Reason Interviews

Judge Napolitano on the Politics of Impeachment

"Each president has more authority than his predecessors."


In two decades at the nation's largest cable network, Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano has provided an unapologetically libertarian critique of state power, regardless of the party holding control in the nation's capital. In the past several months, he has also emerged as one of President Donald Trump's harshest critics, claiming in May 2019 that the Mueller Report demonstrated that the president had clearly obstructed justice.

Though he has said he thinks recent House hearings provided sufficient grounds for impeachment, the former New Jersey Superior Court judge sees an even bigger problem in how the federal executive continues to arrogate power to itself. "No American president in the post–Woodrow Wilson era has stayed within the confines of the Constitution," Napolitano says. "And each president has more authority than his predecessors, for the simple reason that Democratic Congresses give power to Democratic presidents and Republican Congresses give power to Republican presidents."

Napolitano spoke to Reason's Nick Gillespie shortly before the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on two counts in December.

Q: What is the case that Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses?

A: We have to start this conversation by underscoring the fact that impeachment is not legal. It is political, right? There's a phrase in the Constitution that says the House of Representatives shall have the sole—that's s-o-l-e—power of impeachment. Another phrase in the Constitution says each house of Congress shall write its own rules. Those rules don't even have to be fair as long as they generate the support of the majority.

Q: Is this just a flex by Congress: "We hate Trump; we've wanted to unseat him from the beginning; all we have to do is get a majority of members"?

A: Blame that on James Madison, not on [California Democratic congressman] Adam Schiff. That's the procedure.

Q: What do you make of the argument that Trump obstructed justice?

A: Because the House can write its own rules—which means it can say that the investigating committee has subpoena power—and because there are no defenses except those which come from the Constitution, the president cannot interfere with the investigation of himself without risking the obstruction of justice charge. So when [President Bill] Clinton said to his secretary, Betty Currie, "Don't tell [the grand jury about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky]," and she did anyway, Clinton was charged with obstruction—because the attempt at obstruction doesn't have to succeed; it only has to be articulated.

Q: How do you feel about this in other kinds of legal proceedings? The FBI, we know, can talk to you for hours in hopes of tripping you up and then charging you with obstruction.

A: This is why you should never talk to the FBI, even if you're in the right. You're asking me if this is "just" from a moral perspective, or [you're asking] if it's constitutional? It's absolutely constitutional. Is impeachment just from the moral perspective? Probably not.

Q: Has Trump overstepped the bounds that the executive branch should be held to?

A: The evidence of his impeachable behavior at this point, in my view, is overwhelming. But being an ex-judge, being a lawyer, I have to withhold judgment until a defense is presented. The defense would have to come out of the mouths of people who've refused to testify: Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and the president himself.

Q: Are we in a constitutional crisis?

A: I don't think we are in a constitutional crisis. We would get to one if the president were removed from office and refused to leave.

You could argue there's a mini constitutional crisis when the House demands something and the White House refuses to present it. That's why we have a judiciary, but neither side wants to go to the judiciary, because both sides want this over with so they can get into the 2020 political season.

Q: What happens if this goes to the judiciary and one of the sides refuses to abide by the ruling?

A: Nixon famously refused to surrender his White House tapes. The case went to the Supreme Court, which unanimously ordered in United States v. Nixon that he had to surrender the tapes. Then Nixon resigned.

So if the Court were to order President Trump to surrender documents and he were to refuse, that would be a constitutional crisis.


This interview has been condensed and edited for style and clarity. You can listen to the full conversation, and don't forget to subscribe to The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie.

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  1. Constitutional crisis? Refusal to comply with a SCOTUS ruling? Really? Neither has happened and are at best, extremely remote possibilities. Unless of course, you have TDS. In that case, you’ve been in a crisis of sorts since November 2016.

    No question about it. Congress has arrogated their power to the Executive, and they need to reclaim that. I suppose it is easy to be legislatively lazy (delegate rule making in laws to Executive), but it ill-serves our Republic. Anything we can do to reduce the size, scope and authority of the Federal government would be a win – it is too big, way too bloated.

    The Federal government is now more a hindrance to citizenry than a help to citizenry. And this is precisely what our Founders did not intend.

    1. I approve of this message!

    2. That’s why all of the discussion used “would”.

      Would that you had done the same.

  2. It’s horrifying to think how many people this rot-brained mental defective railroaded over the course of his career as a judge.

    1. All of your detailed explanations of your logic and the facts and the citations (links) are overwhelming! THANK YOU!

    2. Judge Nap gets libertarianism. You don’t.

      1. He’s as libertarian as Bernie Sanders, in a slightly different direction.
        Napolitano is a another neocon empty suit like Kristol or Goldberg. Pontificating on TV like they’re masters of the universe, with their affected mid-Atlantic accents that made them sound like Frasier Crane’s gay uncle, perpetually explaining the subtle parallels between George W. Bush and Seneca.”

        1. Some Trumpistas used to be libertarianish, and still claim to be libertarians. They aren’t even close to being LINOS. They are just Trump authoritarians, bowing to His Majesty after his miraculous defeat of the Hillary beast.

          Lick them boots, they must taste mighty fine.

        2. Can you point me to even one instance of Napolitano advocating military interventionism? Fuck outta here, calling him a neocon. After Trump’s next military intervention, you’ll be the first one on here, holding onto his out-turned pocket and hissing at his critics.

          1. “He has set the standard for giving nonideological, nonpartisan, nontribal-based commentary and analysis,” said Nick Gillespie, a self-described Napolitano “fanboy” and editor of Reason, a libertarian magazine. “It just seemed to me that the judge added a really rare but welcome voice.”
            Gillespie described Napolitano as someone who places principles over partisanship, and who is outspoken and critical without resorting to ad hominem attacks


            Shit, Chipper… are you Gillespie’s sock?

