Capitol Riot

The Case for Impeaching Trump

"The question of whether incitement to riot is an impeachable offense is pretty easy," says the Cato Institute's Gene Healy. "Clearly, yes."

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"From the beginning of this not normal presidency, we've had a lot of talk about both impeachment and the 25th Amendment," says Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy, author of The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power.

"In most ordinary circumstances…the 25th Amendment is a really poor tool for removing a president," Healy tells Reason. "It was really designed for presidents that were nearly completely incapacitated: Woodrow Wilson after the stroke, James Garfield dying of blood poisoning after the assassination attempt."

"During the Trump presidency, when this solution has been proposed, I thought it was pretty unrealistic," says Healy. "I think we may be in a different situation here, though."

"The argument for a 25th Amendment solution here would be: How lucky do you feel? Are we sure that what happened at the Capitol, after Trump's riot rally speech, are we sure that that was peak Trump?…Maybe it is. Do you want to think about how much you're willing to stake on that proposition?"

The argument for impeaching Trump—an action House Democrats are promising if the president is not removed through the 25th Amendment—is different, Healy says.

"What impeachment does is it puts an additional black mark on a presidency—an additional mark of disgrace and shame," he explains. "It's a signal to the presidents that are going to follow that this black mark can be put on you even at the last moments of your presidency if your behavior has been egregious enough. Making Donald Trump the only president to have been impeached twice would really underscore that point."

A long proponent of impeaching more presidents, Healy hopes the worst arguments against impeachment will be buried in the wake of Wednesday's storming of the U.S. Capitol.

"I don't ever want to hear again, that it's impeachment that's a constitutional crisis, that it's impeachment that's disruptive and anti-democratic. I think that argument deserves to be laughed out of court, given what we've experienced over the last few days."

Produced and edited by Meredith Bragg.

Photos: Pat Benic/UPI/Newscom; RMG News / Rise Images / MEGA / Newscom; Ken Cedeno/UPI/Newscom; Lev Radin/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Shay Horse/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Carol Guzy/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Liu Jie Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Michael Nigro/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; Shawn Thew/POOL/CNP/InStar/Cover Images/Newscom; Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; Yegor Aleyev/TASS/Sipa USA/Newscom; Shealah Craighead/White House/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Douliery Olivier/ABACA/Newscom

 

 

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  1. The Libertarian Case For Disregarding Our Democratic Norms And Institutions While Simultaneously Declaring Such Disregard For Our Democratic Norms And Institutions Criminal Treason

    1. poor Commies at unreason and the cuck neo-cons.

      They really believe Americans believe their lies.

      1. LC didn’t you keep telling us to “wait for January 6” after which Trump would be declared the winner of the election? Are you ever tired of being wrong?

        1. So what? He still had faith in America.
          I never did, but my attitude wasn’t necessarily a good thing, just more realistic.

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              1. Gene Healy seems to be living in yesterday, and not today. In Today, the impeachment means nothing - at all. It is a political tool. And it will continue to be used as a political tool going forward. It will have nothing to do with removal of a president and everything to do with just smearing them. They impeached Trump for a "quid pro quo" regarding bribing Ukraine regarding Biden. Firstly, Trump never provided a quid pro quo statement. He merely asked about the situation with Biden. Second, he never authorized to withhold the money. And 3rd, the money was already promised them, it is not the same as a bribe, because they were promised the money beforehand. In reality, the left impeached Trump because they perceived he was going after Biden. That's all. They were mad and offended. The funny part of this, is there was multiple actual quid pro quo situations with leftist senators, seeking to deny ukraine, in exchange for other favors. Even Quid Pro Joe himself, provided a quid pro quo, demanding the Ukraine fire their prosecutor, or he would deny them the funding. So it's all bullshit.

                Now we we have rioters storming the capitol. And now that it's on the leftist front door, and performed by republicans, then the entire last year of rioting by the left just vaporizes into thin air.

                So I can't wait for civil war 2.0! I have a list that needs satisfying, and the police are going to be... "preoccupied." Then we can follow that up with secession, and then finally, libertarians might actually get some candidates elected, believe it or not.

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                2. Too bad there’s not a way to upvote comments here.

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                3. You’re a fucking idiot, tough guy. You don’t think the entire fucking country is armed? You don’t think very, very many Democrats are armed with the same level of toys (and better, because they have more money) as you and your butt buddies? And satisfying “your list”? Uh huh. Loser douche bag.

                  You’re not a libertarian or a Libertarian.

                  1. Just remembered that Reason has problems with links. Just be advised that I posted a moment ago and provided links that demonstrated that conservatives have way more guns and also earn more money. I added a comment saying that not only do conservatives own more guns but we actually use them and therefore are far more proficient. I don’t have a link that backs that up but exit polls showed that Trump voters were far more likely to be veterans, Draw you own conclusions.

                    1. Trumpists *absolutely do not* earn more money. And that’s really what the issue is, because Trumpistas aren’t conservatives anyway. Indeed, Trumpism is antithetical to conservatism. The Trumpist motto: “We must have authoritarianism to be truly free!”

                      As to your contention about “conservatives” (read: Trumpists) owning more guns, that’s likely fake news too, especially since a lot has changed in 2020! Reason just had an article about that, and I have plenty of anecdotal evidence they’re right. The times they are a-changing. Trumpists probably do use them more because Trumpists, not Libertarians or conservatives, frankly aren’t generally nearly as busy as the rest of us. Moreover, their livelihoods rely upon the productive elites of society, so Trumpists are exceptionally vulnerable economically.

