeff Flake doing anything other than trying to cozy up to the Dems and the press.

      1. You are mostly correct about many in the political class of the GOP. Romney, Amash, Flake, McCain’s corpse, etc have no balls to fight back.

        Things changed in the GOP when Trump took office and started fighting Lefties at every turn. I think it clear that weasely RINOs like Romney, Flake, Weld, Boehner no longer have substantial Republican support.

        1. The truth is most GOP voters have ALWAYS wanted somebody who is more hard edged… But kept getting duped by people running saying one thing, and then doing another when in office.

          Frankly, I think most Republicans would be okay with somebody who cut the size of the federal government in half, eliminated minimum wage laws, balanced the budget, reformed SS, etc etc etc. It’s always been the political class on the right that sucks balls and has sold the country out. If we’d had a true conservative opposition party instead of RINOs all these years the USA would be in a lot better shape.

          Trump himself is awful on a number of things, but he at least has the fighting spirit.

          1. A big flaw with Libertarianism and Conservatism is that most normal people dont want to get near the cesspool that is D.C.

            This is one of the reasons that you don’t get good candidates for high office in the GOP and LP.

            Trump was willing to be that person necessary to fight back. Republicans are willing to accept his flaws if he continues to fight for them and America. Trump is quickly getting more of a reputation of being Teflon Trump with everything thrown at him and does not stick.

            1. Very true. And the other half of that is those that control the GOP have never wanted true rock ribbed conservatives in there either, so have always tried to get squishy guys elected instead.

  11. In the end, President Orange Obstruction (POO) will be best remembered for bringing the coprophiliacs out of the bathrooms closets and into our chat rooms, elevating rational discourse to dizzying new heights.

    1. 8 years of MAGA will do that.

      And by “that”, I mean drive you lefties crazy.

    2. Commenter calls the president “POO”, talks about his supporters being coprophiliacs, then complains about rational discourse.

      Get help.

      1. No civility until more dems are elected was the cry of people claiming the other side is not being civil.

    3. Would you like some crackers and a block of cheese to go with that fine whine?

    4. Oh, I agree! Until Trump, most of us were duped into believing that Democrats were actually well-intentioned, rational, and willing to compromise. Trump has shown how mistaken we were. So, it’s time to elect the kind of a–holes on the Republican side that can actually take on the Democrats. With a bit of luck, there will be mutual destruction!

  12. In my 45 years working an businesses, I saw many boss types fired. It never stopped the company. How exactly would firing the mumbling idiot have stopped the investigation? The second in command idiot would have taken over until the next official anti-Trump lackey could get appointed by the inquisition.

    1. The most hilarious thing about Lefty discussions of impeachment is that kicking politicians and bureaucrats out of office hurts Lefties far more.

      Lefties need politicians in office to pass more Nanny-State laws and destroy this Country. If Lefties are constantly being impeached, they have less time to commit treason.

  13. Amash made the claims but no specifics. Maybe to launch his Presidential campaign as a Liberatarian.
    What he really did was perfectly troll the divisions in the democrat party with the extreme socialists that want to impeach and the freedom hating statists of the democrat establishment.

  14. The Mueller Report proves beyond all doubt that Drumpf colluded with a hostile foreign power to win a hacked election. In other words, it proves Rachel Maddow was right and #TrumpRussia denialists like Glenn Greenwald were wrong.

    I’m glad there are still a few #CountryOverParty Republicans like Amash. He joins Jeff Flake and Bill Kristol on the short list of principled GOP figures who have retained their dignity in the Drumpf era.

    #Impeach
    #Resist

      1. I chuckled on that one, considering the original purpose of MoveOn.

        1. No kidding. Irony just went out back and shot itself.

  15. MAGA will prevail!

    1. Just like 2018 will be a “Red Wave” right?

      LOL

      1. Poor OBL and his Blue Wave failure.

  16. So you’re saying impeachment is a political judgment call.

    Well, and Amash is coming down on the side of authoritarians and the deep state with his political judgment call.

    Not a libertarian. Not even close.

    1. Nominating Amash based on his siding with deep state authoritarians would be the most ridiculous thing the LP did since nominating Bill Weld to be VP a few weeks back.

  17. I had a dream.

    I was president of the USA!!!

    How did I get here? I have no idea but I thought, man I better make the most of it.

    The first thing I did was to sign an Executive Order to end the war on drugs.

    Next I wrote up my budget for the USA.

    I cut the federal budget by 95% and sent a tweet.

    #Good news America – I cut the federal budget by 95% and ended the war on drugs!

    Within an hour Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were in my office yelling and crying and all around carrying on and just giving me a headache.

    I told them, save your tears for the sandman, I’m going to take a leak.

    What I wanted was a toke of my new homegrown. Those two losers were giving me a headache.

    So I went to the men’s room to toke up. I took two hits and who walks in but Chuck Schumer.

    He smells the air and says, “Why that’s marijuana. Did you know that’s illegal?”

    I said, “fuck off you loser. Your entire life has been making America less free and I’m about to change that.”

    He said, ‘you’ll regret this.”

    Eventually the two losers left.

    Next I find out Pelosi has an article of impeachment against me for ‘conduct unbecoming a president……The president was caught smoking marijuana during business hours.”

    So I checked the internet and all the media is agreeing with her because “Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is.”

    1. Didn’t we already have this story, sort of? Wasn’t LBJ notorious for being a straight jerk to people, taking meetings while dropping a deuce, etc?

      1. LBJ was notorious for many things, including swimming naked in the White House swimming pool. Personally I think they should return the press room back to being a swimming pool.

    2. I had a dream.

      It wasn’t a dream.

      “In a country where anybody can become President… anybody just did.” LOL!

      1. Dear mad.casual – thanks for the link, I’ve never seen that movie but I will tonight.

        All the best

        Your President.

        1. I’ve never seen that movie but I will tonight.

          It keeps popping into my head as Kline’s character could not be more of a Trump-esque ’90s liberal’ and shows how far Schumer and Pelosi have slid into parody that Frank Langella barely does them justice.