    3. “how many people this defective railroaded as a judge”

      B-b-but he’s also a vegetarian maple-syrup farmer who has sponsored many great progressive causes. He can’t have gotten cheap kicks incarcerating all those kids charged with weed possession.

  3. Did the judge watch all 200+ hours of the ‘trial?’

    If not STFU. He knows no more, and his opinion is worth no more than anyone’s.

    1. What if the judge had watched all 200+ hours SEVENTY TIMES? Would you respect his opinion THEN?

      Clearly not! “Confirmation bias” right on down the line! People EXTREMELY rarely change their minds about politics, and if they do, it is VERY slowly! As is clearly shown by the vote in the Senate … “R” votes % Trump is Our Savior, “D” votes % Trump is Satan Incarnate. The facts don’t matter… Only our tribal affiliations do.

      FYI, I have been (for more years than I care to ‘fess to) Libertarian leaning “R”, but Trump (that walking disaster!) has changed it for me! So it’s not as if I am as hide-bound and inflexible as others around me are…

    2. And everyone here is supposed to believe you did, AND have more judicial and legal experience. Riiiiight.

      1. No, we both saw highlights and small portions. But this is NOT a legal proceeding, as Nap indicates, so his legal opinion is irrelevant. If he had seen all of the trial he could at least have that going for him. But, alas, no.

        1. In other words, your diluted opinion of his diluted opinion is thus twice diluted and of even less value than his opinion.

          1. More like everybody’s opinion on this farce is basically worthless.

          2. So his opinion is like homeopathy

  4. “Each president has more authority than his predecessors.”

    The Rubicon has been crossed; the Republic has been turned into the Empire; and the Emperor’s powers will only grow-grow-grow! Evil Empire, here we come!

    Recall when Caligula showed His Utter Contempt for the Roman Senate, by appointing His Favorite Horse, as a Senator?

    Next on the Hit Parade: Trump will appoint His Favorite Booby-Hooby-Hobby Horse (Stormy Daniels), as a Senator!

    1. Senators, when vacancies occur, are appointed by the state, typically the governor. Trump is not a governor, in case you missed that. See McCaskill, Claire, and many more.

      1. You’re trying to have a rational conversation with a raving lunatic.

        1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

          So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

          Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

          Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

          Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

          At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

          Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to .

          Thank You! -Reason Staff

        2. Just correcting a factual error. But that’s like playing whack a mole with this clown.

          1. “Next on the Hit Parade: Trump will appoint His Favorite Booby-Hooby-Hobby Horse (Stormy Daniels), as a Senator!”

            This is my (obviously speculative and wry) PREDICTION of the FUTURE! Do YOU know the future? If so, why aren’t you FABULOUSLY rich from the stock market? WHY are you wasting time in a “place” like this, if you know the “FACTS” about the future? Or do you think that people (to include Trump) ALWAYS follow the rules and the laws? Just because we pass rules and laws, they magically become obeyed? Now THAT is counter-factual!

            1. Sqrlsy, if you can’t post a reply without relying on off-topic, wall-of-text copypasta, it’s time to fuck-off.

              1. Make me, Mamma!

                I lament that you have nothing better to do than to thread-shit. If you don’t like my shit, don’t read it! Whining cry-baby!

                Where does it hurt, Mamma? Can I kiss it and make it better?

                1. Speaking is Mama, yours asked me to tell you “Hi”. And to take your meds.

                2. Where does it hurt, Mamma?
                  On the tip of my dick.

                  Can I kiss it and make it better?

                  1. So Mamma isn’t really a mamma; never gave birth? A tranny? You lie with your posting name? You also lie to REAL hetero men, who think that they can make babies with you, so that they’ll spend money on chasing your fake tail?

                    It ain’t right (on either side), but I have heard of trannies getting the SHIT beat out of them for that! Be warned!

            2. Not only are you a thread spamming troll of an idiot, you’re also historically ignorant. Caligula never appointed his horse a Senator; the legend was that he was planning on naming him consul.


                One suggestion is that the treatment of Incitatus by Caligula was an elaborate prank, intended to ridicule and provoke the senate, rather than a sign of insanity, or perhaps a form of satire, with the implication that a horse could perform a senator’s duties.[4]

                I think that a horse’s ass could perform YOUR duties of legalistic nit-picking ass well!

                1. This reminds me. I haven’t watched Caligula in a while.

    2. Stormy Daniels would be an improvement over most of the whores in the Senate.

      1. I approve of this message! At least she would fuck us all, in a more positive manner, and with less violations of our freedoms!

        1. Poor Sqrlsy. Yet another of it’s vaunted and beloved “freedom fighters” gets their comeuppance.

          Sqrlsy might have to fight for Ms. Daniels honour itself.

  5. Unfortunately the progressive / libertarian / neocon alliance has so far failed to remove Orange Hitler from office despite his involvement in the two biggest scandals in world history — #TrumpRussia and #TrumpUkraine. But I’m confident we’ll succeed in November by uniting behind the Democratic candidate, even if it’s Bernie Sanders or Mike Bloomberg.


    1. So….how much is the Koch Family down this week because of Orange Man Bad? 😛

      1. I don’t have exact weekly figures. But Charles Koch and Julia Flesher Koch each lost almost half a billion dollars yesterday, continuing the pattern of suffering caused by Drumpf’s high-tariff / low-immigration policies.


        1. Any confirmation to the rumor that Koch will be buying the bankrupt McClatchy chain of newspapers and imposing his view of libertarianism on the whole country?

          1. I hadn’t heard that. I’d like to see it though. Mr. Koch should spread the billionaire agenda — unlimited, unrestricted immigration and no minimum wage — through as many media outlets as possible.