                      As an aside, the comments section of Reason has become one of the last bastions of Trumpism because no one else will tolerate them. It’s quite funny, actually, to see Trumpists pleading their case (and making veiled threats, just like here, while invoking their gun ownership) in the comments sections of actual “conservative” publications like NR.

                    2. *earn* is probably the key term in your first statement. And where do you clowns get off calling Trump authoritarian when his biggest asset was De-Regulating, Staying out of policing the world and practicing a fair amount of Feudalism? Mean Tweets??? Feelings? Emotions? — What is this pansy-patch pandemic 2020?

                      “rely upon the productive elites of society” — Name ONE product created by just a group of ‘elites’…. Cause I got a whole market of products by ‘non-elites’… City paper pushers would STARVE without Trump States and no-one growing food in a remote area WANTS to be dictate some some big city mob who can’t keep their POWER boundaries in check.

                      I fear nothing from Trump supporters with guns — They aren’t out there to DICTATE they are out there to STOP the Power-Mad.

                    3. Who would raise, train, arm, command and pay an insurgent force? Please be specific.

                    4. Huh…
                      Power-Mad = The illegitimate trying to be legitimate by use of POWER instead of VALUE. (fits pretty well)

                    5. Reason also has a problem with replies.

                      I wanted to add to my previous observation about the ubiquitous nature of gun ownership: the statistics don’t capture the vast number of illegal guns out there. I have a feeling which “side” in the “civil war” I see bandied about threateningly by Trumpists *those* guys would be on. Huh. You just might get your “boogaloo”! I’ll be on the side of the rule of law, the Constitution *and* the brothers in, say, Chi-raq who are definitely *the very best* civilian soldiers out there with the most real-world, practical, hands-on experience. Huh again. Politics sure does make for strange bedfellows.

                      Fucking Trumpists.

                    6. @Enness

                      So says the keyboard warrior. Keep the dream alive dolt.

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        2. Kongming
          January.11.2021 at 11:49 am

          “Are you ever tired of being wrong?”

          Are you ever tired of getting on your knees and submitting? LC does not accept and submit. You on the other hand…

          One should never tire of pushing and standing for the right outcome.

      2. lc89, you really made a fool of yourself with your election and election overturning predictions. How do you expect anyone to listen to you now? Have you learned your lesson? You were just as hyperbolic as Maxine Waters or Trump.

        1. “just as hyperbolic”

          Tell me again about the communists insurrectionists and the Reichstag fire broken window.

          1. Certainly more strident than Waters.

            Too bad, I would have liked for him to have been right.

        2. Poor unreason commies. They think massive democrat election fraud equals a biden win.

          Its another lefty coup just like democrats tried 2016-2019.

          Then the kungflu and election fraud was coup attempt #2.

          We get it democrats. You declared civil war 2.0 just like you declared civil,war 1.0

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      3. Free speech is being destroyed in this country, and they are justifying the show politics of “impeachment”.

        1. When I first posted this two months before the election, I had no idea how accurate it would actually be.

          Reason V.3.0 Coup-o-meter:

          Step 1: Get mail-in voting approved to guarantee a non-credible election result.

          Step 2: Have the Democrat-controlled media proclaim Biden as winner.

          Step 3: Use media allies to make it “true” that Trump lost. Frame any challenges to the narrative as the ragings of a dictator, clinging to power.

          Step 4: If the courts and congress find Trump’s electoral victory is legitimate, claim that it’s not. Activate rioters.

          Step 5: Remove Trump by non-Constitutional means. Frame it as saving the nation. <— THIS ARTICLE

          Step 6: ‘Build Back Better’ baby. Make sure that those uppity surfs pay.

          Am I prescient or what?
          I mistakenly thought the courts would review the evidence instead of refusing to, but everything else was spot on.

          1. You are not Canadian.

          2. Occam’s Razor says actually you’re a dumbfuck.

            1. Every single thing you write says you’re a dumbfuck.

          3. So, what are your suggestions for lottery numbers?

      4. Lc, you’re back? How is Trump doing? He still gonna be pres?

        Did you cry all your snowflake tears out yet?

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    6. Impeachment is right there in the constitution dude.

      1. Poor lefties. They made trump the best president in us hsitory.

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  2. Sneed’s Feed and Seed (formerly Chuck’s)

  3. jfc. Can reason get anymore fucking blue pilled?

    1. At this point, I won’t be that surprised if/when there is a Libertarian Case for Destroying the NRA

      1. They’ll probably do the Libertarian Case for Packing The Supreme Court first.

        1. The Libertarian Case for the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts

      2. They need to just get it over with and rebrand as Rational Review.

        1. Will the Volokh Conspiracy be rebranded as the “National Hebrew”?

          1. They’ll try, but they’ll lose the trademark case against Hebrew National.

            1. Only if they enter the cured meats business. Then again, they are working on becoming dead meat.

            2. They can claim to be in the tradition of Justice Frankfurter.

        2. Wouldn’t that be the Irrational Review?

        3. “Rational Review.”

          Very, very nice. I give you a Trump-free, PGA-approved golf clap.

      3. The NRA is not pro-gun enough and therefor pointless.

        Is there a word count requirement, if not where do I pick up my check?

        1. I wonder if Reason can come up with a feature where we just gaslight ourselves, instead of having to read the whole article first.

          1. You can partly automate the process by skimming the headline and assuming that the article will be the same set of talking points in any other leftist media piece on the same topic.

          2. It’s called reading sarc and squirrel’s comments.

          3. This website is way more fun if you skip all the reading and just go straight to the arguing in the comments section.

      4. You mean the one where the NRA doesn’t support lawful gun ownership if the lawful gun owner is killed by the police? Think that was covered awhile back.