          Not exactly a libertarian film but good family-fun fair from Reitman, Kline, Weaver, etc. and, for an explicitly political film, surprisingly lacking today’s “all social agenda all the time” theatrical undertone.

          1. Grodin is hilarious.

    3. Nice job Rockabilly

  18. Amash is both right and wrong. The behavior in someone other than the President could be taken as Obstruction. The President, however, is the chief executive, in charge of both the people and the investigation itself. He has a much wider latitude on taken actions against the processes of the investigators.

  19. Actually, you’re both wrong on this point. Saying that Trump can technically be impeached because Congress can determine what constitutes impeachable conduct is like saying you could own a slave in 1800. Sure, you technically can by law, but is it moral? Is that something you should be doing?

    Drop the false pretenses already. We know exactly why the Democrats are trying to impeach. They want to stop Trump by any means necessary. That was the entire purpose of this process. The propaganda, the FISA warrants, Mueller, and now House interference were all designed to obstruct Trump’s presidency. You cannot possibly defend impeachment in this situation. Under no circumstance should a legitimate and necessary Congressional power be weaponized to obstruct a duly elected President. If you want to talk about high crimes, there you go.

    If you don’t like someone’s policies, make better arguments and win elections.

  20. Sigh. If we learned anything in 1998, it’s that we’re not going to impeach a president over rinky-dink bullshit that seems like the grossest misconduct to his opponents, but seems peccadillo-ish to his supporters. Impeachment rightly requires a broad national consensus that the President is a crook.

    But fortunately we have elections every four years. If somebody manages to field a candidate that’s not worse than Trump, maybe we will have a new President.

    1. If somebody manages to field a candidate that’s not worse than Trump

      Aye, there’s the rub.

  21. I got lost at ‘even if it does not amount to a crime that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.’

    So they can impeach him for whatever nonsense they want but I’ve seen nothing that will be determined by the Senate to warrant removal from office.

    Why do we continue to waste time? There are things that people should be paying more attention to.

    It seems the Democrats are determined to give the house back in 2020, we need some libertarian challengers.

  22. Romney argues that impeachment would be unwise in terms of “practicality and politics,” since “the American people just aren’t there” . . . House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is discouraging her fellow Democrats from pursuing impeachment, seems to have reached a similar conclusion.”

    Sullum is honest and correct about this–on both sides of the equation.

    1) It isn’t necessary for Trump to have committed a crime in order to be impeached.

    2) It isn’t necessary for Trump to be impeached just because he committed a crime.

    Those of you who are arguing bout whether Trump committed a crime are chasing a red herring. Stop letting yourself be manipulated and think.

    The question isn’t whether Trump obstructed justice. The question is whether the American people will support overturning the election that put him in office based on this charge of obstruction, and the answer is “no”.

    Nancy Pelosi fears what the voters will do to her party in 2020 if she impeaches the President, and that political calculation in impeachment is exactly where it should be. If the framers wanted presidents removed from office for committing crimes without any consideration paid to public opinion, they would have given impeachment proceedings to the courts rather than Congress.

    Justin Amash’s call for his fellow Republicans to ignore the voters is unprincipled because it ignores this constitutional principle. Winning elections bestows legitimacy, and overturning elections should be done with great trepidation and concern for the will of the voters. If even Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to remove Trump for fear of voters, then whether Trump perpetrated the crime of obstruction is completely beside the point.

    1. But come on man, how else could Amash grandstand if it’s not virtue signalling against Orange Hitler???

      1. It’s never safe to assume that anyone is rational, but assuming that Amash is rational, the most reasonable explanation for this is that he already decided to leave politics.

        On the other hand, maybe he’s just a spaz! If he had no idea he might be committing political suicide, then he has no business being in a leadership position.

        1. Actually, the most reasonable explanation for this is that he is running as a libertarian in 2020. Which is something he’s been hinting at for months.

          Right now he’s trying to grab the GOPe and RINO votes before he leaves, and is hoping that the Dems choose an unpalatable extremist that drives their centrists his way.

          1. Running in the Libertarian party IS ending your political career.

            I very much believe, for now, libertarians should all just try to take over the GOP to the extent possible. Younger right leaners are more libertarian than ever on social issues, and still favor small government. As the older ones die out, the worst parts of the traditional GOP platform will fall by the wayside… Potentially leaving it as a pretty damn libertarian party.

  23. Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a point the president’s defenders and some of his critics seem determined to obscure.

    A libertarian is defending this?

    “If we decide so, your breathing is a crime suitable for impeachment.”

    Do you even hear yourselves anymore? You are defending the above as a valid stance.

    This is an open call to tyranny. To the rule of men.

    To the end of liberty.

    There was NO crime.

    The Russian collusion investigation was, from it’s inception, a fabrication, a lie–and an obvious one.

    For it’s duration, the sane have been pointing this out–while the insane have been driven so mad that they vociferously and with detail refute the punchlines of jokes, they have declared the ‘ok’ sign and milk to be racist tools. They have criminalized the biological fact that there are two sexes.

    And reason has joined the insane.

    1. This is what happens when you sell yourself out to being accepted and to fashion. The Reason writers simply do not have the courage or integrity to stand up for someone who is unpopular among their peers. It is pathetic.

      1. “The Reason writers simply do not have the courage or integrity to stand up for someone who is unpopular among their peers. ”

        And somebody who supports loads of bad policies.

        1. So what? Since when does someone’s politics determine how the law is applied to them? If you won’t stand up for people you don’t agree with when they are being wronged, you don’t give a shit about the rule of law or civil liberties. You are just a political hack who thinks the rules only apply to the right people.

          1. Precisely. Amongst other things, we used to have liberals on Team Blue that would stand up for free speech for anyone, now Team Blue is overrun by leftists that are just partisan hacks.

          2. “So what? Since when does someone’s politics determine how the law is applied to them? If you won’t stand up for people you don’t agree with when they are being wronged, you don’t give a shit about the rule of law or civil liberties.”