  6. …the president cannot interfere with the investigation of himself without risking the obstruction of justice charge. So when [President Bill] Clinton said to his secretary, Betty Currie, “Don’t tell [the grand jury about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky],” and she did anyway, Clinton was charged with obstruction—because the attempt at obstruction doesn’t have to succeed; it only has to be articulated.

    So, where is the Trump equivalent? Thanks for the citation, Nap. NOT. His earlier pieces also fail to find an obstruction since all he has done is within his sole power. Going outside his legal powers – like Clinton and Nixon did – has not been shown.

    1. Presumably when Trump told his minions to not assist the impeachment hearings, just as Clinton told his minion to not assist. Perhaps you missed that.

      1. And we are back to ignoring actual facts. They handed over almost 30k documents. They had 17 witnesses testify to Schiff. There was no blanket order for impeachment or for the Mueller Investigation. Why do you just repeat the left’s talking points and ignore reality?

        The government is not set up as a legislative superior government. Thr investigatory powers of the legislative are limited. They are co equal. Executive privilege is well established. On reality Trump allowed more inspection under Mueller and the impeachment than virtually any other president in the past. But you take only see the bluster highlighted by the media and ignore reality.

        It is amazing watching some of you ignore congress not even bothering to go to the judicial on an attempt to force compliance. This is chosen ignorance at this point.

        1. Do you deny that Trump told his minions to not assist the impeachment hearings?

          Doesn’t matter how many did testify any more than how many people Charles Manson did not kill.

          1. He said on twitter he would tell his people not to work with them. In reality, again the part you are missing intentionally it seems, he allowed deep inspection when he could have claimed far more priviledge.

            And your metaphor is fucking stupid.

            You are literally denying executive privilege exists.

            You are asking for a general warrant power for Congress absent an actual crime. And you pretend to be a libertarian?!?

          2. You may want to read this article as you seem to need a refresher on what congressional oversight actually derives from.


          3. “Do you deny that Trump told his minions to not assist the impeachment hearings?”

            You misspelled Kangaroo court.

            1. You Trumpistas are in such a quandary: support Clinton being busted for obstruction of justice but deny Trump did the same. Oh dear!

              Trumpistas are the gift that keeps on giving.

              1. Wasn’t Clinton being investigated for an actual crime?

              2. Trump was not charged with ‘obstruction of justice’.

                He was charged with ‘obstruction of Congress’.

                There’s a difference.

                Clinton got charged with obstruction of justice because his impeachment took place while he was on trial for sexual harassment and it is THAT trial and THAT justice he was obstructing.

          4. Since when do defendant’s have an obligation to assist? Pretty sure that is completely contradictory to the 5A.

            1. “We have to start this conversation by underscoring the fact that impeachment is not legal. It is political, right?” Not sure how you missed that in the article above, but that’s why all the Trumpy hand wringing about trials and justice is stupid.

        2. Also, the House never voted to start an impeachment inquiry, so there was zero legal authority for the House subpoenas.

      2. don’t tell. instructs to lie, I.e. suborning perjury.

        do not assist instructs not to be actively helpful, not a crime.

    2. I wasn’t going to file my taxes, but my accountant filed an extension and sent me an email reminder in September

  7. “There’s a phrase in the Constitution that says the House of Representatives shall have the sole—that’s s-o-l-e—power of impeachment.”

    Follow up questions, not asked: “ If the House per se has the sole power, doesn’t that mean that any and all subpoenas issued before the actual House voted for impeachment ( via resolution) are invalid? Or are you saying Pelosi has the sole power of impeachment and during her press conference can direct committees to issue subpoenas?”

    1. Sole power of impeachment does not mean non bound subpoena powers to other branches, which is what Nap seems to imply with the obstruction charges.

      1. I’d have liked to hear his answer to my questions. Pity this interview was pre-defense. Pat Philbin obliterated the obstruction charges, I thought, and zeroed in on the fact that a bunch (23?) of subpoenas weren’t ever authorized by the House as parent body or delegated by it.

        1. The obstruction charges were always a joke. They require one to deny coequal balance of the government as well as ignore the 4th amendments protections against general warrants.

          There is a set of libertarians that prefer parliamentary supremacy. They pretend to do it to counter the delegation doctrine and the expansion of the executive, but unconstitutional oversight parameters is not the correct solution. The correct solution would be for Congress to amend their laws and take back the powers they have delegated.

          This is one of the areas I always have disagreed with Nap. He is correct that the delegation doctrine needs to be recessed, but he goes about it through any means necessary. His path would simply shift the power to another branch instead of reducing it in total.

          1. Bingo. Well said.

            “The obstruction charges were always a joke. They require one to deny coequal balance of the government as well as ignore the…”

            What the fuckers denied was basic due process. And they tried running a Kangaroo court.

          2. “His path would simply shift the power to another branch instead of reducing it in total.”

            Says the liar who advocates a Totalitarian Trumptatorship!


            “He can fire political appointees for any fucking reason he wants.”
            (Jesse quote)

            Jesse’s over-archingly lusting after the super-powers of the Trumptorship YET AGAIN!!!
            Trump can fire them for not assigning their entire paychecks to Trump… For not licking Trump’s balls as much as JesseSPAZ does… For turning down Trump’s requests for then to perform personal murder-for-hire… For having fucked Stormy Daniels out of turn, when it was Trump’s turn… For Air Force Captain-bomber-Sir-Dude-Sir for refusing orders to go and bomb Nancy Pelosi’s house…

            Just when I was rooting for JesseSPAZ to turn from his evil ways, he doubles down on Trumptatorship-worship AGAIN!

  8. You could argue there’s a mini constitutional crisis when the House demands something and the White House refuses to present it. That’s why we have a judiciary, but neither side wants to go to the judiciary, because both sides want this over with so they can get into the 2020 political season.

