Impeachment

Does an Impeachment Overturn an Election?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

When the White House released its formal response to the House impeachment, it repeated a frequent claim of the president's defenders: "This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election." The president himself had set the tone some time ago by tweeting, "what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP."

This is not an unusual move for defenders of an embattled president. Nancy Pelosi was among a group of Democratic politicians who once claimed that the impeachment of President Bill Clinton was "tantamount to overturning the will of the American people." Back then, it was Jerrold Nadler who declared that the House majority was "participating in a thinly veiled coup d'etat."

I have a forthcoming article that tries to take these sorts of arguments seriously and determine how much credence we should give them. There is obviously a lot of meaningless bluster in this kind of rhetoric, but presidential defenders are pointing to a real issue. In a political culture that emphasizes the importance of partisan political elections, removing a president by congressional action is not the same as removing a district court judge. Advocates of presidential impeachment and removal bear a very high argumentative burden to justify such an extraordinary act, not just because the presidency is an important office but because the president was elected by the people and will eventually be held accountable by the people for his actions.

Nonetheless, all the talk of overturning elections and coups is over the top.

The impeachment power exists within the constitutional scheme, and it exists for a reason. Like any other constitutional power, it can be mishandled and abused, and the people will eventually have their say about that as well. But rhetoric of overturning elections suggests that the impeachment power can never be legitimately used against a president, which would surely be a dangerous mistake. And if impeaching a president is tantamount to overturning the will of the people who elected him, then what other actions that a Congress might take to impede a president's plans should fall under the same shadow? Can the Senate refuse to confirm his judicial appointees? Can Congress refuse to fund his border walls? Can the Supreme Court strike down the president's signature policy initiative? Elections have consequences, but the American constitutional system is not reducible to presidential plebiscites.

There are unique circumstances in which a presidential impeachment might be understood to have such dramatic consequences for the workings of a democracy. If the vice president were the partisan rival of the president, as he might have been under the original 1787 Constitution, then it is not hard to imagine a corrupt bargain between the vice president and his supporters in Congress to remove the president. The Twelfth Amendment saved us from that problem. If the office of the vice president were vacant such that a member of the congressional majority might succeed to the White House upon a presidential removal, as was the case when Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868, then defenders of a president might have grounds for complaint.

In normal circumstances, of course, presidential removal would simply result in the ascension of the president's handpicked partisan running mate. If Bill Clinton had been replaced by Al Gore in early 1999, the Democratic Party and its voters might well have been better off. The prospect of Newt Gingrich plotting to install Al Gore in the White House would have been a strange sort of coup indeed.

Perhaps there are situations in which passing the baton to the vice president does more closely resemble an effort to undo the results of an election. If the vice president represented a radically different political faction than the president, then supporters of the president might well call shenanigans if the vice president conspired with allies in Congress to depose him. If Democrats had controlled Congress in 1865 and attempted to unseat Abraham Lincoln in order to turn the presidency over to Andrew Johnson, then Republicans would have had something to complain about.

Closer to home, we might imagine a uniquely charismatic and populist president who is loathed by the political establishment. If establishment politicians sought to remove that president so one of their own might be elevated to the head of the executive branch, then the voters who rallied to the populist might well have a gripe.

It is not implausible to think that Donald Trump and Mike Pence were not interchangeable for the average GOP voter in 2016. The spectacle of Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney joining hands to unceremoniously toss the tribune of the people out of the nation's capital could well be disconcerting in ways that might have made less sense in the context of almost any other president. If the salient divide is not primarily partisan but rather populist or even Trumpist, then an impeachment might face unique legitimacy challenges.

Similarly, it would not be hard for supporters of President Barack Obama or of a President Hillary Clinton to spin a narrative in which those individuals have unique representative mantles that could not simply be passed on to Joe Biden or Tim Kaine if congressional leaders disfavored the people's choice of president.

Through their own missteps, critics of a president can give greater credence to such accusations that an impeachment is an effort to overturn an election. If presidential critics reach for every possible vehicle or excuse to attempt to remove a president from the day of his election, one should not be surprised if supporters of the president greet an impeachment with greater than average skepticism. If presidential critics make little or no effort to reach across the aisle to build broad-based support for an impeachment, then it becomes harder to credit the impeachment as driven by anything other than partisan motives to cripple a presidency. If presidential critics cannot supply a credible constitutional rationale for an impeachment, then it becomes easier to dismiss an impeachment effort as partisan dirty tricks.

When those who chant "not my president" eventually succeed in impeaching that president, their arguments are likely to be discounted. Impeachments occur in a political context, and that context will necessarily affect how the impeachment is perceived. If Obama had committed grave offenses while in office that would have merited his impeachment and removal by a Republican-controlled Congress, birtherism conspiracy theories promoted by Donald Trump among others would have poisoned the well such that many Democrats would have doubted whether any impeachment inquiry was being made in good faith and was anything other than an attempt to effectively nullify the results of an election by rendering the president politically impotent if nothing else. Suggestions that the Senate should no longer be allowed to confirm an impeached President Trump's judicial nominations, as if a President Pence would not have made the same nominations or that an impeached president no longer wields the power of his constitutional office, give the impression that nullifying the effects of a presidential election is precisely the point. Elections have consequences, and so does political rhetoric.

Republican politicians and conservative media figures have gone to great lengths to excuse or condone President Trump's genuine misconduct, and the Trump White House—not unlike the Clinton White House—has attempted to delegitimate investigators and accusers in a scorched earth strategy to maintain power. They have attempted to portray Trump's impeachment as not merely misguided or unjustified but as beyond the pale. In doing so, they attempt to provide the foundation for characterizing the impeachment as a kind of coup. The attempt is analytically flawed, but politically effective.

We find ourselves at a difficult juncture. Both critics and defenders of the president have too often undermined their own credibility and have done too much to foster a partisan antipathy that cannot be easily set aside or overcome. Both fear that the other side will not abide by election results and will seek to manipulate the electoral process and constitutional mechanisms to their own advantage. Both believe that their opponents do not respect the will of their voters. When Doug Collins complains that "liberal elites" are telling "millions of voters" that their preferences do not matter, he is both pointing to and reinforcing a divide that insists that an elected president represents only part of the country.

The legitimacy of a presidential impeachment depends on our ability to come together as Americans to investigate and deliberate over charges of presidential misconduct. If impeachments are instead seen as just another form of partisan constitutional hardball, then they will be seen as illegitimate and simply a continuation of the partisan electoral struggle itself. Political leaders can help create a political environment in which presidential impeachments can fulfill their constitutional function, but they can also create an environment in which impeachments are just another manifestation of constitutional dysfunction.

A presidential impeachment is not much like a coup and would rarely overturn the will of the people, but in a deeply partisan environment it is likely to feel that way.

NEXT: Why Do Critics of Harsh Drug Penalties Support Them When the Drug Is Fentanyl?

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  1. “If Obama had committed grave offenses while in office that would have merited his impeachment and removal by a Republican-controlled Congress”

    If. LOL!