            Indeed. The Left thinks its HILARIOUS that right-wing pols in the UK (even Carl Benjamin, who isn’t right-wing by any rational definition) are having milkshakes thrown at them. Something they should condemn for being just an idiotic thing (so, we will silence these people who KEEP WINNING ELECTIONS and I bet that won’t lead to problems)

            If you’re OK with it, then you agree with the mob. And don’t whine when the mob turns on you. The mob killed Robespierre, after all.

            1. That fucker had it coming.

        2. If it was all a matter of policies, why do the fawn over leftist politicians who have far worse policies? They literally all preferred Clinton to Trump… I don’t think anybody here thinks Trump is perfect, but he’s sure as shit better than Hillary… Or any other Dem out there right now.

          It’s the way they treat the different sides and different issues that betrays their true opinions.

        3. Please direct me to the reason article about impeaching Obama because we feel like it

    2. This is an open call to tyranny. To the rule of men.

      To the end of liberty.

      Trump will not be convicted in the Senate even if he is impeached.

      If the House votes to impeach, it won’t be the end of liberty. It’ll be the true beginning of the 2020 election campaign.

      Let’s try to keep things in perspective.

      1. Ken, I’m not talking about Trump.

        I’m talking about a ‘libertarian’ who would react to anything like this–

        Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a point the president’s defenders and some of his critics seem determined to obscure.

        with anything less than open defiance and rebellion.

        There will be a world that will have to be dealt with AFTER Trump, Ken. The world the left is vigorously building is not one where liberty can thrive–and things like this assist in that construction.

      2. It’ll be the true beginning of the 2020 election campaign.

        No, it will be the end of the 2020 election campaign. Because everything that will happen after that will be a fait accompli.

  24. So Trump should be impeached for claiming his innocence and trying to defend himself against an illegal investigation into a crime he didn’t commit.

    That is some real Libertarian thinking. Go fuck yourself Sullumn you bootlicking hack.

  25. Another article that fails to explain exactly what Trump has done. He “tried to influence testimony”. Really? How? And trying to influence testimony is only obstruction if you tell people to lie. So who did Trump tell to lie and what were those lies? Sullumn doesn’t know and can’t say. He just assumes his readers are as stupid and dishonest as he is. Sorry Jacob, no one who doesn’t work at Reason is a stupid and dishonest as you are.

    1. This is the best summary I’ve found. It’s mostly taking quotes directly from the report. You can argue with the veracity of what’s in the report, sure, but it seems to me that if what’s in the report is in fact true, it would be enough to at least get a grand jury to at least indict a normal citizen. Which is the role of the house in the impeachment process.

      1. I can’t find any specifics in any of those quotes. Maybe I am missing them. But all I see are a bunch of vageries talking about “his efforts”. More importantly, I don’t see any claim that Trump attempted to get anyone to lie. The claim seems to be that any time someone tries to influence a witnesses testimony it is obstruction. And that is just not true. Obstruction means obstruct as in telling people to lie or destroy evidence. Telling witnesses to give your side of the story is not obstruction. To say it is is to say defending yourself or telling witnesses your side of the story is obstruction. And that is a direct attack on due process.

        If that is the best you can find, you have nothing. Moreover, it is both disappointing and very disturbing that someone like yourself who is otherwise reasonable would find this compelling. I get it you hate Trump but God damn it there are larger issues at play here. Stand up for something.

        1. People thinking Trump should be impeached for obstruction fail to realize that deleting emails under subpoena is obstruction.

        2. I’m not saying he’s guilty, or that he should be removed from office. I’m saying it would meet the criteria, normally, of indictment as I understand it. Which is the role of the house in the process.

          Let me also say that I think it would be dumb politically to impeach (indict, not convict) the President on these charges, although I don’t think it would necessarily be some immoral thing or a constitutional crisis per se. If there’s not enough evidence in the current Mueller report to convince a super-majority of Senators, it’s likely that allowing the defense to respond at trial would only make the report less convincing (potentially) to a Senator who might be on the edge on the issue.

          1. Trump being impeached, not removed by the Senate, and being reelected in 2020 would be the biggest FU to the dems ever. Pelosi is smart not to want to roll those dice.

  26. The House impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath about oral sex,

    On one count. The other count was engaging in obstruction of justice in a Federal civil rights proceeding, including influencing the testimony of witnesses (items #4 and #6 in Article III).

    So, it is established precedent that engaging in obstruction of justice by influencing/attempting to influence witnesses, with no underlying crime, is not an action worthy of removal from the office of President. Accordingly, “Trump’s public and private attempts to influence the testimony of witnesses such as McGahn, his former lawyer Michael Cohen, and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort” do not justify an impeachment attempt.

    I didn’t vote for our jackasss-in-chief, but, really, it’s more-than-clear that it’s time for the people hounding him to “censure and move on”, to coin a phrase.

    1. Censure him for what? What would such a resolution look like? No one claiming “obstruction” ever says exactly what Trump is supposed to have done, why we know he did it and why it constitutes obstruction.

      And no we are not moving on, because there are a lot of actual criminal conduct that seems to have occurred during the course of this investigation by the FBI and intelligence community. Those people need to be held accountable.

      1. John, “the people hounding [Trump]” aren’t the ones who are going to hold “the FBI and intelligence community” accountable, so having them move on shouldn’t strike you as objectionable. Barr can continue his investigation while Amash and Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders move on.

        As far as censuring him, that isn’t a legal proceeding of any kind, nor does it have any effect on a President. The word simply means “To pronounce an adverse judgement on, express disapproval of, criticize unfavourably; to find fault with, blame, condemn.” I’m entirely confident they can find something.

  27. Please see my comment above. Sullum is right.

    I think some of you are conflating two separate questions.

    1) Should the American people support removing the president from office?

    2) Do the American people support removing the president from office?

    I thought Bill Clinton did more than enough to merit impeachment and removal from office. For instance, embezzled taxpayer money from a failed S&L magically ended up in his campaign fund, and he apparently accepted campaign contributions from the Chinese. However, that’s just the answer to question one.