    They say any impeachment is a purely political machination. Here it seems the machine worked flawlessly. It remains to be seen which party got the power output and which party burned off as exhaust.

  9. “Q: What do you make of the argument that Trump obstructed justice?

    A: Because the House can write its own rules—which means it can say that the investigating committee has subpoena power—and because there are no defenses except those which come from the Constitution, the president cannot interfere with the investigation of himself without risking the obstruction of justice charge.”

    This is an excellent case of honest people disagreeing. Those of us who don’t believe that Trump should have been convicted in the Senate on the obstruction charge because the Constitution says 1) the House has the sole power of impeachment and 2) each house shall write its own rules are doing so on the same basis that Judge Napoltiano is condemning him.

    Yes, impeachment is a political process–and that sword cuts both ways. It’s hard to see these things objetively in an election year, so let’s step back from President Trump for a moment and look at the same issue within the context of a different president.

    Napolitano once argued that Barack Obama violated U.S. law when he killed Osama bin Laden–and seemed to be implying that killing Osama bin Laden was unconstitutional.

    “We’re violating our basic values and our basic principles, which is that we accord everybody due process and we don’t engage in summary executions,” argued libertarian Fox Business Channel host Judge Andrew Napolitano. “Justice is not a summary execution by a Navy SEAL in your bedroom.”


    I argued at the time that if Barack Obama had both the opportunity and the means to kill Osama bin Laden–and willingly chose not to do so–that itself would have constituted an impeachable offense worthy of removing President Obama from office by the Senate.

    In other words, not only does something not need to be against the law in order for the Senate to remove the president from office after the House impeaches him or her, removing the president from office through impeachment can and should be justified specifically because the president refused to break the law in certain circumstances. Plenty of non-partisan Americans would have supported the Senate removing President Obama from office if Obama had refused to kill Osama bin Laden because it was against the law.

    Judge Napolitano is right in that impeachment is a fundamentally political process, but I’m not sure it’s getting across that this means it’s also a fundamentally democratic process. Whether to remove a president from office isn’t a question of whether he broke the law. The question is whether a majority of the voters want there to be an impeachment–regardless of whether what the president did was illegal–and that question is answered by the elected representatives that answer to those voters. The question is whether a majority of the voters in two-thirds of the states want the president removed from office–regardless of whether what the president did was illegal–and that question is answered by the senators who answer to those voters.

    The fact was that a majority of Americans in two-thirds of the states did not want President Trump removed from office–even if he was guilty of obstruction–and for that reason, President Trump should not have been removed from office. If Judge Napolitano were saying that President Trump should have been removed from office because what he did in obstructing justice were illegal, then Napolitano would be wrong about that–but I don’t think that’s what he’s saying.

  10. Maybe think of it this way: If what President Sanders does in pursuit of a democratic socialist America is so awful that a majority of the American people in two-thirds of the states want him removed from office for it, do you want the House to refrain from impeaching President Sanders on the basis that what he’s done isn’t technically illegal?

    Stop making a big deal over whether what President Trump did was illegal. It’s more than just a red herring. It’s symptomatic of elitism.

    So long as the laws of the United States government are in harmony with our constitutional rights, they should not override the will of the American people. This is what we’re talking about when we talk about the proper role of democracy within the context of a free republic.

    No, we should not assume that it’s proper for the elitists who run the federal government to pass laws that allow them to remove the president from office over the objections of the American people and against their will. The purpose of impeachment is not to give elitists a veto over the will of the American people. If and when the president does something so egregious that the American people overwhelmingly support removing him from office, then he should be impeached and removed from office–regardless of whether what he did is illegal.

    1. You keep coming back to ‘the people’, but it’s really of course 2/3 of Senators. This is important because Utah voters are very likely not 2/3 for removal, and yet Mitt. Even with Nixon the score was not 2/3 of the people in most places… although it was headed there.

      1. A majority of the people in two-thirds of the states. That’s what I’m talking about.

        The reason President Trump wasn’t removed from office wasn’t really because two-thirds of the senators chose not to do so. The reason two-thirds of the Senate chose not to remove President Trump from office was because they feared a majority of the voters in their states. That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about democracy. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about the will of the American people.

        Collins, McCain, and Murkowski consistently voted against what President Trump wanted–at every opportunity. Even Collins and Murkowski voted for acquittal–because they feared the voters in their states. The Republican Senator from Utah, who voted to convict President Trump, didn’t do so because he feared the the wrath of people of Utah, but that was the exception rather than the rule–and it only accounted for 1% of the vote on conviction. The 30 Democrat representatives in the House who voted for impeachment but serve districts that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 are presumably not fond of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats from deep blue districts that pushed her on the issue of impeachment, and the reason is because they fear the wrath of the voters.

        Assuming representatives and senators make these decisions without any regard for the will of the people in their districts or states is putting the cart before the horse. It’s like assuming that the gas station down the street is increasing or decreasing the price of their gasoline without any consideration for what’s happening to the price of gasoline or oil in the market. Yeah, the station manager is the one who chooses to change the prices on his sign, but most of the time, he doesn’t have much of a choice. He’s just reacting to whatever is happening to the market prices he has to pay for gasoline.

        Sometimes the gasoline companies try to influence public opinion with advertising. They try to make me pay more for gas from Chevron because it has “techron”, whatever the fuck that is. Susan Collins says this about the ACA repeal, that about the ACA reform bill, and something else about whether and how much of local taxes people should be allowed to deduct from their federal taxes. The reason Collins is more reluctant to take the Republicans’ stance on certain issues isn’t because of her philosophical ideals. It’s because she’s a senator from a state where only 36% of the voters are registered Republicans but 47% of the voters are registered Democrats.