    1. These True Believers genuinely believe Obama’s was a scandal-free administration.

      They’ve buried the weaponized IRS targeting political enemies, they’ve long forgotten the civil servants killing vets for bonuses, they don’t even count Obama spying on Trump’s presidential campaign.

      These people are sick in the head and very very dangerous to our way of life.

      1. Imagine if Obama’s VP withheld aid to Ukraine for an explicit quid pro quo and then bragged about it later.

        1. You have to fantasize, because Obama’s VP was following US policy backed by the Western Alliance and the International Monetary fund. Joe Biden did not gain any personal political benefit like Trump attempted.

          1. “Joe Biden did not gain any personal political benefit like Trump attempted.”

            Right. His son did.

            1. We don’t actually know that, because Hunter is refusing court orders to reveal his financial affairs. It’s still possible he passed some money back to daddy in appreciation for Joe having his back.

          2. Well, that proves it was on the up and up, it’s not like IMF heads keep getting caught committing crimes or something.

            1. You think this was a conspiracy that included Biden, Obama, and the IMF, Brett?

              Look where your shoddy reasoning has taken you.

          3. No, exactly what I said is exactly what literally happened. An explicit quid pro quo.

            I never said that Joe Biden gained a personal political benefit. That is a question that should be investigated. Nobody has investigated it. The media won’t even investigate it. You are a liar when you say, “Joe Biden did not gain any personal political benefit,” because you don’t know that, you’re just being a partisan tool.

            However, in the video, where Joe describes this explicit quid pro quo, he is describing an example of a political achievement that demonstrates his acumen and competence for which he should be rewarded with further power.

        2. Joe Biden and Nance PELOSI both had kids on board of directors of Ukrainian gas companies. NANCE’s son Paul PELOSI was on VISCOIL board and NANCE even made a video for that company.

          1. Sorry, but no. Nancy (not “Nance”) Pelosi’s son Paul did indeed serve on the board of Viscoil for a time. Viscoil, however, was not a “Ukrainian gas company.”

      2. if it was such an easy case why didn’t the Republican-controlled Congress actually do it? were they secretly Democrats the whole time?

        1. Perhaps they had better manners and didn’t wish to escalate the partisanship. Seems to me the Democrats have been the ones escalating partisanship. Remember the filibuster’s nuclear option?

          Republicans aren’t pure of heart either; their impeachment was just as partisan, but did involve perjury. and wasn’t rushed through like this disaster.

          1. It seems to you that way so you can keep the moral high ground. That’s not actually accurate though. I mean look at how Republican led state legislators have reacted when a democratic governor gained control of the executive. They went absolutely bananas.

            1. Sure, in spite of [citation needed]. Both sides are hacks. But the recent federal stuff is Democrats. One need only look at the current crop of socialists to see how fanatic they are about getting their way, by hook or by crook.

              1. There is no “current crop of socialists”. One only need to look at the history of the Republicans. They serve almost exclusively at the pleasure of the wealthy and the fascist corporate interests. There is no real equity between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Republicans have not passed one significant policy specifically directed to support the lower and middle-classes for four decades. The same cannot be said of Democrats.

                1. This guy’s going to be here all week:

                  “There is no “current crop of socialists”.”
                  ——————————-
                  “One only need to look at the history of the Republicans. They serve almost exclusively at the pleasure of the wealthy and the fascist corporate interests.”

                  He’s also full of shit.

                  1. As are you.
                    (See? See how helpful constructive “you’re full of shit” observations are?)

                    1. C’mon santamonica811,
                      Even you know that Reed is full of #BullSchiff when making the claim that there is no “current crop of socialists”. Let alone claiming that only Republicans “serve almost exclusively at the pleasure of the wealthy and the fascist corporate interests.”

                      Hell, the Progressive Democratic Party has TWO Billionaires running for President, not to mention the heavy support/influence of wealthy and corporate interests. Can one say GE, Google, et.al.

                    2. It’s the globalist socialists vs. the half-educated bigots.

                      Where is the hope for America?

          2. Harry Reid had made an agreement with Moscow Mitch to not filibuster low judge department appointments. McConnell lied. Late McConnell went further and used the “nuclear option” on SCOTUS appointments like no time in history.
            The Clinton impeachment had a special prosecutor who deposed witnesses, like the neighbor’s maid, her cousins and their dog. Over 90,000 pages of material evidence and witness testimony was turned over to the Congressional inquiry.
            Without the same documentation and witness testimony, the Democrats had no choice. Trump’s impeachment defense team have committed perjury in the Senate Trial and in front of Chef Justice Roberts.
            Trump has refused to show up at the Inquiry (Clinton did), Trump has refused to turn over ANY requested documented evidence and Trump has obstructed his staff’s first person testimony.

            1. IOW the Democrats didn’t get what they expected from Mueller’s Russian Collusion Delusion (unlike the Starr investigation) so they had to make shit up, run secret hearings (so secret some of them only had Dems in the hearing,) then rush through an impeachment in the hopes that this shit would stick.

              1. Get back to us when you’re willing to post truthful statements.

                Actually no, just leave.

        2. “why didn’t the Republican-controlled Congress actually do it?”

          Maybe they learned a lesson from the Clinton impeachment.

          They did not control the Senate until 2015

          Even after 2015, a small senate majority can’t convict and you aren’t getting a single Democrat.

          1. The had the House from 2011 to 2016. This Democratic House does not control the Senate..
            Currently a small Senate minority is being tyrannized by the Republican majority.

          2. Why didn’t the Republican-controlled Congress even investigate the situation? They had roughly 613 investigations into Benghazi, each one more pointless than the last. And yet they never once considered investigating Biden.

            1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that everybody in Washington is dirty, but it’s at least a controlling plurality.

              They’ve got a gentleman’s agreement not to investigate each other’s graft. Only the really clumsy (Like that freezer cash guy.) get prosecuted, because they might expose the rest.

              1. You see how weak and special pleading this is?

            2. Then again, Biden didn’t openly bragged about his quid pro quo / extortion of Ukraine until 2017 after he left office.

              1. The Republicans supported the very reforms Biden was demanding. That’s why they didn’t investigate; they wanted the prosecutor general’s office cleaned out.