      5. The libertarian case for extralegal programs that deny people their civil liberties…

    2. “The Libertarian Case for Repealing the Entire Bill of Rights”

      1. Reason would be “the Libertarian case for for Repealing the Entire Bill of Rights”. You insult all libertarians by using the small l. The delusional Libertarian party does not represent libertarians.

  4. Reason has gone from libertarian to left wing to fascist.

    1. Survival tactic. They and Cato and probably IJ are on the outs with the government and public. It may take a while but I assume that the feds will be harassing them and getting a list of their users and donors. We shall see.

      1. Being opposed to a responsible, science-based federal government sounds like something as white nationalist would support….

        1. I’m still hearing you in that Futurama voice.

    2. I used to access Reason through libertarian dot org, but Reason was kicked of that site for exactly what you posted.

    3. “Fascism is anything I don’t like”.

    4. It’s Fascism with American characteristics.

  5. Libertarians for impeaching presidents who dare to challenge elections with obvious signs of fraud and foreign interference

    1. Also Libertarians for impeaching the one president who wants to end wars and reduce government regulations. i guess dictionary has the wrong definition of libertarian

    2. Libertarians should in general support impeachment, because the biggest threat to liberty is the imperial Presidency. Oh, and there is no evidence of any serious fraud in the election, as demonstrated by 60 of Trump’s lawsuits being laughed out of court.

      1. imperial Presidency”
        What is this, I can’t even…

        no evidence of any serious fraud in the election
        Chipper/DOL/WK Gaslighting meter:

        “No evidence of fraud.”
        “No widespread evidence of fraud.”
        “No systemic evidence of serious fraud.” <= Today's post
        “Well, it wouldn’t make any difference.”
        “Well, it’s too late now!”

          1. I know, the fact that you’re applying it to Trump in the light of his four predecessors actions is what I find ridiculous.

      2. Only the fraud that can be proven is fraud that actually happened. Any fraud that can’t be proven did not happen. Kind of like that tree that fell in some forest.

    3. Prove it then fuckface. 60+ court cases and you lost them all.

      If there was evidence then it should’ve been there.

      All you have is a damaged brain and snowflake tears.

      1. All you have is salt.

      2. It will be good when trash like you in face down in a landfill, where you belong.

  6. “During the Trump presidency, when this solution has been proposed, I thought it was pretty unrealistic,” says Healy. “I think we may be in a different situation here, though.”

    To be clear, you wanted it to happen before, it just wasn’t practical until now.

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  7. Let’s ensure that no sane person will ever consider running for office in the future, thus guaranteeing insane office holders.

    1. Thats what this is about.

      Lefties cannot ever have a reasonable non-swamp creature run and win office again. Commie policies to destroy America just cannot handle all these attacks on Authoritarian rule.

      1. More like idiots like you can’t fathom we don’t want a fuckface like Trump, his supporters, or his sedition.

        Fuck off snowflake. Go cry some more.

        1. Poor unreason commies.

          You know whats coming and your scared shitless.

          1. Anyone using the terms “sedition”, “insurrection”, or “domestic terrorism” for the lame riot on Jan. 6 is an idiot and can be ignored.

            What’s pathetic is the idea that our overlords are too good for a simple riot, unlike the business and residences torched over the past months. Riots only happen to the little people, though maybe it should really be called a “peaceful protest”. The definition of words seems to be very malleable these days.

            1. Honestly, I think when historians look back at the incident 100 years from now, even the term ‘riot’ will look inaccurate, not because there weren’t actually rioters at the Capitol engaged in destructive behavior, but it isn’t a good term to describe the whole of what happened.

              But everyone is going to at least go along with ‘riot’ now, because the BLM violence was called ‘rioting’ and they’ll be attacked as hypocrites if they don’t.

    2. Democrats clearly do favor corrupt politicians. They’re so much easier to own and operate. Harris does all kinds of evil shit and gets to be VP. Cuomo murders nursing home residents and no one cares. He gets accused of sexual harassment but skates with the story dying inside a news cycle. The price is that their souls belong to the DNC, but they’re empty political animals and weren’t doing anything with their souls anyway.

  8. Well no one will really bother challenging the one party state once they hammer their enemies. Impeach, disbar, fire, jail, cancel…it’s all coming now. Once that’s done it’s coming after speech (already in progress), religion, then gun rights, then the 4th amendment (haha that was gone long ago) and the rest. Nobody to stop them now.

    1. Once that’s done it’s coming after speech (already in progress),

      nah,… i can just go use Parler instead of Twitter.

      woops, never mind.

      1. You are gonna have to set up your own servers, buddeh. Unless you want to force AWS to bake that cake for you.

        1. Hopefully you can find an ISP that will work with unpersons. Don’t forget your own payment processing and other support services.

        2. It was sarcasm hence the “woops nevermind”

          1. try (sarc) less confusing. I used to use (facetious) but the average Reason user has no idea what the word means.

        3. bUiLd yUr oWn iNtErNeT

          1. It’s just a series of tubes, how hard could it be?

          2. I’m pretty sure Chipper agreed with Johnson that the guy should be forced to bake the damn cake.

  9. , after Trump’s riot rally speech,

    In which he said nothing remarkable and nothing that any other politician would have said in the same circumstances.

    This false narrative that he incited the riot is just another in a long line of total fabricated media lies.

    1. Yeah, unless I missed something big (which is possible, I find the news pretty much unbearable at this point), nothing he said could reasonably be interpreted that way.