        Ron Paul said he voted against NAFTA because free trade means there shouldn’t be any treaty restrictions on it. To believe that, I’d have to put the cart before the horse and ignore the fact that Ron Paul was a senator from Texas, and Ross Perot was a rabidly anti-NAFTA Texan, whose Reform Party was making huge inroads with the same fiscally conservative Texans Ron Paul depended on to win elections. Rand Paul said that the reason he opposed a bill that would have cut $772 billion from Medicaid, a fiscally conservative bill to cut a socialist redistribution entitlement program, was because it didn’t repeal ObamaCare completely. To believe that, I’d need to ignore that Kentucky is one of the states with the highest use of Medicaid, and it was also being ravaged by an opioid epidemic at the time. If he’d been the deciding vote in cutting off Medicaid for all those opioid addicts, the results for Kentucky’s voters might have been devastating.

        I maintain that looking at the way politicians justify their votes is expecting the tail to wag the dog. This is true under normal circumstances, and it’s even more so in questions of impeachment and removing a president from office. There are recent examples of politicians who have ignored the will of their constituents in his district, with Justin Amash being one. For all I know, Amash may win reelection this year, but if he did so after ignoring the will of the voters in his district, it will be a fluke. There aren’t many Republican House members who wish they’d done what Justin Amash did. If his political hari kari move makes him popular enough to win reelection, no one will be emulating him–and the chances of him having a future outside the Republican party over the long haul is flying in the face of Duverger’s Law.

        1. It’s nice to see Racist Ken spout off when he has no idea what he’s talking about. Nice display of ignorance. Take Ron Paul out of your mouth, he’s not violent like you. Do not try to bring up Ron Paul in Medicaid, he said the opposite of what you did. You’re like the rest here, lame Issa fans, impeach until it’s not convenient for you.

          1. I suspect the reason you call people names and make absurd claims about why we should believe what politicians say (rather than look at what might impact their reelection chances) is because you have nothing better to add that that. If you could do better, you would. You could hardly do much worse.

      2. Jury nullification. Yeah, what the guy did might have been illegal under the letter of the law, but we don’t think the law should be enforced that way. And it certainly doesn’t help that the House was in a panic to get the impeachment done because what Trump did was so monstrously and blatantly wrong that he needed to be removed from office right this very second before he destroyed us all – and then they sat on the articles for a month and did a thoroughly terrible job of explaining what exactly Trump did wrong and why we were in such imminent peril from his actions.

        If they want to impeach Trump, Congress could just use the RICO statutes for all the unconstitutional acts he does every single day, except they’d have to charge themselves in the conspiracy as well because they’re the ones who have unconstitutionally delegated their legislative powers to him in the first place. The fig leaf of claiming they’re not laws but merely rules and regulations that the executive branch agencies are promulgating is bullshit and everybody knows it. Most of the laws in this country aren’t made by Congress, they’re made by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats nominally working for the President who have been given broad and vague powers and big bags of money to “do something” about various problems that are none of the government’s damn business in the first place. And once you start giving people free rein to do as they see fit as long as they’re “doing something”, well, this is where you wind up. Trump saw something he thought needed doing so he did it – what’s the problem?

        1. “A majority of the people in two-thirds of the states. That’s what I’m talking about.”

          Hmm. Not sure that’s going to work, much appeal as it presently has. A majority of people in two-thirds (or 33) of the states doesn’t necessarily equate to the “will of the people.”

          The presidency can be won with as few as 11 states via the electoral college. Unlikely but possible. Ditto the popular vote. If not 11, than fewer than 18 states are necessary.

          If the minimums are achieved by the winner, that leaves @33-39 states, in theory, for the other guy, the loser.

          Did the “will of the people” therefore reveal itself when the president was elected or when his 2/3rds states’ opposition demands his removal?

          1. “Hmm. Not sure that’s going to work, much appeal as it presently has. A majority of people in two-thirds (or 33) of the states doesn’t necessarily equate to the “will of the people.””

            We’ve probably been over that threshold once, with Nixon–and we are talking about a threshold.

            In order to remove an elected president, the will of the people must be such that two thirds of the Senate fears losing their seats if they don’t vote to remove him from office in an impeachment proceeding. President Trump is still office despite being impeached because not enough of the American people wanted him removed from office.

            If the framers wanted the president removed over the objections of the American people, they wouldn’t have given the power of impeachment to the House or they wouldn’t have given the power to remove the president from office to the Senate. They’d have just sent it to the Supreme Court for them to decide.

            1. Well, the Senate was designed to represent the states, not the people. They changed that when they went to popularly elected senators rather than appointed senators.

    2. Hey Ken,

      I’m a tech worker in California. By elitists, you mean cow fucker types in Wyoming, who get more representation than I do in the legislative and executive branches of government, right? Define your terms.

      1. One of the amazing things about markets (and price signals) is that they make people behave as if they knew far more than they actually do. When oil was up over $150 a barrel, we didn’t need experts to tell us to cut back on our oil consumption.

        in fact, our pre-neo cortex ancestors developed opposable thumbs by similar reasons and the same process. You’re not a six-day creationist, are you? Well it didn’t take a panel of experts to intelligently design our opposable thumb policy either. Those idiots who were seeking a greater supply of food and safety by climbing trees were rewarded with more progeny and an adaptation.

        The people of the United States make up a market of 330 million consumers, who, by definition, have an average intelligence, and yet they’ve outperformed the planning of experts consistently. In fact, markets always seem to outperform the genius of experts–cross culturally, throughout history, and for the same reasons animals made similar decisions for similar reasons in prehistory, too.

        The reason fund managers all over Wall Street have such a hard time beating the S&P 500 index consistently and for years at a time is for the same reason. It certainly isn’t because they aren’t properly motivated or more intelligent than the average American consumer. The idea that experts outperform people of average intelligence in a market is simply contradicted by the facts.