      3. I mean they’re at least as sick as the people who support a guy who in no particular order:

        1. Pardons convicted or credibly accused war criminals.
        2. Has stated his intention or desire to commit other war crimes, including but not limited to: bringing back torture, seizing a country’s natural resources, “going after” (ie killing) the families of suspected terrorists, and targeting cultural sites with a symbolic number rather than focusing on legitimate military targets.
        3. Pardoning people who merely wrote and said nice things about him.
        4. Pardoning an official whose crime was contempt of court for continually engaging in racial profiling.
        5. Cheating on all his wives.
        6. Calling the judge overseeing his trial for civil fraud biased because he’s Mexican (the judge was born in Indiana FWIW) .
        7. Thinking he knows more about the impact of hurricanes in Alabama than meteorologists in Alabama, and then forcing a government agency to lie on his behalf to defend that belief.
        8. Openly criticized his Justice Department for indicting Republican representatives and implying that there should be political considerations behind those decisions. Those Representatives both pleaded guilty FWIW.
        9. Not being overly concerned with consent before physical or sexual contact.
        10. Encouraging police officers to rough up suspects even though that is illegal.
        11. Consistently lying about his approach to health care policy.
        12. Consistently embracing and praising a murderous dictator in North Korea. (Who also happens to be communist.) Such praise has not resulted in any meaningful change in North Korean policy.
        13. Thinking modern light bulbs cause his orange glow.
        14. Consistently attacking others for their physical appearance
        15. Making fun of a reporter’s disability.
        16. Lying about his inauguration crowd size and forcing other people to lie for him.
        17. Praising a congressperson for assaulting a journalist.
        18. Going to a hospital to visit shooting victims and smiling with a thumbs up.
        19. Making religiously based attacks against a Gold Star family
        20. Well documented evidence of mismanaging a charity and using it as a slush fund. Said mismanagement led to its dissolution and a $2 million fine.
        21. Ignoring Congressional subpoenas and directing other to ignore them.
        22. Not knowing who Frederick Douglas is
        23. Self admittedly not being a big reader
        24. Not taking intelligence briefings because he’s “smart”
        25. Equivocation on Charlottesville
        26. Not knowing how to spell simple words
        27. Encouraging the break-up of institutions in Europe that have kept the peace for 70 years with no discernible benefit to us.
        28. Thinking American Jews have dual loyalty to Israel (ie “Your Prime Minister”)
        29. Believing the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory
        30. Retweeting white nationalists
        31. Saying he won in a landslide even though he 1 lost the popular vote and 2 is in the bottom quarter of electoral college margins
        32. Birtherism
        33. Trying to rename Denali Mt McKinley
        34. Thinking jobs numbers were rigged until the moment they showed he also had job growth
        35. Credible evidence of tax fraud
        36. Showing zero loyalty to anyone but himself
        37. Attacking Ted Cruz’s wife as unattractive
        38. Saying Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in the JFK assassination.
        39. Believing that SNL making fun of him is “illegal” and should “be tested in court.”
        40. Imitating an orgasm at a rally
        41. Taking credit for a veterans bill passed in the Obama admin.
        42. Hiring an HHS Secretary, EPA admin, and Interior secretary who had to resign under the cloud of scandal
        43. Claiming that men taking care of their kids is “acting like the wife”
        44. Saying a wide variety of creepy comments about his eldest daughter
        45. Not knowing where things in the world are.
        46. Believing companies should be able to bribe foreign leaders and that the FCPA is a bad law.
        47. Thinking windmills cause cancer
        48. Saying that STDs were his personal Vietnam.
        49. Making fun of someone for being a POW.
        50. Saying how gross and how much he dislikes parts of the country he leads. (Seriously. Imagine Obama saying how much he thought Arkansas sucked.)
        51. And of course, constantly telling people how great and smart he is despite loads of evidence to the contrary.

        Etc. etc.

        1. The repeatedly debunked lie in #25 discredits the rest.

          Good one.

          P.S. “Bitter Clingers”.

          1. Bull sht. Trump did equivocate. There is no legitimate equity between nazis and the protestors. Trump’s equivocation was lame.
            Your dishonest, infantile, arbitrary dismissal, is ridiculous, lazy, and destroys your credibility. Fraud…

            1. Moreover, while there were some words of criticism of Nazis, they were perfunctory. Contrast how repeatedly and vehemently Trump denounced Comey and Mueller and Schiff and Hillary and the like with how rare and low key his criticism of Nazis was.

              “Oh, yeah, Nazis are bad. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me rant tweet 50 times a day about how evil Jim Comey is.”

              1. “Moreover, while there were some words of criticism of Nazis, they were perfunctory. Contrast how repeatedly and vehemently Trump denounced Comey and Mueller and Schiff and Hillary and the like with how rare and low key his criticism of Nazis was.”

                Oh, oh! See? He didn’t denounce someone the way David likes, obviously an impeachable offense!
                You TDS victims are all too obvious.

              2. Let’s be real here. No one over the age of 5 needs to be informed in any great detail that self-proclaimed Nazis are bad. If you have genuine Nazis running around, there’s really nothing else to say.

                The comment everyone is referring to at Charlotesville was clearly Trump not doing his homework. It was a non-answer that in most situations would be the safe one (after all, most rallies do have decent people on both sides that just disagree).

                1. Republicans are fine with bigots. Gay-bashers, Confederate flag-fondlers, racist vote suppressors, misogynists, Muslim-haters — they’re pillars of the current conservative electoral coalition. They just can’t afford bigots who strut around full Nazi, because the liberals made it so you must try to keep the bigotry on the down-low these days.

          2. Defending the confederate statues isn’t really a good people thing anyway, but okay.

            Also he didn’t say he hated them or they were disgusting like Trump does when he talks about liberal cities or states. He said people were “Bitterly clinging to guns and religion” It was more of an expression of disappointment in their reaction to hopelessness. In some sense it was empathetic. Trump, who is incapable of such an emotion, as he has repeatedly demonstrated, simply trash talks. Another character flaw.

            And even assuming that 25 is discredited, I assume you don’t have a good response to the rest of them which is why you simply picked on that. Maybe you’re not so comfortable supporting idiocy and immorality as I think.

            1. “…Another character flaw…”

              So we’ll include that in the entire run of 1 to 51, easily parsed as:
              ‘I AND THE HAG LOST TO TRUMP AND I DON’T LIKE HIM!!!!’
              Thanks, and fuck off.

              1. No.

            2. “ Defending the confederate statues isn’t really a good people thing anyway, but okay.”

              “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

              Santayana has the better if the argument to my mind. We should keep those up to remember there was a day when their actions were celebrated.

              It’s the same reason Auschwitz-Birkenau is a World Heritage site; so we don’t forget how humans can become evil.

              1. See, there’s your problem right there: Humans start out evil, the danger is forgetting that, and forgetting the necessity to train them out of it.

                1. Devaluing evil to own the libs.

              2. Except that’s the not the purpose of confederate monuments. They were erected after “Redemption” and throughout the twentieth century to celebrate. They are a central piece of the “Lost Cause” mythology. Places that should be seen more akin to Auschwitz, plantations, are also sanitized and even used as wedding venues.

                These aren’t historical reminders of the horrors of slavery. They’re a celebration and of myth. If they have value for historical memory they can go in a museum or somehow be similarly contextualized. That’s not what the Charlottesville protesters were looking for, though.

                I suggest you read Fitzhugh Brundage’s The Southern Past for a good overview of the efforts of white southerners to make public memory about the confederacy about something other than the defense of slavery.

                1. Law, I tend to shy away from second-guessing motives. To me, only God truly knows one’s motivations in their heart and mind. But let me wade in and address the statue issue.

                  I feel we should leave the confederate statues alone. I completely understand and empathize why others feel differently (and strongly) about this issue, and it is not a case where I think they are wrong. I don’t think they are wrong. So why do I feel this way? Why do I want to leave the statues alone?