    2. This is the quote being touted all over NYT and CNN as Trump intentionally “inciting” a riot:

      “And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowd. “And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

      Bland, standard political rhetoric that any other R or D could have been quoted saying at any time.

      1. Don’t forget how he said that they should act “peacefully and patriotically.” That certainly sounds like code for “storm the Capitol and attempt to overthrow the government” to me.

        1. Aesopian language!

      2. Someone did an analysis of the timeline and basically it was impossible to have listened to Trump’s speech and make it down to the capital in time to storm the gates. So drawing a Nexus of cause and effect is not going to be possible.

        1. link? I’d love to read it. sounds clever

        2. Hate has no logic or reason, much like Reason today.

      3. we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women

        To the ears of a snowflake that sounds like

        we are going to hand out clubs, Molotov cocktails, rebel flags, and truncheons and beat the living crap out of the cops

  10. Why? Why not just wait it out? All this will do is get people more riled up.

    1. If he gets impeached or 25th he can’t run again.

      1. 25th Amendment says nothing about holding office in future.

      2. Wait, they’re scared of him? Lol. That’s amazing

        1. They cant stop Trump and it scares the shit out of Lefties.

          They impeached him already and he got the plurality of legal votes in states that mattered during election 2020.

          The Lefties in Silicon valley cut off Parler and conservatives moved to Gab.

          All Lefty plans fail, its just a matter of time.

        2. They are acting that way, aren’t they?

        3. I know it’s what constantly amazes me about cheetoh man as hamfisted and incompetent he is it’s almost like he’s as good or better at politics than our current professional class of polticos.

          1. he’s as good or better at politics than our current professional class of polticos

            No, if he had been that good he would have won re-election easily. His campaign was a shoddy reprise of 2016. The sequel is never as good as the original. And in this case the situation had drastically changed, but Trump didn’t change in response. He is a one trick pony.

            1. so are the democrats. They almost lost to a moronic bore a second time. The election was closer than the 2016 one after 4 years of trump being exposed time and time again as a halfwit and the entire media, cultural and gov establishment behind them.

              1. A good politician (not human being) is someone like Bill Clinton, who can lie out of both sides of his mouth while getting a blow job under the table. Even Obama, who was all things to all people, and a token for their virtue signalling as well, was a better ‘politician.’ He smoothly told the lie of the year and people swallowed it. Trump was a lousy politician because he did not understand that having the media against you is a serious handicap in the long run.

                1. sure but those are people who are currently wielding power. Comparing Trump to schumer/pelosi/harris/biden is more apt here.

                2. As was Reagan. The best at it in my lifetime. Heck even dubya knew how to dodge a bullet.

                  Mark Twain said “never argue with people who buy ink by the barrel”.

            2. Trump won reelection as he was more popular than 2016.

              Massive election fraud schemes in key states and unconstitutional election laws changes ensured biden coup. Its why democrats needed kungflu hysteria lockdowns to link up with the 2020 election.

      3. Hmm. Seems like a questionable plan to tell a big chunk of the electorate that their preferred candidate is not an option. But the plan now seems to be to say “fuck you” to that chunk of the country, so I guess it makes sense.

        1. they seem to think trump is the only thing preventing us from going back to business as usual.

      4. If he gets *convicted* one possible outcome is he couldn’t run again. 25th says nothing about future limitations. In both cases, whatever initial action is taken (impeachment articles drawn up or 25th cabinet vote occurs) , that is only the equivalent of a grand jury indictment, not the trial and not the final judgement.

        In both cases, the Senate half of the process wouldn’t begin until on/after the inauguration and would still require buy-in from a number of Republicans to complete.

        I, honestly, am not sure what the democrats gain at this point. I think it is just performative outrage theatre. It certainly seems a weird choice to keep everything focused on the current President instead of doing what the incoming administration usually does, which is act as if they are already in power and focus on the great days ahead.

    2. Because it’s not about Trump, it’s about power for the sake of power.

    3. There is a purpose. It is not to get Trump out of office, but to totally destroy him and anyone that help him in the Presidency. You see all these people, especially the never Trumpers, have lusted after and coveted the Presidency their whole lives and worked in politics to attain that. Yet Trump, never having held any public office won the Presidency and did a better job than any of them. That is why the most venomous are Clinton, Christie and Romney. All tried and failed. Powell didn’t even get that far, and Schwarzenegger was not born here so can never be president. You work your way up through the two colluding parties, or you will be utterly destroyed. That is the message.

  11. What impeachment does is it puts an additional black mark on a presidency—an additional mark of disgrace and shame, drives a bigger wedge between sides to foment more violence and destruction, and is destined to fail anyway.

    FTFY

    1. Exactly. It’s part of Biden’s Unify plan. Unify the lefties by keeping Trump on their minds so they don’t see how we are fleecing them.

  12. This looks less like justice and more like retribution. You might want to think carefully before going down that road.

    1. This is to be a lesson to conservative types running or currently serving in office.

      Bend the knee or we will attack you financially, politically, violently, and your family.

      Democrats started Civil war 2.0. If you dont see that yet, I’m not sure what else you need.

      1. Unfortunately, you may be right. The divide will only get wider and deeper with a second impeachment. Jerry Ford may have been a dim bulb, but he understood that getting Nixon off the stage was good for everyone.

        1. One thing is for sure, Nixon was not as bad as democrats lied about.

          We now know democrats are liars, so you cant believe most of what they say.

          1. Fyi: nixon got the usa out of vietnam, not democrats.

            Trump tried to get us troops out of iraq, afghanistan, and syria and was monetarily undermined by democrats.