        So far, I’ve just talked about why experts fail when compared to average people on a quantitative basis, but one of the other logistical problems with experts imposing their will on people of average intelligence–either through market manipulations or by ignoring the will of the people in democracies–is that all choices we make have a qualitative component, without which judging the correctness of a choice isn’t possible.

        The central problem there is that the qualitative preferences of experts are no better than qualitative preferences of average people–in a democracy or otherwise. It isn’t just that an expert claiming that polar bears are more important than coal miners isn’t really engaging in a scientific question that can’t be refuted with observation. It’s also that qualitative questions like whether we should care about future generations more than we care about ourselves or the poor have no traction on which being an expert can get a grip.

        The elitist assumption that experts (or computer programmers) can know the best interests of average people–every aspect of which is dripping with qualitative preferences–better than average people know themselves is absurd. Only an uneducated or dishonest person would believe and argue that.

        1. P.S. We haven’t even started discussing political legitimacy and why trying to impose the unwanted policies of experts on the unwilling isn’t only wrong because the experts are wrong–but also prohibitively expensive if the people won’t go along. They imposed a carbon tax on an unwilling nation in Australia. Plenty of experts agreed that was smart. When the costs came due, people were so upset by it, they threw the government that imposed it out of power and rescinded the carbon tax. For all I know, having a carbon tax is the smart thing to do–but imposing it on the unwilling is not. If the experts and software engineers in Silicon Valley had stayed up all night trying to think of new and better ways to make the people of Australia resist a permanent tax on carbon emissions, they couldn’t have come up with anything better than bureaucrats imposing one on the people of Australia, over their objections and against their will.

          1. Obamacare went much the same way–the only bits that are left, for the most part, are the parts that the American people wanted–like the prohibition against refusing polices to people with preexisting conditions.

            If you want people to support your policies, there are ways around persuading them: reigns of terror, concentration camps, gulags, cultural revolutions, the drug war in America, Maduro, and the like. Those are more extreme examples than the carbon tax in Australia or ObamaCare, but in all those cases, the cost of imposing those polices on the unwilling was greater than whatever benefits were supposed to come from those policies–which is another way of saying that ignoring the will of the people is consistently far dumber than average intelligence of the people themselves.

            1. You type a lot for a guy with zero reading comprehension.

      2. Poor bitter old asshole is a bigot and doesn’t understand what a Republic is.

      3. Nope, you get the exact same representation. Are you really that stupid?

        1. Dumbfuck doesn’t understand the difference between direct democracy and a Constitutional Republic, with united, but separate states.

          He wants a large federal government run by mob rule.

          1. And in case it’s not clear, Tony’s sock is the dumbfuck, not Nash.

        2. I do?!? There are 40 million Californians and 400,000 Wyomingings. Each get 2 Senators. That means my vote is about 1% of the weight of elitists that live in Cheyenne. Why should I be sent to the back of the bus? No taxation without representation is what I say. Down with elitist scum in Wyoming!

          1. The fact is that the states wouldn’t have come together as a nation with a President over all of them if the states with larger populations hadn’t agreed to a bicameral congress with a senate, where each state gets two representatives regardless of population. Ignoring that fact and complaining about the lack of proportional representation is like being upset that triangles can only have three sides. You want to live in a world where states would have joined the union despite being completely outnumbered in Congress, but that world doesn’t exist. Growing up means dealing with the world the way it is. You don’t even seem to be arguing for a constitutional amendment or explaining why states with lower populations would ratify it. It’s like you’re just whining.

  11. TDS is so damned funny. Trumpistas can’t admit that their hero, who defeated Hillary against all odds and has done some good, has done any bad at the same time. Anybody-But_Trumpers have to purge themselves every time they grudgingly admit he has done some good, and even try to find something good in every Democrat, no matter how awful their other policies.

    Both have forsaken whatever self-ownership principles they might have ever had.

    Quite entertaining. Keep it up!

    1. “Trumpistas can’t admit that their hero, who defeated Hillary against all odds and has done some good, has done any bad at the same time.”

      You don’t seem to understand the central points of Judge Napolitano’s argument–much less the reaction to it.

    2. Agreed! There is both pro-Trump TDS and anti-Trump TDS. In reality, Trump (just like you and me) is neither pure good, nor pure evil.

      Hey, speaking of which, I have a good quote for you…

      What seems to be missing in our time is the comprehension that not only do good and evil exist, but that each of us has a personal stake in the battle. This doesn’t mean that we all don priestly garb and go forth smiting evil, but it does recognize that we each play a role in how evil comes into the world.

      Alexander Solzhenitsyn explained this beautifully in The Gulag Archipelago when he wrote:

      Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un-uprooted small corner of evil.

      Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person. (end quote)

      The idea that each of us has the ability to prevent evil from entering the world through us personally means that we each possess a degree of influence. This means that through our decisions – big and small – we determine whether good or evil is allowed to flourish.

      Many of our laws and policies are based on the presumption that controlling the flaws of others is the key to promoting good

      So many of our laws and policies are based on the presumption that controlling the flaws of others is the key to promoting good. But controlling others too often becomes the basis for unjust and tyrannical laws that perpetuate a different kind of evil that afflicts everyone instead of providing justice. We become a legalistic society that allows the letter of the law to define our moral boundaries. But this comes at the cost of ignoring our noblest instincts while trying to duck personal responsibility.

      It also ignores that fact that man-made laws cannot alter reality. Joseph Sobran explained, “Numbers can’t overrule principles, and complications don’t change axioms. No human authority can make right what is wrong in its essence.”

      Too many people equate legal with lawful when they are not the same thing. They forget that the greatest atrocities done by man were usually matters of public policy.