                  To me, these statues are a highly visible reminder of the fact that we lost ~644,000 thousand men in a ghastly civil war. A civil war, in great measure, that was fought to successfully eradicate slavery from our country. This civil war happened. Men fought; men died. It is a part of our history, our cultural DNA. And there is no escaping that. Their ultimate sacrifices – on both sides – should be honored. And not treated as a thing of shame. And lest anyone forget, there was a victor in the civil war, and it wasn’t the confederacy (no need to rub that in, trust me, they know it).

                  I want our descendants, centuries from now, to know and understand our history. That means all of our history, with all of our terrible mistakes. We do a grave disservice to our descendants trying to sanitize our American story by removing physical reminders of it (like statues). Our descendants must understand the depths of depravity that men are capable of doing to men, so they can learn from that and not repeat it.

                  I feel a potential compromise to explore is relocating statues to a local museum in the area, and having a plaque (as a historical marker) in place of the statue. I’m not especially wild about that, but I’d certainly be open to exploring the idea.

                  1. “I feel we should leave the confederate statues alone.”

                    That suits your political leaning. It also marks a bigot. An embracer of bigots or an appeaser of a bigots, but a bigot either way.

                    Desire statues that evoke the Civil War? Choose statues that celebrate the winners who beat the bigots. Erect markers that describe the Confederacy’s ugliness. Not a gallant bigot on a fine steed.

                    Or, stick with the bigotry. Or, the euphemism cowardly conservatives like to hide their bigotry behind these days, “traditional values.”

                    1. I want our descendants, centuries from now, to know and understand our history. That means all of our history, with all of our terrible mistakes. We do a grave disservice to our descendants trying to sanitize our American story by removing physical reminders of it (like statues). Our descendants must understand the depths of depravity that men are capable of doing to men, so they can learn from that and not repeat it.

                      Yes, what a bigot I am.

                  2. Their ultimate sacrifices – on both sides – should be honored.

                    Why would you advocate honoring someone who sacrificed for a bad cause? Mohammad Atta paid the ultimate sacrifice, too, but I don’t see anyone arguing for his statue at Ground Zero.

                    And the statue in question, like most of the controversial civil war monuments, does not simply memorialize the dead; it honors one of the people responsible for the deaths.

                    1. To me, these statues are a highly visible reminder of the fact that we lost ~644,000 thousand men in a ghastly civil war. A civil war, in great measure, that was fought to successfully eradicate slavery from our country. This civil war happened. Men fought; men died. It is a part of our history, our cultural DNA. And there is no escaping that. Their ultimate sacrifices – on both sides – should be honored. And not treated as a thing of shame. And lest anyone forget, there was a victor in the civil war, and it wasn’t the confederacy (no need to rub that in, trust me, they know it).

                      I want our descendants, centuries from now, to know and understand our history. That means all of our history, with all of our terrible mistakes. We do a grave disservice to our descendants trying to sanitize our American story by removing physical reminders of it (like statues). Our descendants must understand the depths of depravity that men are capable of doing to men, so they can learn from that and not repeat it.

          3. Gotta love a LT Guy that supports/protects Antifa, criminal foreign nationals, and terrorists over US citizens, veterans, and legal foreign nationals.

            1. How could you possibly infer that from what I said. I haven’t made fun of veterans but I noted that Trump made fun of someone for being a POW. If you mean the pardons, then you probably have a beef with other veterans and active duty military personnel who are not pleased by them Where did I even mention Antifa? And, in case you weren’t aware: there are certain legal protections for “criminal foreign nationals” and “terrorists.” That’s the law. Sorry if you don’t like the concept of rights, as Trump clearly does not, but the law does not permit us to summarily torture and execute suspected illegal aliens or terrorists.

          4. In #25 you’re lying

            Go here and get back to me and always remember “hands up don’t shoot”

            https://blog.dilbert.com/2019/04/30/the-fine-people-hoax-funnel/

        2. @LawTalkingGuy Are you actually a lawyer? I mean, you post all these “crimes” of thoughts and things said as if they are anything prosecutable. Even as purported statements of facts they are mostly lame. We get you don’t like Trump. So what? I’m curious, have you read the whole book on Obama’s serious and actual abuses of power while in office? Check it out, on Amazon by Ben Shapiro, an actual “lawtalkingguy”.

          1. He has TDS

      4. The comparison is useful. How did the President respond when the “IRS targeting political enemies” (which apparently included the IRS tagging entities like “progressive” as it “appear[s] as anti-Republican” and that their “‘progressive’ activities appear to show that [Section] 501(c)(3) may not be appropriate”) scandal broke? Did he say “The targeting was perfect!” Or did he say:

        “The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test. I’ve directed Secretary Lew to hold those responsible for these failures accountable, and to make sure that each of the Inspector General’s recommendations are implemented quickly, so that such conduct never happens again. But regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong.”

        1. He sure did whisper sweet nothings, but in the end who was held accountable?

          1. The IRS was fined and made to pay damages. You need an audiologist.

            1. So Obo walked and therefore orange man bad?
              You should seek treatment.

          2. Steve Miller and Lois Lerner were fired, even though neither appears to have personally violated any law, or even been responsible for the alleged targeting.

        2. “which apparently included the IRS tagging entities like “progressive” ”

          Yeah, you never got into the details. They added terms like “progressive” to the BOLO list only after it became obvious that they weren’t going to be able to keep it secret, it wasn’t on the list to begin with. It was part of the coverup.

          And even after they added it, the groups with conservative sounding names got systematically different treatment from the ones with liberal sounding names.

          1. “Progressive” was first included in the Touch and Go (TAG) listings in October 26, 2005, long before the Tea Party movement. The TAG listing was expanded in April 2007 to include: “Activities are partisan and appear as anti-Republican. You see references to ‘blue’ as being ‘progressive.'” It was added to the BOLO listing beginning August 10, 2010, the same time ACORN successors (notorious conservative group!) was added. But that’s because everything transferred from TAG to BOLO in August 2010. Some purportedly conservative watch words (like “We the People”) was never placed on BOLO. Same with “Rally Patriots”.

        3. “Not even a smidgen of corruption.”

    2. “If Obama had committed grave offenses while in office that would have merited his impeachment and removal by a Republican-controlled Congress”

      Is Keith auditioning for a position with Babylon Bee?

      1. Are you applying for the Trump supplicant derrière kisser?

        1. “Are you applying for the Trump supplicant derrière kisser?”
          How does the hag’s shit taste, fucking lefty ignoramus?
          You and she lost; grow up, if you’re capable of it.

          1. You’re the one repeating the same uninspired and juvenile insults all over the place, so I’m not sure you’re in a position to tell other people to grow up.

        2. Naw, the only Royal Arse Kisser here is RAK aka Rev Artie Kirkland!

    3. What Obama may or may not have done, is not even tangentially related to Trump’s impeachments…. Except for 72 Congressional working days in late 2009, the Republicans controlled the House since 2011. Why did they not bring up Impeachments of Obama?

      1. “What Obama may or may not have done, is not even tangentially related to Trump’s impeachments….”

        Correct. Unlike Trump, no one tried to impeach Obo for winning an election.

        1. Sevo: Winning an election is one thing. Misbehaving after taking office is another thing. Impeachment is for the latter. Get it!