  13. There are 9 days, left in the Trump Presidency. Efforts to remove Trump is clearly revenge talking to incite more division. The Left is embolden and striking at the Right at every opportunity and the Left does not care about any long term ramifications of their actions.

    The Left is comfortable with their Liberal Entitlement and are purposely attempting to destroy and squash any opposing opinions. You could make an argument that the Democrats are attempting to destroy any minority group that disagrees with their agenda.

    Personally I’m happy that Trump will be out in 9 days, and deeply concerned of the vindictiveness of the incoming administration and cohorts. As a Jo Jorgensen voter, I too am in a minority group that disagrees with the Democrat agenda.

    The collusion of Big Tech to destroy the Social Media Parler is deeply alarming even though I shun Social Media and consider the majority to be a waste of time. The maneuver to deny opposing voices a platform portends a future that is fast approaching George Orwell’s 1984.

    It is obvious that Democrat claims of supporting liberty and Freedom has been replaced with a desire for single party rule. Twitter and Facebook still have members who advocate rounding up and punishing all Republicans who voted for Trump. If I hadn’t see it with my own eyes, I would have discounted the claims.

    Remove of Trump from office will not calm down either the Right or the Left. The Left will only be empowered and try to pursue punishing Republicans, and the Right will see removal of Trump an another example and resist.

    It’s ironic that people who advocate removing Trump with 9 days remaining because they are accusing him of inciting a riot, are themselves guilty of inciting a riot using the same standards.

    It’s time to begin the healing, not increasing the divisions.

    1. There will be no healing. Democrats started Civil war 2.0

      The Lefties know this which is why they are trying to strike while the iron is hot.

      Trump came out of nowhere to utterly devastate the Democrat Party for decades to come. It will happen again, so they are trying to prevent it.

    2. I am astonished that the flagship libertarian publication has nothing to say on the topic of mass censorship of political ideologies.

      The country that I was raised in would never have countenanced this nonsense. We fought over things like the idea that wearing a pair of flag pants could be considered speech, or that dancing topless was a form of speech. There was no debate about silencing communists or conservatives or Christians or black nationalists. That was just understood. Political speech is the nut that all speech protections revolves around.

      But apparently even at reason magazine nobody in America knows this anymore. I don’t know where the libertarians went, but this one is a no-brainer.

      1. This, in its entirety.

        I’m sitting here completely lost, no place to turn. It’s literal fascism (using private enterprise for the benefit of the party) all the way down.

        This is a very sad time.

    3. Have fun when BLM burns down your neighborhood and JoJo cheers them on.

        1. Unreason articles.

    4. This is what the so-called libertarians at Reason.com should be writing. Instead, they are doing big tech and elite democrats bidding trying to justify the spectacle of impeachment.

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  15. “The question of whether incitement to riot is an impeachable offense is pretty easy.” It’s also irrelevant.
    Was this incitement, is the obvious question and the answer is NO. I certainly didn’t see anyone calling it incitement at the time. Stupid? Yes. But not incitement to violence, insurrection, sedition, whatever else you want to reach for after the fact. Certainly not any worse than a lot of support that BLM or Antifa have received Democrats.
    If the “stop the steal” protest had remained peaceful, we’d be watching Trump head out the door without an impeachment farce. Same if it’d started to get out of hand, but security held and there was no embarrassing breach into the building. Its politically opportunist to push impeachment on this, and I think we’ve had enough abuse of the impeachment process.

    1. I’m all for more impeachment, but this just isn’t the precedent to get it started with. I want to see impeachments because of the unconstitutional actions presidents take in office, not because they are hated and opponents are desperate for any way to remove them from office.

      1. Like when Trump used the CIA and FBI to go after Biden…

      2. I don’t know how you can get more unconstitutional than calling on your rabid supporters to storm the Capitol to stop the certification of the winner of the election which you lost.

        1. Assembling and speaking are now unconstitutional to you?

        2. I don’t know how you can get more unconstitutional than calling on your rabid supporters to storm the Capitol to stop the certification of the winner of the election which you lost.

          That does sound bad. Can you show us where that happened?

          1. Please post the video of exact words or phrases where Trump called on his supporters to storm the Capitol? Otherwise you are a liar.

        3. It’s not clear to me that that is what he did.

        4. “I don’t know how you can get more unconstitutional than calling on your rabid supporters to storm the Capitol to stop the certification of the winner of the election which you lost.”

          As always, your cite fell off, for the very good reason that you’re lying.

  16. The Libertarian Case for Fascism, by Reason.com.

    1. Gene Healy and Meredith Bragg are trying to knowingly and willfully gaslight us.

      A decade ago I never expected Reason and Cato to endorse actual fascism. And I’m not falling into hyperbole using that term.

      I also didn’t expect Charles Koch to publicly recant him libertarianism and join George Soros in a think tank endeavor.
      Since he’s they paycheck behind Reason and Cato, I guess that this was inevitable though.

      “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”

      1. He can always buy new souls, and better ones.

    2. “Fascism is using the normal constitutional mechanisms to change who the president is, when it’s a president I like.”

  17. Only nine days of derangement left for you junior grade Block Yomommas. Get it all out of your systems!

  18. Holy crap reason! You guys keep setting new records for the dumbest thing you’ve ever published.

    That ending stinger is the dumbest thing you have ever published.