    Because the American people did not support removing Clinton from office, he should not have been removed.

    I think George W. Bush did more than enough to merit being impeached and removed from office. He tortured people. He willfully denied Americans their right to a trial. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Because the American people did not support removing Bush from office, he should not have been removed.

    I think Barack Obama did more than enough to merit impeachment and removal from office. He executed American citizens without a trial. He willfully violated the Fourth Amendment rights of hundreds of millions of Americans by way of the NSA.

    Because the American people did not support removing Obama from office, he should not have been impeached and removed from office.

    If you do not believe that what Trump did was or should be considered a crime, that’s beside the point. It doesn’t make any difference even if he did commit a crime! If the American people don’t support removing him from office for this reason, then he should not be impeached and removed from office–even if he did commit a crime.

    Isn’t that what Sullum wrote in this article?

    1. This should have been addressed to Azathoth!! above.

    2. “Isn’t that what Sullum wrote in this article?”

      No, that’s not what Sullum wrote. He wrote this:

      “Justin Amash thinks Donald Trump is guilty of “impeachable conduct,” and he is absolutely right.”

      No where does Sullum indicate that Trump shouldn’t be impeached if the American people don’t support impeachment. Sullum doesn’t talk about public opinion at all.

      1. “Romney argues that impeachment would be unwise in terms of “practicality and politics,” since “the American people just aren’t there” and the Republican-controlled Senate, which would conduct the trial that follows impeachment by the House, “is certainly not there either.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is discouraging her fellow Democrats from pursuing impeachment, seems to have reached a similar conclusion.

        It is hard to argue with that political calculation. But members of both parties may come to regret the signal they are sending about the sort of presidential behavior Congress is willing to tolerate.

        —-Jacob Sullum

        I’ve read enough of Sullum to know that he probably thinks representatives being afraid of what the voters want is a sign of a functioning democracy. He also makes it explicitly clear that whether the president committed a crime isn’t the question. How can I not conclude from this that he understands the political component of impeachment when he closes the piece with that observation about the political component?

        Yeah, the American people don’t want Trump impeached over this, and because of that, he probably won’t be. That’s what I’m reading here.

    3. I think Barack Obama did more than enough to merit impeachment and removal from office. He executed American citizens without a trial. He willfully violated the Fourth Amendment rights of hundreds of millions of Americans by way of the NSA. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      1. None of my examples were meant to be exhaustive.

    4. So screw the rules, mob rule?

      1. Yes, that’s exactly what I said.

        Either that, or you’re stupid.

        1. That’s the effective result. If the people care, remove. If they don’t, don’t. How do you define when people care? A democratic majority. Mob rule.

    5. Bush tortured people?

      He took jumper cables to their balls? Held their heads under water?

      Bloviating nonsense.

      1. It was morally pathetic.

        I was justified by cowardice after the fact, too.

        Shameful.

        Here, read it for yourself:

        http://www.slate.com/features/WhatIsTorture/pdfs/SchlesingerReport.pdf

        The official word from the report is that torture methods that had only been approved for unlawful combatants accidentally migrated to Iraq, where they were used on legitimate Iraqi POWs, who were captured in uniform.

        Signed off on by Rumsfeld and Gonzales, too.

        If Bush didn’t know about it, but his Secretary of Defense and Attorney General did, then he should have been impeached for gross incompetence.

        P.S. Look in the back of report at the appendix. All that shit Lynndie England was busted for doing because it was caught on film, those were all approved techniques.

        Shameful. Impeachable.

        Fuck George W. Bush. Did he ever do anything without fucking it up?

        P.P.S TARP was mondo fuck up, too. What a shithead he was!

    6. As a voter, I decline to impeach, and will vote against any representative or senator who does, just as I opposed the Clinton impeachment. If there’s going to be impeachment, get some kind of sustantial grounds, not some kind of obstruction of an investigation into something that didn’t happen or lying about getting one’s dick sucked.

      Please spare me the self-righteousness.

  28. To all who suddenly see Amash differently, have you read the report?

    1. “To all who suddenly see Amash differently, have you read the report?”
      To all those who claim reading the report makes a damn bit of difference:
      Cite, or STFU.
      No one here is required to do your homework for you.

    2. what if i already didn’t like him?

    3. I have, and I don’t see anything that backs up Amash or Sullum.

      Notice how neither Amash or Sullum actually quote any part of the report that actually backs their ‘conclusions’. That’s because they’re just using innuendo to assert opportunistic outrage and position themselves.

      So dishonest.

  29. BTW, it’s obvious Trump should be impeached. For being POTUS instead of that hag.

  30. Obama ordered the assassination of an American citizen. Reason never once called for his impeachment over that. But Trump did something that reason can’t identify that “obstructed justice” in a way that reason admits wouldn’t get him convicted in a criminal trial and reason thinks he should be impeached.

    Way to go Reason. Thanks for confirming every charge ever made by your worst critics.

    1. Obama ordered the assassination of an American citizen.

      I can think of at least 5 investigations his administration specifically and unabashedly obstructed off the top of my head. Holder perjured himself and was held in contempt of Congress. There’s video footage of Clapper perjuring himself. Grand Juries? Indictments? Removals from office? Censure? Nope.

      Makes Rumsfeld’s resignation look preeminently classy.

      1. Uhhh, Clinton emails anybody?

  31. zzzzzzz amash zzzzzzz mash potatoes zzzzzzz fever dreams zzzzzz

    also Clinton was impeached for lying under oath full stop.

  32. […] Donald Trump is guilty of ‘impeachable conduct,’ and he is absolutely right,” writes Jacob Sullum. “Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a […]

  33. Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a point the president’s defenders and some of his critics seem determined to obscure.

    That point needs to be made over and over and over. Impeachment is a political process, not a legal process.

    1. Impeachment is a political process, not a legal process.

      While for some this may aptly dispel some false narratives, this isn’t correct either. The process is enshrined in the Constitution and carries significant legal ramifications so it’s not purely political.