          You are wrong if you think that one can be elected president and then do whatever he/she pleases.

      2. Develop a brain. Impeach the first AA man elected POTUS? Really? Oh, just go ahead and impeach. Um no….this would have torn apart the Republic by race. No way impeaching POTUS Obama was ever going to happen.

        1. I would have done it. I’m sick of having to cave to every threat of holding new race riots. It’s like giving your kid everything he wants because otherwise he’ll throw a tantrum.

          Bring it already.

          But, yeah, that’s part of why they didn’t impeach him.

          1. Bring [the race riots] already.

            Revealing.

          2. Implicit infantilization of minorities. Nice.

    4. When his Treasury Department approved that conversion of 5.7 billion Omani rials to euros in 2016, he committed an impeachable offense. Economic sanctions were in place and he did not inform Congress. The only reason he wasn’t impeached is because of fear that rioting by a certain minority group would be widespread.

  2. “Nonetheless, all the talk of overturning elections and coups is over the top.”

    Really? I seem to recall some of the left leaning loons were calling for impeachment the day after the election.

    And who can forget the effort to try to get electors to fote for Hillary instead of Trump?

    And what of a 3 year effort of investigations that led to NOTHING?

    And a “whistleblower” who did not have first hand knowledge of what he “witnessed”.

    This all stems from a bunch of folks who absolutely REFUSE to accept the results of an election they lost.

    1. Some on the left call for lots of stuff. Do I get to pretend Neo Nazis speak for the GOP?

      Mueller report sure wasn’t nothing. Benghazi on the other hand…

      20 people independently got a pretty good sense of what Trump wanted, which makes for a good case in and of itself, circumstantial or no.

      This all stems from the right consistently attacking motives not substance, which is telling.

      1. But there is no substance there.

        None.

        Nada.

        Nil.

        Zilch.

        Zip.

        Bupkis.

        The whole thing is “I don’t like Trump”.

        So show me on the constitution where the Bad Orange Man touched you.

        1. Darth, I am betting you get your impeachment information from some source other than watching the proceedings live on television—either in the House or in the Senate. If I am mistaken, if you actually saw the case unfold detail by detail, and your comment above represents what you took away after watching it, then there really is nothing polite I can say about your comment, or about you.

          1. Maybe he just read the transcript?

          2. You spelled “circus” wrong.

          3. I’m not going to bother laughing at Lathrop’s sources; he’s amusing enough without it.

          4. A bunch of accusations that are not included in the articles of impeachment. Schiff and Nadler making a mockery of the Constitution (as is the rest of the Democrat traitors). If you find what they are barfing up creditable, you should stick with cartoon viewing.

      2. 6 of the 7 House managers were calling for impeachment of Trump . . . BEFORE the Ukraine whistleblower ruse ever started.

        1. Source, ML? Because I don’t trust you these days.

            1. Nothing about managers.

              1. JReed, seeing as you’re a visitor here you should know that in the version of the multiverse most of us are operating in time only flows in one direction.

                So when someone says that A happened before B then the things that were caused by B can’t be referenced in A yet, because the causal arrows only point forward in time.

                When ML says that house managers advocated impeachment before the Ukraine call became public he’s necessarily saying that the people who would later become house managers, but weren’t yet at the time, had said (prior to them being house managers) that they supported impeachment. So when he provides a link showing that one of the current house managers had said previously (again, when there were no house managers yet) that he supported impeachment, he’s demonstrating what he claimed.

                Your objection that before there were any house managers appointed not a single one of the null set had advocated impeachment doesn’t work to beings limited to linear time.

                Since you’re part of the club that sees all of time at once you’ll have to remember that not everyone can do that, but since you know now you also knew that in the past, so there’s no need to explain it to you before or again.

        2. “6 of the 7 House managers were calling for impeachment of Trump…”

          Pretty sure “House managers” don’t make up the electoral college. Did you have a point?

      3. Sondland said he assumed Trump wanted an announcement that there would be investigations in return for release of the aid. Sondland also said he was afraid Trump would not release the aid even if the investigations were announced. So which was it?

        Trump stated that he wanted the investigations so that is not in dispute But if release of the aid was offered in return for the investigations why does Sondland fear Trump would continue to withhold the aid even if Ukraine announced investigations?

        1. Because, based on a lifetime of publicly documented events, and Sondland’s personal experience with the President, he knew him to be a compulsive liar?

          1. If Sondland truly believed Trump did not intend to release aid even if Ukraine announced an investigation, how the heck could he conclude that Trump was engaging in an unstated quid pro quo?
            Those beliefs are contradictory.

            As the house proceedings were wrapping up it was clear that all the Dems had was Sondland’s belief that there was a quid pro quo, a supposed unstated deal to release the aid in return for Ukraine’s announcement of an investigation. But even Sandland’s belief was shaky as it was not consistent with his other belief that Trump might withhold the aid even if Ukraine announced the investigation.

            1. Whether someone intends to fulfill their end of a bargain does not determine whether a quid pro quo existed.

              Furthermore, it was William Taylor’s phrase “nightmare scenario” where Zelensky might give in, and yet Trump would still withhold the funds.

              “‘The nightmare’ is the scenario where president Zelensky goes out in public, makes an announcement that he’s going to investigate Burisma and the election in 2016, interference in 2016 election, maybe among other things. He might put that in some series of investigations,” Mr Taylor said.

              He continued: “But he had to — he was going to — the nightmare was he would mention those two, take all the heat from that, get himself in big trouble in this country and probably in his country as well, and the security assistance would not be released. That was the nightmare.”

              In other words, the premise to your argument is incorrect. Taylor was the one who had concerns about Trump fulfilling the aid – not Sondland.

            2. “Those beliefs are contradictory.”

              No they are not. Sondland could believe that the President intended to promise releasing aid in exchange for an announcement, but that the President was a liar (or just unreliable) and was not going to actually honor the proposed quid pro quo.

              Just think of a bribe. If I tell a public official that I will pay them $1M in exchange for some public benefit, but I don’t intend to actually pay the $1M, that doesn’t make it not a quid pro quo. It just makes me a liar in addition to a briber.

              “…it was clear that all the Dems had was Sondland’s belief…”

              No, they also had the transcript (what does “favor” mean to you?) and the administration’s damning refusal to allow people to testify. And, of course, the fact that the aid was actually held up for some time. And Guliani’s idiotic public statements confirming the entire scheme.

      4. Benghazi nothing. Benghazi was a “Fog of War” situation like the 13 embassy attacks und Bush with 12 American deaths including three United States Diplomats you couldn’t name to save your double standard hypocritical life.

        1. “…Benghazi was a “Fog of War” situation…”

          I’ll bet it takes quite a while to come up with lame excuses like that.

    2. If only Keith had addressed some Democrats calling for impeachment day one in his article.

    3. Just a couple of Democrats. Pelosi did not want to impeach Trump.
      Mitch McConnell met with top Republicans the day Obama was sworn in to plan obstructing everything Obama and McConnell said he would do everything in his power to make sure Obama was a one term president.
      The Whistleblower, was like someone who overheard a bomb plot and his report was found credible by the Trump I.G.. Later testimony by first hand witnesses validated the whistleblower.
      This is why we have anonymous tip lines.
      This has nothing to do with not accepting an election, thus is about an out of control president violating the constitution with reckless abandon.