    A couple of hundred guys running around with flags and taking selfies in the capital is beyond the pale, and more disruptive than impeachment? You have lost your damn mind.

    remember 5 minutes ago when we thought political protests were the most democratic expression of the people? Remember how people exercising their voice was the greatest thing ever? That was like literally 5 minutes ago. The paint is barely dry on the black lives matter banner on Pennsylvania avenue for crying out loud.

    Do you guys even have editors? Is there nobody there with half a brain?

    I get it! You hate Trump! We are all libertarians here, we hate every president. We’re really good for that. But you got to connect it up with some kind of reality. This is just ludicrous.

    I think the republic can survive an idiot in a buffalo hat pretending to be the speaker. They didn’t even survive the dinner hour for crying out loud.

  19. Rasmussen: Trump’s Approval Rating Rises After DC Protests

    https://www.newsmax.com/us/rasmussen/2021/01/08/id/1004872

    1. The Democrat’s media blitz backfired, as does a lot of their bullshit.

  20. What difference, at this point, does it make? He’s about to leave office. Impeaching him or charging him with anything would only increase the political divide. Just let it go. And Trump should let it go too. If he really wants to do something useful he will step aside and focus his attention on revealing exactly how screwed up the election process was in 2020.

    Personally, I think fraud is still on the table, but not a certainty. It could just be that democrats were successful in making it incredibly easy to legally harvest votes in inner cities. Either way, the election process needs to be more transparent and auditable after the fact.

    1. democrats were successful in making it incredibly easy to legally harvest votes in inner cities

      Exactly. And they made it impossible to prove either that the votes were legal or illegal. That is something that needs to be fixed.

      1. The judges rejecting almost every case for lack of standing without allowing the lawyers to prove it is what made it difficult to prove. Also the states breaking their own laws and blatantly destroying evidence didn’t help.

      2. Probably the difference in this race was found in the suburbs where voters were encouraged to virtue signal against LiterallyHitler.
        Trump was, of course, complicit in his own destruction by bumbling the Chicomvirus situation and giving the media four years worth of fodder regarding his mindless and insulting twitter addiction.

  21. Just logging in one last time to let Reason know I’m canceling my paid subscription over this article.

    If you’re going to argue that a specific set of words spoken by a public official justify ousting them from power, tell us what those words are. Maybe they *do* justify ousting Trump, but it’s beyond the pale that you expect us to take your word for it.

    1. Every politician uses fighting/violent rhetoric to get their base to do things legally and everyone know this it has rarely meant to actually do anything physical except when Maxine Waters actually did say harass them

      1. Nobody removed Nancy Pelosi when she called for “uprisings” against the Trump administration.
        Nobody removed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she claimed that her groups have “no choice but to riot.”
        Nobody removed Kamala Harris when she said the riots “should not” stop.
        But Trump saying we’re going to march peacefully and let our voices be heard, is somehow magically incitement.

        This whole thing is a tragic, evil farce.

    2. The words were: “I,Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me god.”

        1. T’s pointing out that the Trump’s words that pissed the Left off the most, were the ones he recited to get sworn into office in 2017.

  22. What difference, at this point, does it make? He’s about to leave office. Impeaching him or charging him with anything would only increase the political divide. Just let it go. And Trump should let it go too. If he really wants to do something useful he will step aside and focus his attention on revealing exactly how screwed up the election process was in 2020.

    Personally, I think fraud is still on the table, but unlikely. It’s more likely that democrats were successful in making it incredibly easy to legally harvest votes in inner cities. Either way, the election process needs to be more transparent and auditable after the fact.

    1. Either way, the election process needs to be more transparent and auditable after the fact.

      And only someone with nefarious motives would be against this.

    2. Fuck that Trump didnt do anything wrong. You dont admit guilt when youre innocent. That will just give bvb the Left more rhetoric to hammer the right with. The divide is already here. People are ready to fight for what they believe in, as they should.

  23. This isn’t about inciting a riot or sedition.

    This is about bitch-slapping congress which was a huge insult to the aristocracy. AOC and Lindsay Graham even peed their pants! They can’t let that go without sweet, petty revenge!

    (even if it turns up the temp 100 degrees, congress is to offended to be thinking clearly right now)

    1. “The case for bitch slapping congress”

      Now that’s an argument I could get behind.

      1. It’s also a solid album title.

  24. I don’t think you can take Pelosi’s latest impeachment bill seriously without being guilty of bothsideism.

    [Bothsideism] is a media bias in which journalists present an issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints than the evidence supports.”

    —-Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_balance

    1. Pelosi reportedly contacted top military officials regarding what: helping quell the riot or removing Trump from the White House?
      Some Trumpistas I know are claiming she was trying to instigate a military coup. Can we expect any journalist to probe Pelosi’s contact? If the answer is “no,” then we need some new journalists.

      1. The military confirmed it!

        I mean, her interpretation is that she was only trying to save the country from an unbalanced president with the nuclear codes.

        But, you know, considering the motive of a defendant is in the proper purview of a prosecutor, a judge, and a jury.

        She has the constitutional authority to remove a president from power through impeachment, but seeking the assistance of the military in removing a duly elected president from power is not only unconstitutional but also reeks of sedition.

        It’s not as if the Biden administration will charge her with anything. She will never face charges for this–but this needs to be called out and condemned. The Speaker of the House has no business seeking the support of the military to remove a sitting president from power. If he were impeached and convicted or lost an election and refused to leave, that might be one thing–but that isn’t the case here.