      1. It is not considered ‘legal’ because a.) being a plenary power, the judicial branch holds no sway in the matter b.) all standards and decisions are made by elected officials c.) since no act of Congress can bind future Congress there is no precedent.

        1. Should enough of the voting population want a President gone Congress will find a reason. There is nothing remotely ‘legal’ about that.

          But it is entirely Constitutional.

          1. Should enough of the voting population want a President gone Congress will find a reason.

            I don’t disagree that they would find a reason. Any beat cop could/would do it. But the high crimes and misdemeanors clause overtly implies the act should both be something a court of law would find to be criminal and/or that there are explicitly non-criminal features or acts for which Congress can not impeach, namely features which would violate other portions of the Constitution.

            1. No. In the unlikely event the majority of Congress wants to impeach – in the absence of something along the lines of your examples – the most likely offense would be failure to follow some portion of the oath of office. ie. a catch-all political fig leaf.

              1. Ultimately the arbiter of “high crimes and misdemeanors” would be the electorate. If Congress gets it wrong in their eyes each congresscritter will know it.

                IOW it’s entirely political.

        2. It is not considered ‘legal’ because a.) being a plenary power, the judicial branch holds no sway in the matter

          See below, assuming he isn’t impeached via an illegal act of Congress, which, IMO, is where the implicit notion that he has to have done something illegal comes from.

          Could Congress impeach a President for being black?

        3. ThomasD

          The Constitution requires the Chief Justice preside over the impeachment of a President.

          The judge always has a say in how the proceedings go.

          1. The judge always has a say in how the proceedings go.

            Totes false. Congress can subpoena him to appear for the President’s Congressional exit interview. If he doesn’t show, find him in contempt and subpoena the other Justices in order of seniority until one of them shows up. If none of them do, any circuit court judge will suffice.

            Whatever it takes to get her in power him out of power.

    2. Since the reasons for impeachment are specified in the Constitution, claiming that it’s what the house wants it to be is an acknowledgement that Congress need not adhere to the Constitution. Is that where we want to be?

      1. Also, it’s not entirely clear that some portion of the intelligence community and/or members of Congress didn’t commit crimes in the pursuit of impeachment. Might at least look into the allegations of them being foxes before putting them in charge of the hen house.

        Would a libelous impeachment be enforceable?

  34. “Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is…”

    Which means every president ever has been guilty of an impeachable offense. Ergo, Trump is just like every other president.

    Way to go Jacob.

    1. “Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is…”

      So the House of Representatives gets to decide post facto, ad hoc what actions are “high crimes and misdemeanors”?

      Novel constitutional theory there.

      1. ???

        It’s not my “theory” it is exactly what the Constitution states. There is no description or definition of what “high crimes and misdemeanors” means. But it must mean something otherwise why mention it? So, who else is to decide? It is entirely within the purview of Congress to decide, and not being a criminal proceeding, the prohibition on ex post facto law does not apply.

        1. To make my point clear, I did not mean to imply that Jacob’s quoted statement was factually wrong, I’m noting that it is both banal, and void of any moral principle.

        2. But it must mean something otherwise why mention it?

          To suggest that the matter of impeachment should be confined to criminal activities. Acts that a court of law would hear and/or convict on.

          Congress can’t impeach a President for being Catholic or owning a gun.

          1. “Congress can’t impeach a President for being Catholic or owning a gun.”

            If ThomasD is right and I read him correctly, Congress can do exactly that.

            1. If ThomasD is right and I read him correctly, Congress can do exactly that.

              I’m fairly certain he’s not right but neither one of us is a preeminent constitutional scholar. I do know he’s practically stupefying himself acting like the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ clause is simultaneously completely open to any and all active revisions, without implication, and somehow still binding.

              I think there’s a hefty dose of is/ought or could/would/should fallacy at play. A court of law could convict someone for breathing. It would likely be overturned on appeal but they could do it. Congress *could* impeach a President for owning a gun or being Catholic. It’s not clear that SCOTUS couldn’t simply rule the act unconstitutional and/or the next Congress/President couldn’t simply pardon and/or reinstate his eligibility for office.

              1. “It’s not clear that SCOTUS couldn’t simply rule the act unconstitutional”

                What Constitutional basis do they have for making a ruling on an action expressly assigned to another branch of government?

                Plenary power is plenary.

                1. They review the application of the Constitution all the time. Should they, or if so, how they should is a different question. But they review Congressional law making all the time. This could easily be a place where there is vague language which two parties view differently which requires an arbiter to decide.

          2. “To suggest that the matter of impeachment should be confined to criminal activities. Acts that a court of law would hear and/or convict on.”

            If that were the case then why suggest, why not specify? The authors were a rather pedantic bunch when they wanted to be. That they did not specify codified crimes means they were not limiting the action to codified crimes. It’s common sense – impeachment was also seen as a safety valve method removing a POTUS who was grossly undesired. That’s why they set such a high bar, it is only the truly terrible electoral mistake that can be undone via impeachment.

            1. If that were the case then why suggest, why not specify?

              They did specify. You chose to reinterpret it. Fortunately, the document itself specifies a branch of government who’s job it is to interpret the law and act as a check on Congress. Unless you want to reinterpret that as well.

              The authors were a rather pedantic bunch when they wanted to be.

              This is pretty subjective.

              That they did not specify codified crimes means they were not limiting the action to codified crimes.

              You spoke with them about this? Maybe next time you could get clarification about what constitutes a religion as covered by the 1A or whether automatic rifles constitute ‘arms’ under the 2A?

              impeachment was also seen as a safety valve method removing a POTUS who was grossly undesired

              See yourself above: If this was a/the purpose of impeachment, why doesn’t the Constitution say things like dereliction of duty, unfitness for purpose, disfavor, no confidence, etc.?

              My guess is that they wanted to bias the proceedings towards criminality before the law without involving the judiciary (further) while still allowing for the situation you describe. A congress could impeach for unpopularity and the judiciary can’t rule as long as their impeachment doesn’t violate of the Constitution.