    4. Correction: “And what of a 3 year effort of investigations that led to NOTHING?”

      Donald Trump has been investigated all of his career as he was a con-man and criminal from day one. (You don’t pay fines if you haven’t committed crimes.) Trump, using bribes, payoffs, favors, etc. escaped from many crimes. That is why he is considered Teflon Anyway, what he has done all his career is happening now, hiding his crimes and avoiding the justice system. Hopefully he will be locked-up for life once out of office.

      1. Footnote to my above comment:
        “When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits — despotic in his ordinary demeanour — known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty — when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity — to join in the cry of danger to liberty — to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day — It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’
        – Alexander Hamilton

  3. The motives behind this impeachment is to turn over the election.

    We should use some of the new “animus” doctrine and do some judicial mind-reading to declare this null and void.

    1. Whining about your telepathic understanding of the other side’s bad faith doesn’t change what impeachment is structurally not.

      1. I’m just putting on my black robes and divining a preferred outcome like much of our judiciary system does.

        1. Love it when commenters admit they’re BSing but then try and turn it into an indictment of some other group.

          Way to lose an argument without dignity, Sam.

          1. I don’t know how it was lost on you, but indicting the activist judges was my intent all along.

            That should be quite clear in sentence #2. Did you try reading that before commenting?

            1. It was pretty clear to me that your real point was about animus (aka mind reading) voiding a facially valid state action, and this was just the prompt used to mention it.

              Just like someone always reminding us of the defamation case of the century something something.

  4. “all the talk of overturning elections and coups is over the top.”

    Is it? Doesn’t it depend on what is alleged in the articles of impeachment, and what is subsequently proven? If the President committed a crime for which he could be jailed, I think you would find that most people would support his removal from office. But, the argument being made by most Democrats is they don’t have to show that he committed a crime. If I undertand Sam G. correctly, he’s proposing that it’s okay to look at what the Democrats have been saying since his the election in the same way that certain federal judges have looked at what Trump has said both as a candidate and while in office as evidence of intent. I would agree with that goose/gander argument. While the talk of overturning elections would certainly qualify as heated rhetoric, it does not seem “over the top,” at least in today’s political environment.

    1. s it? Doesn’t it depend on what is alleged in the articles of impeachment, and what is subsequently proven?

      No. Even if the impeachment were 100% unfounded and bogus, it still would not overturn an election or constitute a coup. It would put Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton, in the Oval Office.

      1. “No. Even if the impeachment were 100% unfounded and bogus, it still would not overturn an election or constitute a coup. It would put Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton, in the Oval Office.”

        Those of us not victims of TDS easily recognize a non-sequitur; those afflicted are not so fortunate.
        Hint: Pence was not the candidate for POTUS. Think hard on it; we know it’s difficult.

        1. Your point is what?

      2. Extending this: is there a point at which you think it right and proper (inherently subjective terms) to call it a coup, or overturning?

        Party A holds the Presidency, Party B holds both houses of Congress.

        President A1is removed, VP A2 is promoted – you’ve already said no
        Now President A2 is removed, Speaker B1 is promoted?

        1. Coups don’t follow the Constitution, chief.

  5. Does anyone really think Democrats are doing this so that we can have a President Mike Pence?

    1. captcrisis, there are two ways of looking at that.

      Democrats disagree with Trump’s policies and would also disagree with Pence’s, but at least with Pence there would be a grown up in the Oval Office who would not be a toady for Putin, who would at least understand the principles of basic governance, and who would have the good sense to listen to advisors who know more than he does. So if your concern really is the good of the country, then Pence would be an improvement, even if you don’t agree with his policies.

      The second way of looking at it is that if you want the GOP to implode, and don’t care how much damage they do to the country while they do it, then you want Trump to finish his term and possibly even get re-elected.

      1. BS. Pure and unadulterated BS.

        These are CHILDREN who refuse to accept the results of an election because their preferred candidate sucked at campaigning.

        Grownups, indeed.

        1. ‘Nuh-uh’ is not a great method of argumentation for grownups to use. Adding all caps does not help.

        2. Have you ever considered that you’re refusing to accept the results of the 2018 election?

        3. Speaking of children, you should look at Daniel Drezner’s 1100+ tweet thread where people around Donald Trump consistently describe his behave in the same way they would toddler.

          1. “Speaking of children, you should look at Daniel Drezner’s 1100+ tweet thread where people around Donald Trump consistently describe his behave in the same way they would toddler.”

            What irrelevant twaddle; stuff your TDS up your butt, don’t brag about it here.

            1. It’s not derangement to point out that a bad person is in fact a bad person.

              1. “It’s not derangement to point out that a bad person is in fact a bad person.”

                Leave Obo out of this; we’re discussing your (irrelevant) dislike of Trump and your inability to deal with your emotions.

                1. YOU may be discussing that; you may have noticed pretty much everyone else is ignoring you. And there’s a reason for that.

                2. My emotions are well regulated thanks. And even if Obama isn’t necessarily a good person, that certainly doesn’t imply that Trump is. There’s loads of evidence to the contrary.

    2. No, of course not. If they are successful in removing Trump, they’ll make up some other lie and impeach him, too. Then Nancy is the new president. Easy peasy.

      1. When you’re predicting the future in order to prove a thesis about the present, you’ve gone off the rails.

        1. That’s called science dude. As a progressive, I can see why you would think real science is off the rails. Might not prove out the narrative..

    3. No, they don’t, but they are going to type many words anyway to please their masters.

  6. “Advocates of presidential impeachment and removal bear a very high argumentative burden to justify such an extraordinary act, not just because the presidency is an important office but because the president was elected by the people and will eventually be held accountable by the people for his actions.”

    That’s not actually correct though. There is an institution that was placed between “the people” and “the president” with regards to elections: the Electoral College. So, the people vote for Electors, and those Electors then vote for president. Under the original Constitution, Senators also had an intermediary institution placed between it and the people: state legislatures. So, the people voted for their state legislative members, and those members then voted for Senators. The House, on the other hand, was The People’s chamber as its members were voted for directly by the people, without an intermediary institution. In the present context senators are also chosen directly by the people without an intermediary institution.

    As the president is more steps removed from the people than senators and representatives, and that the will of the people is more accurately represented when the connection between them and the elected official is closer, the will of Congress would appear to be a better reflection of the will of the people. Rather than Congress attempting to “overturn an election,” the president is attempting to thwart the will of the people, as expressed through the direct election of members of the House.

    What a flipp’n great system!

    1. Yes, but that’s not how it works.

  7. “Does an Impeachment Overturn an Election?”

    Perhaps in an America prior to the 12th amendment, when the second-place presidential candidate would then succeed to the presidency, but not today where the president’s hand-picked vice president then becomes president

  8. “But rhetoric of overturning elections suggests that the impeachment power can never be legitimately used against a president, which would surely be a dangerous mistake.”

    I don’t think that’s what it suggests at all.