      2. I was actually writing about this in another thread–and I thought I was in that thread because you asked me about it.

        Here’s my comment with a great mainstream link to the story.

        https://reason.com/2021/01/11/sedition-charges-are-almost-always-a-terrible-idea/#comment-8692117

      3. Not just the Trumpistas, even the New York Times insinuated she went too far.
        https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/08/us/politics/trump-impeachment-pelosi.html

        1. The relevant section for those who don’t know how to get around the paywall:

          Ms. Pelosi also said she had spoken with Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about “preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes.”

          A spokesman for General Milley, Col. Dave Butler, confirmed that the two had spoken and said the general had “answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority.”

          But some Defense Department officials have privately expressed anger that political leaders seemed to be trying to get the Pentagon to do the work of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, who have legal options to remove a president.

          Mr. Trump, they noted, is still the commander in chief, and unless he is removed, the military is bound to follow his lawful orders. While military officials can refuse to carry out orders they view as illegal, they cannot proactively remove the president from the chain of command. That would be a military coup, these officials said.

          1. It’s the sort of thing that’s been done before. (See SECDEF James Schlesinger calling up the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and telling not to do anything Nixon might want, without clearing it with Schlesinger first: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/07/21/Schlesinger-worried-Nixon-might-call-out-Marines-report/7365427608000/)

            But it’s not the sort of thing you run to the press immediately afterwards and brag about. Our political culture has really gone into the toilet in the last 20 years.

        2. We might find that the emphasis on Pelosi’s concerns about nuclear codes could very well just be a CYA maneuver.

          I’m calling to gauge your support for removing the president from power because . . . um . . . let me see . . . uh . . . because he has nuclear launch codes. That’s why!

          Because the New York Times put the emphasis on that part of the confirmation doesn’t mean they aren’t burying the lede.

          Because the New York Times puts the emphasis in their story on the Pentagon confirming that Nancy Pelosi asked about nuclear launch codes doesn’t mean that was the emphasis of the conversation she had with the Joint Chiefs of Staff–and it doesn’t change the fact that she asked them about their support for removing a sitting president from office.

          Because the New York Times emphasizes her excuse doesn’t make it a legitimate excuse. The fact is that the Speaker of the House has no business seeking the support of the military for removing a sitting president from power.

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    1. Your Uncle Brayden is on Onlyfans.

  26. “…Making Donald Trump the only president to have been impeached twice would really underscore that point.”…”

    This sort of blatant TDS-infected bullshit put Cato on my $1 donation list this year, along with Reason.

    1. I quit giving a them money in 2018.
      It hardly matters though. Rich Uncle Charles more than covers our share.

  27. For a ‘think tank’ VP, this piece is short on thinking, and devoid of an actual case for impeachment. I did get that he doesn’t like Trump, got it, the guy is unlikable. And that’s the same reason the asshats will try to impeach him again -it doesn’t put a black spot on Trump, it puts one on the nation for sinking to the level of a banana republic. I could forgo the endless wait for the edit button if Reason started running more articles that weren’t shit.

  28. Not “or” but “and.”

    Trump is guilty but insane, as many jurisdictions have moved to from not guilty due to insanity. Use the 25th to immediately protect America from insane Trump. Use impeachment to punish guilty Trump.

    The Trumpy the Clown Show’s plot has twisted from idiocracy to autocracy.

  29. Of course it’s easy to make the case that inciting a riot at the Capitol is an impeachable offense.

    The hard part is making the case that telling people to peacefully walk is inciting a riot.

    That’s why the impeachment advocates just treat the ‘incitement’ as self evident.

  30. If Pelosi proceeds with impeaching Trump again, will his lawyers get to defend him or will this simply be a kangaroo court?

    If it becomes a kangaroo court will independents and libertarians remember and punish the overt abused by the Pelosi and fellow Democrats?

    I don’t like Trump, but can wait 9 days. I supported Jo Jorgensen and cherish freedom and personal liberty. Neither Trump or Biden represent freedom or personal liberty.

    For all the fears of Trump’s abuse of power, Biden has not been inaugurated and already see very troubling steps being taken the portend a very difficult time for anyone without Liberal Entitlement.

    I fear that we will have another 4 years of ever expanding of the “Almighty Government” and a diminishing of our freedom and personal liberties.

    1. Theyre trying to disbar anybody who supported Trump’s lawsuits in good faith. Theyll punish you for even daring to fight against the system. Are we sure anybody will represent him with the fear the Left will try to destroy their life and possibly imprison them?

      1. Don still has money, loads of it, and we’re talking about lawyers. If a man of his means can’t get a lawyer our republic really is dead.

        1. Trump is pretty bad at lawfare though. This full court press isn’t going to help.

          Great way to get your name out there as a young, gutsy lawyer though.

  31. All these things are way too much to handle. Pandemic, elections and now War for presidential rights.
    BTW nice piece of information.

  32. Why bother having impeachment if not for getting a president out who incites sedition?

    The only ones against are fascist pukes who should do us all a favor and fuck right off.

    1. You don’t have a clue what sedition is to start with. The seditious people where Pelosi, Schumer and Schiff. Trying to remove a sitting president with information they knew was fake, the Steele Dossier.

    2. Lefties loed before election 2020 and they lie now.

  33. Reason twenty years ago was tuned into dangers of the PATRIOT Act after 9/11.

    Today? Pearl clutching and basically begging for PATRIOT 2.x over the Capitol Campers. Pathetic.

    Where is the all-out campaign to get Assange and Snowden pardoned? Like try to get the dolt doing something useful before he’s out?

    What happened around here?

  34. Seeing the salty tears of frustration and anger from cultist Trumptards is always fun to see.

    They claimed Trump would win.
    They claimed Trump got more votes.
    They claimed voter fraud would be easily proven.
    They claimed he’ll be inaugurated on the 20th.