        3. “It is entirely within the purview of Congress to decide….”
          If so, it seems odd that the drafters of the Constitution didn’t flat out say, “whenever Congress feels like it for any reason they want” instead of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

          1. Sorry that the logic escapes you.

            Constitutionally speaking who else decides what “high crimes and misdemeanors” means on your planet?

            1. Let me add. The House determines the articles – so they really control the definition of the ‘crime.’ The trial is then in the Senate, so it is also entirely possible that the Senate could declare the charges proven, but also not sufficient to warrant removal from office. Basically, their own version of jury nullification.

              1. Also, do some reading on the historic meaning of the word misdemeanor. At the time of ratification were there anything remotely resembling Federal misdemeanors on the books? Not really because under the Articles of Confederation their was no way to enforce them even if they had been written.

                So, even if the term is meant to suggest criminal acts, those would be State law (at least until Congress got around to writing Federal misdemeanors), and Congress would still be free to pick and choose which and when. (And Homple, at that time there were indeed laws restricting Catholics in many states.)

                1. So, even if the term is meant to suggest criminal acts, those would be State law (at least until Congress got around to writing Federal misdemeanors), and Congress would still be free to pick and choose which and when. (And Homple, at that time there were indeed laws restricting Catholics in many states.)

                  You’re assuming a pretty personal, certain, and correct interpretation of things that haven’t even been tried or hypothesized. Crazy conspiracy theorizing.

                  Again, sure, Congress could impeach a President for falling asleep in a deli in Illinois, but the constitution goes to great lengths to indicate that, through more than just Congress, the 49 other states get a say so (or several) in the matter.

                  1. Again, sure, Congress could impeach a President for falling asleep in a deli in Illinois

                    Sorry, I’m not being absurd enough, impeach a President for falling asleep in a deli *in any state because it is illegal in IL*.

                  2. I’m not assuming. I am describing the exact state of affairs that existed at the time of ratification and as understood by the people who accepted and abided by it.

                2. Why not just write “may impeach” without adding “high crimes and misdemeanors” then?

                  1. Indeed. That is exactly my point. You cannot impeach for nothing. They said something, and left the particulars of that something entirely up to the people assigned the task.

                    Mainly because they recognized that anything more specific would be self defeating.

              2. “The House determines the articles – so they really control the definition of the ‘crime.’”

                That’s what I meant by ad hoc and ex post facto. Perhaps I should have said “making shit up to fit the occasion”. And if that’s how impeachment is really going to work, we’re in for an interesting political future.

                1. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry too much. That truly is the way it has always been, and American political history is a lot more rough and tumble than many people recognize, that it has not yet been a disaster does not mean disaster is impossible, just that it is unlikely.

                  Successful impeachment requires either the uncovering of a truly horrific secret, or a President grossly incompetent and/or despised by a large majority of the voting populace.

                  1. I agree with the horrific secret part. I hope “grossly incompetent” will mean more than “disruptive to the bureaucratic apparatchiks who really run things” as seems to be the case since 2016. But if a president is “despised by a large majority of the voting publiC”, (1) why did he get elected in the first place and (2) why can’t they just vote him out of office next election?

                    1. All valid questions. Also all political questions. In most cases Congress will simply punt the issue to the next elections. The authors, and ratifiers recognized that impeachment was the emergency stop cord. You only pull it when you really need to.

                      That the current state of affairs is indeed an almost antigenic reaction from ” bureaucratic apparatchiks” who do not like being shown they DO NOT really run things is certainly an accurate assessment in my mind. Also why Sullum’s position is most disturbing.

            2. Constitutionally speaking who else decides what “high crimes and misdemeanors” means on your planet?

              States and the Judiciary. Day in. Day out.

      2. I’ve been saying this in the comments for weeks on all the impeachment threads. this was known during the Clinton impeachment debacle and everyone seems to have forgotten it. It does not require a statutory violation for impeachment. Impeachment is in fact a political process. Trumps tweeting from his personal account could be an impeachable offense. You just have to get a majority of congress-critters to sign on. That’s it.

        1. Large enough GOP majorities could have impeached President Hillary for wearing one too many pantsuits.

          Doesn’t make it morally right, but it would be entirely Constitutional.

          1. Come on dude, that would be TOTALLY morally righteous!

        2. You just have to get a majority of congress-critters to sign on.

          Check me if I’m wrong Sandy but Congress is a legal body bound by the Constitution, right?

          1. Sure, and the flip side of that coin is exactly why a sitting President cannot be indicted for a Federal crime. Anyone bringing such a charge would be a subordinate acting as an agent of the Executive. Meaning the Executive is self prosecuting and self defending. A circumstance no legitimate court could tolerate. Likewise it is why any otherwise lawful act of the Executive – ie. dismissing a subordinate cannot be a crime.

            But it can be grounds for impeachment.

            Therefore impeachment must extend to actions that are not otherwise criminal.

            1. A circumstance no legitimate court could tolerate.

              I did not and am not saying impeachment couldn’t be effected for *any* act, I’m saying there are acts or situations* for which Congress specifically cannot impeach or impeach with any sort of legal or constitutional legitimacy/authority. The question isn’t whether what the President did or did not do was illegal or not. The question is whether the Constitution allows Congress to take *any* action against anyone in such a regard.

              Impeachment is not a Congressional void on the whole Constitution that can only be rectified at the end of the election cycle. If you really believed “It’s not a legal, but a political process.” you’d wholly understand this.

              1. If the Judiciary has say over impeachment then why wouldn’t that be mentioned in the Constitution? I really think you are not thinking this through. If you think there are defined limits on what constitutes an impeachable offense then name them here and now, along with what mechanisms can revise them.

                1. Sorry, that post ended up in the wrong spot.

                  It is a ‘void.’ If only because, having done the deed – soup to nuts – , there is no Constitutional mechanism for undoing it. SCOTUS has no authority there.