    What is being suggested is that using impeachment MERELY TO ACHIEVE PARTISAN ENDS, without a legitimate basis, constitutes “overturning the election”.

    Whether that is the case here is up to you. But it seems to me a perfectly reasonable case. After all, if the President were impeached and removed on Day 1 of his tenure, it seems to me quite right to say the election was overturned (especially if the VP were similarly impeached and removed). And it seems quite wrong to say that isn’t the case merely because “it’s in the Constitution”.

  9. “and will eventually be held accountable by the people for his actions.”

    How in a system where only one more term is possible? Might work in the present case and a president in their first term, as a general argument about the relation between impeachment and elections, I don’t think it works

  10. I don’t think it necessarily does. But given that Democrats have openly said they have to do this via impeachment because they can’t trust the voters to reach the “right” result, it certainly sounds like they’re just doing all of this because they couldn’t win the election itself. Personally, I don’t like the Ukraine dealings, but I think that it’s a political matter that should be dealt with at the ballot box, not an impeachable offense.

  11. I would be inclined to agree with the proposition that impeachment and removal of a President overturns of the voters. I think it does damage to the body politic, much as surgery cuts it (and patients can die from it). And I would be inclined to agree with the obvious corollaries, that like major surgery in the world of health care, it is an extreme, nuclear-option remedy to be considered only for grave offenses.

    And I think Trump’s lawyers are entirely entitled to use this fact – I think it is a fact – in his defense, and to argue that his conduct isn’t sufficiently grave and the situation isn’t sufficiently extreme. Indeed, they’d probably be giving incompetent advocacy if they didn’t.

    It is for the Senate to decide whether the matter has sufficient gravity to overcome the hurdles which I believe ought to be there.

    1. ReaderY, do you agree there should be a trial in the Senate, beginning with enforceable subpoenas for documents and witnesses? Try not to hedge your answer.

      1. Oh, good! Lathrop is here with a ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ question, and hopes (? assumes ?) he won’t be called on it.
        Consider yourself called on it; not everyone here is as pretentious and stupid as you.

  12. You seem to understand the issue. It’s not so much whether “overturn an election” is technically accurate. Rather it’s the message you are sending to voters.

    An impeachment and removal for something really serious wouldn’t look like what’s happening now.

    1. Just because you and FOX News insist it’s not being done seriously enough, doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.

      1. Everyone can see it for what it is.

        It’s not serious enough for about half the country to take it seriously.

        1. A significant majority of the country thinks he’s guilty. A majority think he should be removed. Not really clear how this justifies your argumentum ad populum.

          1. “A significant majority of the country thinks he’s guilty. A majority think he should be removed. Not really clear how this justifies your argumentum ad populum.”

            Why do lefty ignoramuses live in fantasy worlds? Is it because they hope the rest of us are stupid enough to buy their lies? Or is it just rank stupidity?
            Tell us again about how you and that hag were really gonna win if those darn Russkis didn’t convince all the hags voters to vote for Trump. It’s always good for a laugh.

            1. We don’t hope you’re stupid, Sevo. We hope you’re acting stupid.

            2. Among other problems with what you’re saying, I am about as opposite from “lefty” as one can be.

            3. Because the real world isn’t emotionally satisfying for narcissists. That’s why they make up stories and decide to believe them.

              1. Ben, there’s polling. Real-world polling.

                Is that not emotionally satisfying for you?

                And the people who are concerned about Trump and want to use Constitutional methods to deal with him are by definition not narcissists.
                Those who don’t care and wish Trump would jail more of his opposition and ignore more judges…well, they’re on your side.

  13. This is a pretty good post, especially the last three paragraphs. I approve.

  14. The problem is the abuse of power has to come to light. So Trump’s abuse of power came to light thanks to whistleblower complaint. The only other impeachable offense I can think of is Cheney pressuring CIA interrogators to use water boarding for false confessions. So had a whistleblower shed light on what Cheney was doing and a string of witnesses provided testimony as damning as the witnesses called in this Ukraine scandal then Cheney should have been removed from office.

    I think some of the less informed non partisan Americans are thrown off by how quickly this came to light and how airtight the case is against Trump…it just seems too good to be true in light of Democrats obvious Trump Derangement Syndrome. My reply to them is Trump really is this big a clown and he really is incompetent and quite frankly his Cabinet should remove him via the 25th Amendment.

    1. America’s better elements made a major mistake by letting the torturers, lying warmongers, and mercenaries off the hook a few years ago.

      I hope we don’t make the same mistake in the next few years.

      1. “America’s better elements made a major mistake by letting the torturers, lying warmongers, and mercenaries off the hook a few years ago.”

        So you and Obo got passes, asshole bigot?

  15. I think the obvious point here is that nobody really believes their partisan rhetoric. When it’s your President on the dock, it’s “overturning the election”. When it’s the other guy’s President on the dock, it’s a “solemn constitutional process”.

    Which is why the framers were so wise to make this a political process. No court could decide this. 2/3rds of the Senate means there has to be a societal consensus to remove the President.

    1. “I think the obvious point here is that nobody really believes their partisan rhetoric. When it’s your President on the dock, it’s “overturning the election”. When it’s the other guy’s President on the dock, it’s a “solemn constitutional process”.”

      Meh. The question is, if you’re talking about “overturning an election”, are you talking about the ones in 2016, or 2018? Because in 2018, the D’s came to control the House, enabling them to vote impeachment. In 2020, maybe they’ll get the Senate, too, and Mitch can go back to keeping things from happening as the minority leader, instead of keeping things from happening as the majority leader.

      1. Good point!

        But it dovetails with mine. I doubt anyone here, liberal or conservative, would say “I would never support an impeachment because it overturns the result of an election”. Nor would anyone say “there could be no possibility that someone might propose impeachment merely because they don’t like election results”.

        So all the rhetorical poses about this are situational. When people see an impeachment they don’t approve of, they bring out the “overturning an election” talking point.

        1. Impeachment is always going to depend quite strongly on public mood. Nixon got re-elected, but once the facts started coming out, the public turned against him and he would have been impeached and quite likely removed. Clinton was impeached, but the public didn’t think lying about a mistress was a removable offense, so the Senate acquitted him and punished the R’s for wasting their time (even though Clinton was guilty of perjury). The thing is, one’s own partisans can be counted on to back the party, and the other party’s can usually be counted on to back theirs… the rest, the non-partisans, the loosely-aligned and etc. however either want the guy to stay in office, or they want him out. Obama kept popular support no matter how badly the R’s wanted him out. The same was true for W with regard to D’s and Clinton back to the R’s again. But Trump never had popular support. He hasn’t lost any of his fans, but he hasn’t ever convinced his non-fans that he’s actually doing a great job, better than Lincoln or Washington, even. Technically, he has lower approval numbers than Nixon had for most of his run.

          1. Impeachment is always going to depend quite strongly on public mood.

            And it’s supposed to. That’s why the Senate decides it and you need a 2/3 majority.