      Solzhenitsyn took a much more personal approach to solving the world’s problems, he recommended that we first put our own hearts in order. Here’s how he put it:

      “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

      1. Because I wish the American people had supported impeaching President Obama and removing him from office over having violated the Fourth Amendment rights of hundreds of millions of Americans by way of the NSA doesn’t mean I think Barack Obama should have been impeached or removed from office over the objections and against the will of the American people.

        I don’t think elitists can really grok that because contempt for the will of the American people is so central to what it means to be an elitist.

  12. The Russia and Ukraine stuff was bullshit. What Trump should be impeached for is the same thing Obama should have been impeached for, executing individuals on foreign soil. I’ve read the Constitution many times and I just can’t seem to find that power enumerated anywhere.

    1. Killing enemy combatants is an executive power, clearly enumerated, summarized in the shorthand “commander in chief”. Those who declare themselves enemies of the US are enemy combatants. They have declared war on us.

  13. “ Q: Has Trump overstepped the bounds that the executive branch should be held to?”

    And Biden was protecting Ukraine from corruption.

    1. And Rob Misek says that the NAZI-on-jews holocaust is-was a fiction!

      For what it’s worth, consider the source!

      1. If only people would consider the facts.

        The story of Babi Yar is a popular lesson in Jewish schools described as the single largest event of the holocaust.

        The lesson is that between 30,000 and 100,000 Jews were taken to a ravine in Ukraine where they were killed.

        The story is told by one Jewish
        survivor, Dina Pronicheva, an actress who testified that she was forced to strip naked and marched to the edge of the ravine. When the firing squad shot, she jumped into the ravine and played dead. After being covered by thousands of bodies and tons of earth she dug herself out, unscathed, when the coast was clear and escaped to tell the story.

        They were stripped naked to leave no evidence.

        She is apparently the only person in history to successfully perform a matrix bullet dodge at a firing squad.

        The soldier aiming point blank at her never noticed her escape. Never walked a few steps to the edge of the ravine to finish her off.

        Naked she had no tools to dig herself out from under 30,000 bodies and tons of dirt.

        Only after the deed was done, the nazis realized that so many bullet ridden bodies were evidence oops. So they brought more Jews and millions of cubic feet of firewood to dig them up, cremate them and scatter their ashes in surrounding fields.

        There has been no forensic investigation at the site. None of the bullets allegedly burned with the bodies have been recovered. Not one shred of physical evidence of this has ever been found.

        There are aerial photographs of the area at the time but they don’t show any evidence of the narrative, no people, no equipment, no firewood, no moved earth, no tracks of any kind.

        Simply stating these facts is a crime in Ukraine where the Babi Yar narrative is taught to students.

        1. There is no way you or anyone can be that idiotic

          Babi Yar

          1. Sadly, yes there are people who are that idiotic.

          2. Thanks to the internet, there are many conflicting “testimonies” of miss Pronicheva hosted by various Jewish websites.

            In one, she slipped and fell into the ravine unnoticed. In another, soldiers looting the bodies in the ravine, apparently not stripped naked, punched her, broke her hand and threw her in the ravine.

            Apparently liars play fast and loose with the details when scrutiny is a crime.

            Yes there are plenty of stupid people.


              Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

              Documented out the WAAZOO!!!

              1. Somewhat irrelevant as that narrative has nothing to do with Babi Yar.

                The authors career is based on supporting the holocaust narrative.

                I’ve not read that book yet but presumably you have a copy.

                What did he say about what happened to the ordinary men of unit 101?

                Were they executed as Nazi war criminals or offered freedom and payment in exchange for their “confessions“ as was usual?

                1. “What did he say about what happened to the ordinary men of unit 101?”

                  Very, very few of them received much of any serious legal punishment… There were far, far, far too many low-ranking soldiers (policemen etc.), who had taken part in atrocities, after WW II in Germany, to do that. But that’s not what I am trying to point out to you…

                  What I am saying is, if you read this book with an open mind, you could see nearly-endless testimony that the NAZI regime sponsored absolutely brutal, inhumane mass murder, especially in the East. If you’d read this book, you would see. But I doubt that you will do that… Certainly not with an open mind. Confirmation bias level, 99.9999%… And that’s a shame!

                  1. Coerced testimony doesn’t support any narrative, ever.

                    If it wasn’t a crime to objectively review the physical evidence or lack thereof in every nation where the alleged crimes occurred, science would confirm a credible narrative.

                    Just probably not the one you choose to believe today in the absence of logic and science.

                    1. Confirmation bias level, now set to 99.99999999999%…

        2. I met a young guy several years ago. We were sitting around with a bunch of people talking about our scars and how we got them. One of the women at the table asked this younger guy how he got the big scar on his forehead.

          He was a survivor of a massacre in Congo. When the Rwandan massacre came to Congo, it went right through his village. They hit him on the head with a machete, and it knocked him unconscious. When he woke up, he was under a pile of bodies they’d left behind. He hid under the pile until it got dark, and then he slipped into the woods. Eventually, an aid organization found him and he was brought to the United States. He was going to school to become a civil engineer so he could go back to Congo and improve people’s living conditions.

          We were stunned. My roughhousing scar stories were nothing, and I suddenly couldn’t think of anything worth complaining about.

          I don’t know if that lady’s story about surviving a Nazi massacre was true, but I know that doubting the legitimacy of holocaust stories discredits your argument–regardless of whether it should.

          I maintain that the biggest favor France could have done Marine Le Pen and the National Front was to make it against the law in France to deny the holocaust and actively prosecute violators. The biggest problem the National Front had was that every time voters in the mainstream started to take them seriously, Marine’s father or one of the other old guard in the party would say something embarrassing questioning the holocaust. Once the French government started prosecuting them for it, the old guard of the National Front shut up about the holocaust, and without those embarrassing quotes, the National Front became socially acceptable in France. They probably never would have achieved the electoral successes they’ve had if France hadn’t made it illegal to deny the holocaust.