                  Not to say they couldn’t try to bootstrap themselves into one – ala Marbury, but so far they have not. And I strongly doubt they would.

                  Plenary is plenary.

  35. before I looked at the bank draft saying $9300, I have faith …that…my best friend realy bringing home money in their spare time at their laptop.. there aunt started doing this for only about 17 months and resently took care of the mortgage on there mini mansion and got a great Smart ForTwo. this is where I went,

  36. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. You can complain all you want about POO*, but you can’t stop us from smearing it all over our bodies and taking selfies. Embrace the POO. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

    *President Orange Obstruction

    1. “*President Orange Obstruction”

      Ho, how……………..
      pathetic.

  37. MAGA will prevail

  38. “even though the Constitution imposes no limits on the pardon power”
    I know Reason stopped being libertarian several years ago, but does it also need to be stupid? Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 grants the pardon power. It’s only one sentence long. It imposes a a single, quite relevant, limit on the pardon power. Would it have killed Sullum to do basic research.

    “The President…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

  39. Impeachment! I imagine almost every House member could be in violation of some political criteria making them eligible for impeachment. Clinton’s impeachment due to lying to a federal grand jury still haunts democrats. They were ready to impeach regardless of what we know about Trump. There is a division in our country and impeachment will not heal it. Parties must find better people to run for office and they will not as long as current politicians act as such divisive assholes.

    1. The truth is, we’re beyond healing… The sides are too fundamentally opposed to the basic premise the other side holds on major issues. IMO it’s either going to end in peaceful secession, or a civil war. It would require some dramatic, massive event of some sort to rejigger things to being back to the relative calm we had in the 90s or whatever politically.

  40. Bill Clinton was also impeached for obstruction of justice, and people had a completely different take on the sanctity of justice in that case.

  41. TDS Wednesdays here at Reason.

    Yea, and Amash’s “principled” stand has nothing to do with his financial interests:

    https://humanevents.com/2019/05/20/does-impeach-trump-amash-have-financial-interests-in-china

  42. And this is where we have the usual Trumpertarians bitching about the surveillance state and the police state, but only when it’s used against Trump.

    Police-state tactics like separating migrant families *for deterrence* purposes? No problem.

    Surveillance of mosques? Eh who really cares. They’re probably terrorists anyway.

    Launching a thinly sourced investigation of Trump’s Russian connections? OMG IT’S AN OUTRAGE TIME TO TEAR DOWN THE POLICE STATE

    1. Jeff’s here to show what a pro he is in mendacity:
      “Police-state tactics like separating migrant families *for deterrence* purposes? No problem.”
      You sort of forgot the “illegal” part, didn’t you?

      “Surveillance of mosques? Eh who really cares. They’re probably terrorists anyway.”
      Cite missing and I’m sure it will stay missing

      “Launching a thinly sourced investigation of Trump’s Russian connections? OMG IT’S AN OUTRAGE TIME TO TEAR DOWN THE POLICE STATE”
      WIH is that supposed to mean?

    2. Except those situations are legitimate… Illegal aliens are illegal aliens. Mosques, we don’t watch them all! But sometimes it makes sense to watch certain ones… Kind of like watching the mob in the 50s made sense. Piss off.

  43. Such a great controversies. I collected some news . Thanks to all.
    please visit my website https://www.natashaescortservices.com

    1. I suspect Natasha is a Russian trying to encourage collusion!

      1. Sowing seeds of discord among Americans, *plus* a honey trap!

        1. (Just kidding, I’m sure she has a perfectly respectable cab company which escorts you to your destination)

      2. Yeah, but what does moose and squirrel say?

  44. “…Mueller’s report is more troubling and consequential, even if it does not amount to a crime that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” Does the author realize what he’s saying?!

    1. The author is simply saying “Impeach Bad Orange Man in any way it can be done for any reason that somebody comes up with.”

  45. Honk, honk! Sullum the Clown!

  46. […] they can find to hurt him and people associated with him, especially since impeachment seems to be off the table. But in their eagerness to attack their political opponents, the Democrats who control New […]

  47. Every President since Lincoln (and especially Lincoln) has engaged in “impeachable conduct.”

    So a close reading of Amash’s statement is that it is virtually meaningless. The question is why he’s doing this, and why he’s not concerned about the malfeasance involved in spying on the Trump campaign and launching this witch hunt based on a conspiracy theory hoax. I like Justin Amash overall, but I think he may suffer from a touch of TDS.

    In his tweets on “impeachable conduct” he failed to identify a single specific example.

  48. The Barr memo to Rosenstein makes clear why the President did not and could not obstruct justice in this case.
    Sullum should have addressed it.
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5638848-June-2018-Barr-Memo-to-DOJ-Muellers-Obstruction.html

    1. Excellent! Thanks for sharing! Having gone back and reading Amash’s tweets, I agree with Millennial Lawyer. Also, my understanding is the President was totally transparent throughout the investigation and even ordered White House staff to cooperate. Ultimately, Trump was right it was a witch hunt and now Congressional Democrats still won’t let the investigation go.

      1. Still suffering from Epic Butt Hurt. Their criminal candidate lost.
        Move On. Morons.
        If you try to kill the king and fail… suffer the consequences.
        The Tree of Liberty is in desperate need of watering.

  49. […] they can find to hurt him and people associated with him, especially since impeachment seems to be off the table. But in their eagerness to attack their political opponents, the Democrats who control New […]

  50. Disagree. At best, if the President was doing so it was to obstruct what was an unconstitutional investigation to begin with. The Office of Independent Counsel is an arm of the Justice Department which is a branch of the Executive Branch. Trump should have fired Mueller or denied the Democrats the investigation and told Congress: “You want an investigation? You do it. That is your job.”

    Elijah Cummings’s wife has just been implicated in improper conduct related to two non-profits she operates. The President should order the FBI to investigate this (if they aren’t already) and any leader of the Democrat caucus who has engaged in felony conduct.