  16. Left out of Whittington’s analysis is any acknowledgment that impeachment is no less legitimate a process then an election. Indeed, I suggest the founders—by use of “sole power” clauses, and the super-majority requirement—showed they intended impeachment to be an act of sovereign power, and thus closer to direct exercise of sovereign will than any election. For that reason, whatever you make of an impeachment which fails to remove a president, an impeachment which does remove a president must be regarded as the most legitimate of Constitutional processes, and thus superior to the preceding election.

  17. To me, the ideal outcome has always be, and will always be impeachment followed by Trump winning 2020 in a landslide. Everyone loves a comeback.

    1. ” the ideal outcome has always be, and will always be impeachment followed by Trump winning 2020 in a landslide.”

      Nah. Ideally, he’d win the popular vote, only to lose in the EC. That would be poetic. And possibly justice.

      The fun thing to hypothesize about, however, is just what he’s gonna do when he isn’t immune from criminal prosecution due to being President. He’s already changed his state of residence from NY to FL… is he going to have to seek refuge somewhere overseas?

      1. That’s the delusional and deranged thing to hypothesize about.

        1. What’s delusional and/or deranged about it?

    2. “followed by Trump winning 2020 in a landslide”

      Just how many uneducated, intolerant, rural, easily frightened, can’t-keep-up, white, older, religious, southern males do you figure are left in America?

      Pres. Trump needed a three-cushion bank shot at the Electoral College the first time. After four years of improvement of our electorate, how likely is it that his remaining base will be big enough to position him for another improbable trick shot?

      1. James, asshole bigot?
        You and that hag lost. Maybe one day, you’ll grow up and accept that. Until then, just keep on whining; it’s so appropriate.

        1. You won an election with a trick shot.

          Your betters won the culture war, stomping the preferences of all conservatives, whether it’s a downscale clinger sputtering illiterately about socialists and immigrants or a law professor publishing partisan polemics from a fancy office within the strong liberal-libertarian academia he resents.

          It’s good to be on my side of this.

        2. “James, asshole bigot?”

          You lose track of who you’re arguing with again?
          y’know, losing arguments to people who aren’t even involved in them is a pretty good sign to hang it up.

        3. Most of us have learned not to read his posts. It’s nothing but name-calling.

          Picture the dumbest person you ever met. Then imagine him muttering about people beyond his understanding. That’s what his posts are like.

          1. He only shows up when these posts are linked on the front page of reason.

            Even that is too often.

  18. There’s some major gaslighting in the implication that this impeachment effort is not politically-motivated.

    1. At the other end, there’s some huffing and puffing pretending that it isn’t/wasn’t deserved, either.

      1. At the same time it’s a boy who cried wolf problem.

        Sure, he may have acted extraordinarily badly, but when his accusers have been lying about him on every topic for years your default assumption should be that they’re lying again. It’s pretty hard to overcome that for anyone who isn’t so disgusted by his self proclaimed actions as to evaluate his results on their merits.

  19. ” because the president was elected by the people”

    The President is not elected by the people. If the President WAS elected by the people, then right now, the President would be whoever followed Hillary Clinton after her impeachment in around March of 2017, and conviction by the following June.

    Impeachment DOESN’T overturn elections. If impeachment overturned elections, then Hillary would become President if Trump is convicted. Hillary will not become President. Maybe Mr. Pence will, but Hillary will not. Note the interesting thought experiment… if not for the electoral college, the roles of “people complaining about partisan impeachment” and “people saying ‘what partisan impeachment’? would be completely reversed.

  20. The Conspirators and their carefully cultivated collection of conservative commenters deserve one another.

    And need one another, to huddle together for warmth as the liberal-libertarian mainstream continues to rout conservatives in the American culture war.

    Bigotry and backwardness have consequences. I would have thought the law professors, at least, would recognize this, after our repeated national experience with successive waves of intolerance and ignorance (aimed at Italians, Jews, blacks, Asians, Catholics, gays, the Irish, agnostics, women, eastern Europeans, Hispanics, Muslims, and others). Yet they stick with the gay-bashing, race-targeting voter suppression, bigoted immigration positions, and the like.

    And wonder why the disdain of young Americans will control their political future.

    1. You are boring, and an asshole.

      1. Losing the culture war has made most of you guys quite cranky.

        1. Yawn.

        2. “Losing the culture war has made most of you guys quite cranky.

          Was the the culture war decided by the election of 11/8/16?
          You and the hag lost, loser. Grow up, if you are capable of it, asshole bigot.

  21. I can’t wait for November.

    It’s going to be absolutely gruesome.

    1. Why gruesome, and why would that appeal to anyone?

      1. You are boring, and an asshole.

        1. Na I just think he is an ass clown.

          1. So you have that in common.

            1. “So you have that in common.”

              Were you born a whiny asshole, or did it take you long years of practice to become one?

              1. Every post by the Rev. reminds me of this;
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhLRMXc1N5U

              2. Gosh, you’re such a font of witty repartee.

  22. Here’s the real kicker —
    The assumption that President Trump can influence his 2020 election by with-holding funding to Ukraine for an investigation.
    … relies upon …
    The assumption that any election success of Joe Biden is determined by funding to Ukraine and NOT allowing any Ukrainian Investigation.

    Its humorous how the accusers can dismiss the opposite side of their very own accusations. I for one lean towards Joe Biden’s success is determined by Ukrainian funding.

    Sounds like maybe its Ukrainian Collusion not Russian Collusion.

  23. Does an Impeachment Overturn an Election?
    Yes and no for a Presidential impeachment. Yes the President is removed from office. No, the Vice President of the same party becomes President and still runs that parties agenda. The Democrats plan is to go after the VP too, because the next step in succession is the Speaker of the House. That only works if the opposing party controls the House. The Democrats would like to see President Pelosi, and that would overturn the election. I doubt they can do that before the next election, but if Trump and Pence are reelected, they will keep trying.

    1. The Democrats plan is to go after the VP too

      Fan fiction.

      1. Just like almost everything else the Dems say

    2. Since Republicans control the Senate until the election, if Donald Trump is removed from office (which takes 2/3 majority), President Pence will have his replacement ready and the Senate will confirm his selection the same day with no hearings. Nancy Pelosi will never be President.

  24. From the article: “Advocates of presidential impeachment and removal bear a very high argumentative burden to justify such an extraordinary act, not just because the presidency is an important office but because the president was elected by the people and will eventually be held accountable by the people for his actions.”

    On the other hand, election by the people is not even mentioned in the Constitution. Only a Constitutional loophole allows for that de facto situation today. I think the impeachment process might be significantly different, had the Framers actually accounted for the possibility of direct popular Presidential vote when they drafted the impeachment clause. The author makes a good, albeit indirect case, for why direct election of Executive officeholders is not only unintended, but also undesirable.

  25. Bunch of irrelevant nonsense. The “professor” appears to know nothing about the history of this aspect of the Constitution. (And I’m not surprised.)

  26. We have the transcript of the call

    The Ukrainians got their aid and they did not investigate at least it’s nit public which kills the whole political benefit argument

    So what’s going on and why do we need other folks “opinions “ on the matter

    Zelensky says he wasn’t pressured. And we have the transcript which doesn’t even mention the aid which they got

    This is a joke

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