          One of the reasons I support free speech is because when you want to discredit racists, antisemites, authoritarians, and communists, the best way to expose them and their idiotic views isn’t to censor them. It’s to put a camera on them and hand them a microphone. They want to say their stupid shit, and they want to say it on camera. You cannot mimic the stupid shit they say–in any way–and not be confused with one of them by some people. It’s basically Poe’s Law. No view is so stupid that it can’t be confused with legitimate views by people who don’t know that you’re being sarcastic. That applies to more than just sarcasm and when you’re being perfectly serious.

          Point is, you can’t be both persuasive and argue that incidents during the holocaust didn’t happen–regardless of whether that’s the way things should be.

          1. Science is based on doubt and the elimination of it through the scientific method.

            Imagine where we’d be if that weren’t the case.

            1. If someone can’t be persuaded by logic and science, they are a bigot.

              1. If the world is full of people who can’t be persuaded by those who’ve said certain things, and you want to persuade people to be more libertarian and more capitalist, then it’s entirely rational to avoid saying those things–regardless of whether the people you’re trying to persuade are rational.

                And I’m not sure the thing we’re talking about is irrationality so much as it’s about cognitive biases. When people associate something with something extremely distasteful, it isn’t irrational. Beer commercials use beautiful women and fun times in the hope that consumers will associate their beer with good things. They don’t use images of open vats of raw sewage because wanting consumers to associate their brand with that would be irrational.

                1. Let me be clear.

                  Cognitive bias does not require rational confirmation. Whenever people aren’t persuaded by the evidence of logic and science they are being irrational.

                  If that’s your choice, own it.

  14. James Madison made some big mistakes…”General Welfare” clause. Not specifically stating Judicial Review was outside the purview of the Federal Judiciary but rather in State Legislatures and even forbidding fractional reserve banking…its too bad Jefferson was in Paris when the whole “constitutional convention” took place.

    As for Judge Nap…media matters has pics on him …it is the only explanation that the Judge today is not the Freedom Watch Judge of eight years ago.

    1. Fractional reserve banking should not be illegal, it should just be transparent. If we had “free banking” then banks could choose how much of a reserve to use and those banks who’s reserves were too small would eventually get punished by the free market.

    2. James Madison NEVER wrote nor supported the later 1900’s massively deceptive and down-right fraudulent interpretation of the NON-EXISTENT ”General Welfare” clause.

      1st – The Preamble ISN’T the Constitution just like a book summary on the back of a book isn’t the books text itself.

      2nd – The only other place in the entire Constitution that has the words “General” and “Welfare” together are directly proceeded by ‘tax’ and followed by “United States” (both capitol to resemble a noun of the “Union of States” government we now refer to as the federal government).

      The unbelievable ignorance it takes to chop words out of context and utterly deny that EVERYWHERE in the Constitution the “United States” refers to the Federal Government and “The People” refers to the people is astounding.

      A 2nd grader could see the deception going on. The power of Congress to tax the people for the ‘general welfare’ of the Federal government MEANS exactly what it says. The federal government can tax ONLY to keep itself from going bankrupt…. THE END… NO B.S. AD-LIB!!!

      1. “..neither side wants to go to the judiciary”? WTF? Trump went to the judiciary during the House proceeding. He was charged with obstruction of Congress. Napster sucks.

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  17. Judge Napolitano is right but being wildly and utterly hypocritical to be pigeon-holing President Trump who coincidentally has a BETTER record of following Constitutional Limits than a good 90%+ of both chambers of Congress AND the supposedly “Constitutional Judiciary”.

    Its just soooooooo wildly hypocritical for the lefty House and judges to be witch-hunting Trump on Constitutional Limits when 90% of the entire Federal Government would be gone if held to the same standards —- Which really needs to happen!!!

    Judge Napolitano should start doing his JOB and STOP making bs rulings and start chopping UN-Constitutional legislation and probably even file indictments of treason for politicians like Bernie and his clan of purposely trying to “Kill the American way/freedom.” and replace it with communism.

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  19. If the standard for impeachment is whatever the House thinks it should be, then the House passing Articles of Impeachment makes that true if the President performed the action deemed impeachable. However, it is the Senate’s role to determine if that warrants removal. If it is all political and the subjective decisions of the House and the Senate, then the evidence that Trump should be removed was not objectively overwhelming.

    The argument that impeachment is political to justify the articles brought but complain that the Senate did wrong by not removing the President have argued themselves into a corner, I think.

    1. Pretty much. I accept that impeachment doesn’t require an actual crime, but in the absence of one a case must be even more strongly made that the person is unfit to serve. You need 2/3 of senators to agree. This has been watered down a lot since Senators are directly elected rather than representatives of each state, but it still serves to leave a high bar where broad agreement must be achieved. They botched his impeachment because they didn’t name any crimes and the only issues raised are a concern on purely partisan lines. They tried to lie to make it sound like Trump was digging up oppo research, but they exposed that one of their own party’s candidates was involved in seemingly corrupt behaviour

  20. The reason President Trump wasn’t removed from office wasn’t really because two-thirds of the senators chose not to do so. The reason two-thirds of the Senate chose not to remove President Trump from office was because they feared a majority of the voters in their states. That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about democracy. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about the will of the American people.
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    1. Except the USA ISN’T a free-willy Democracy… It’s a Republic… Go move to a democratic socialist country if that’s what you want. Stop trying to “Fundamentally Change” the USA by deceitful definitions, confusion and playing-on peoples ignorance.

  21. Impeachment as a punishment was declared the goal by the dems early on, the search for the reason to do so took a while.
    Turns out a late library book return and an un-paid parking ticket were run up the flag pole didn’t get a lot of salutes.

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