    I am willing to bet Nancy Pelosi has some sort of mafia connections due to her associations with the D’Allesandro political machine in Maryland and Mad Maxine Waters does for not only praising the LA riots but also with her championing Damien Williams, the thug who nearly killed Reginald Denny. Once the President orders the FBI to investigate all of this watch Democrats back off real fast.

  51. […] they can find to hurt him and people associated with him, especially since impeachment seems to be off the table. But in their eagerness to attack their political opponents, the Democrats who control New […]

  52. They only reason they didn’t try to impeach Obama is that no one investigated him, because he was on the “correct” side.

  53. “Trump tried to stop the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser”

    I’m no Trump supporter, but how does Trump asking Comey if he would be willing to “let this go” in regards to Gen. Flynn translate into him trying to stop the FBI investigation?

    1. Comey recused himself at day one.

  54. […] they can find to hurt him and people associated with him, especially since impeachment seems to be off the table. But in their eagerness to attack their political opponents, the Democrats who control New York’s […]

  55. Apologies if I missed someone else sharing this idea but part of what Amash is doing is quashing the Democrats’ show trials by asserting the Mueller Report is sufficient to bring charges.

    1. As if anything Amash says might affect what the Democrats in Congress are going to do…

      Too clever by half. If it was clever to begin with. Which it wasn’t.

  56. Mr Scumlum, the mere fact that Mittens vets Ashame’s opinion makes it moot at best and non valid certainly. Mittens has always been consistent in being wrong.

  57. Article II, Sec. 4: “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.”
    For “”and”” CONVICTION OF….
    YOU DECIDE. IS THE CONJUNCTION “and” without effect? It is not an either/or choice. Additionally, how could a high crime or misdemeanor attach without a proper conviction?
    I disagree with the author and J. Amash.

    1. The conjunction never leaves the purview of Congress.

      House impeaches when they issue the articles. Senate trial determines conviction and results.

  58. […] they can find to hurt him and people associated with him, especially since impeachment seems to be off the table. But in their eagerness to attack their political opponents, the Democrats who control New […]

  59. lol… There it is – the entire premise of the whole thing….

    “Nor does it matter that Mueller ultimately found no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign illegally conspired with Russian agents. Trump himself did not know the answer to that question in advance”

    Lets repeat that! “Trump himself did not know the answer” —- You absolutely know its a witch-hunt when the convicted is assumed to NOT EVEN KNOW of his crime until someone dictates it to him/her…. Maybe its time to start investigating the investigation department when it starts dictating who the criminal is without them even knowing they’re suppose to be a criminal.

    1. IE – Investigator, “Did you commit the Crime?”.. Convict, “I don’t know; you tell me.”

      1. Very Stalin like, show me the person and I’ll show you the crime.

    2. Yeah, that line cracked me up.

  60. What the Demon Rats have done in their failed Coup attempt is Treason. FBI. CIA. Corrupt. It went all the way to the top. This is the real crime here. Barr will prosecute. Then, you’ll have a story to cover.

  61. […] Pelosi has rejected calls for impeachment—even as many others, including libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), have been suggesting impeachment is […]

  62. […] has rejected calls for impeachment—even as many others, including libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), have been suggesting impeachment is […]

  63. Pelosi Was Almost Entirely Correct About Impeachment

    Look who was also “right” about impeachment. Such a passive aggressive Lefty Narrative.

  64. […] Pelosi has rejected calls for impeachment—even as many others, including libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), have been suggesting impeachment is […]

  65. […] how most of Trump’s defenders and the president himself have reacted. That doesn’t mean Amash is right, of course, but it should give conservatives pause before they launch into another round of […]

  66. […] how most of Trump’s defenders and the president himself have reacted. That doesn’t mean Amash is right, of course, but it should give conservatives pause before they launch into another round of […]

  67. […] has rejected calls for impeachment—even as many others, including libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), have been suggesting impeachment is […]

  68. […] but criticism from his fellow Republicans for expressing the opinion that Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct” by trying to disrupt the Mueller probe—Amash stuck to his guns and turned his fire […]

  69. […] but criticism from his fellow Republicans for expressing the opinion that Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct” by trying to disrupt the Mueller probe—Amash stuck to his guns and turned his fire […]

  70. The House impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath about oral sex

    Swing and a miss, right from the opening arguments. How can your piece be taken seriously when you didn’t even bother to frame the Clinton impeachment honestly?

    At the root of it all, Bill Clinton was a sexual predator. To cover up his predation, Bill Clinton perjured himself and suborned perjury. Bill Clinton actually obstructed justice. He didn’t just think about it or talk about it to friends. He didn’t just make negative comments about the special counsel (which he did). He actually used his office and influence to get people to lie for him under oath.

    There was no crime that Trump was guilty of. Worse, it looks like the Obama administration committed FISA and espionage abuses to go after the Trump campaign.

    1. Exactly. The reasoning in the essay is bizarre.

      Sullum writes, “Impeachable conduct is whatever the House of Representatives decides it is, a point the president’s defenders and some of his critics seem determined to obscure.

      The House impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath about oral sex, and the conduct described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is more troubling and consequential, even if it does not amount to a crime that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. ”

      Well, lying under oath is a crime. As you point out, it’s called “perjury.”

      What is Trump’s actual (high) “crime” or (high) “misdemeanour”?

      If Trump’s adversaries are now seriously advocating the easy impeachment, trial and removal of a duly-elected president for reasons that amount to, “You know? We just really don’t like this guy at all and we wish he’d never been elected,” then they shall discover that they’ve not only set a very dangerous precedent but a precedent which holds the potential of undermining electoral government itself.

      There really are some things worse than having to put up with an elected official whose opinions and personal behaviour strike one as repulsive, abhorrent, etc. but not illegal under the law before it has been corrupted for cheap, momentary partisan political motives.

      In the case of Richard Nixon, Republicans saw themselves bound to protect the Constitution and it regular order by refusing to protect Nixon from the fair and proper application of the law.

      Now, Democrats are called on to refuse to corrupt the law–not to impeach a president but to prevent an improper impeachment of one.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.