    Anything else you guys want to be wrong on?

    1. Surely they’re experts at tax policy.

  35. Reason has already stated that Trump probably didn’t meet the criteria for inciting a riot so why bring that charge ,

  36. Not iPad friendly… the link…

    https://reason.com/2021/01/08/did-trump-commit-a-crime-when-he-riled-up-his-supporters-before-they-rioted/?utm_medium=email

    The Senate isn’t likely to take up the charge and remove Trump from office.

    Censure would be better. I’d sign on for that.

  37. the transcripts of the speeck are readilu availble online. Go and raed them, not just what the lamestrame lars are SAYING he said. WHERE did he “incite” to violence? Go ahead, don’t be lazy, dont take MY word for it, go find the transcrit and READ IT YOURSELF.

    Next, examine the timeline… at what time did the speech end? 1215 local time. At what time did the first move to enter the capitol building begin? 1200 local time. How far apart are the place where the crowd listening to Trump’s speech, and the specific site of the first breach of the capitol Building’? One point fove miles.
    Now, riddle me this: HOW could Prseident Trump’s alledgedly inciting to violence words have mobilised the crowd invading the Captiol building one point fove miles away firteen kinutes AFTER the breach?
    Mr. Trump has ben accused of lots of impossible stuff, but soft words sparking a riot a mile and a half away firteen minutes after the riot started? That gives him superhuman powers….. and if he has them, better watchout, he’s a gonna gitchya, hard…….

    stupid people can’t even reason anymore.

  38. President Trump’s words on January 6th are clearly NOT unlawful “incitement”. See Brandenberg v. Ohiop (1969)

  39. President Trump’s words on January 6th are clearly NOT unlawful “incitement”. See Brandenberg v. Ohio (1969)

    1. Reason seems unable to reason. They printed this crap after saying this:
      Did Trump Commit a Crime When He Riled Up His Supporters Before They Rioted?
      Jacob Sullum | 1.8.2021 2:10 PM
      Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include “advocacy of ideas” or “expression of belief” unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do
      It seems pretty clear that Trump’s behavior, while outrageous and irresponsible, does not fit the elements of a crime. Under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment precedents, inflammatory speech can be punished only in narrowly defined circumstances that go beyond what happened on Wednesday. Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include “advocacy of ideas” or “expression of belief” unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do.

    2. Such high bars we’ve set.

  40. It is hard to make the case Trump’s actual quotes could be inferred as incitement. They are much less so than Biden threatening to punch Trump in the nose, Maxine Waters telling supporters to get in the faces of Trump supporters, Obama saying to bring a gun to a knife fight, etc. Those are specific acts being mentioned. Trump said to march peacefully and cheer on the Senators. No threatening words.

    I find it hard, without better evidence that 17 Republican Senators will vote for impeachment at this late date on such flimsy rhetoric.

  41. I am still trying to find a difference from Progressives and Libertarians – both seem to have TDS.

    I don’t seem to remember hearing REASON writers bemoaning federal laws that states broke related to immigration and drugs. I guess some laws are more equal than others. REASON writers bemoaned state lockdowns, but I heard nothing of recalling the governors. Governors and mayors allowed “mostly peaceful demonstrations” that destroyed public property, city, county, state, and federal property and nary a peep about the people wrecking our country.

    Last not, probably not the place, but – Ashli Babbitt, a white woman, no criminal record, was gunned down by capital police. I couldn’t even find her name in the REASON search engine. So, I guess her life does not matter to the libertarians at REASON.

    1. You have to understand a Libertarian is a member of the US Libertarian party. A libertarian (small L) is one the supports libertarian core principles. To learn more see;
      libertarianism org what-is-a-libertarian
      I doubt Reason will let me post the link, but you know how to do it.
      The fist libertarian principle is “First, Do No Harm”
      Every conservative on this site should read this:
      libertarianism org columns first-do-no-harm
      again I doubt I can post the link.

  42. Encouraging people to engage in peaceful protest is not impeachable. In fact Obama did it repeatedly and sometimes the results were not peaceful at all.
    The only difference this time is that those affected view themselves, incorrectly, as special people that should never have any direct consequences for their choices, or even have to live in the same reality that we do.
    I’m not approving of the violence, but congress did get a lesson in reality.
    I’m guessing Nancy had to change her Depends when it was over

    1. Yes they did.

      Behold the superior wisdom of these freedom fighters.

      1. Step one: Scare legislators out of their shit but fail to murder even a single one of them.
      2. Don’t wear a mask because only pussies wear masks during a pandemic.
      3. Forget that also criminals wear masks so they are harder to identify.
      4. Smash American artifacts in the heart of democracy
      5. Why don’t they love us wah wah wah

      1. Any refutations?

  43. I’m amused that so many people think that keeping Trump from being elected again will reduce the pressure on the Deep State. These were the kids who thought that they were steering the car with the wheel attached to their child safety seats.

    The actual effect would be to make him a martyr, with 75,000,000 ardent supporters who know that they were cheated.

    The Deep Staters who are honest with themselves know that Biden had significantly fewer supporters, and even those will soon be feeling the pain of higher energy costs, more economic damage, and reduced civil rights — these things were PROMISED by the incoming administration.

    1. He may well end up a martyr, but only to the Nazis.

      If you’re on the same side as the Nazis, do you think that’s the right side?

      That goes for the past four years by the way.

      1. Why would you National Socialists consider him a martyr?

  44. I believe Trump should be held for his crimes, even if he wasn’t impeached.

  45. And yet no one is threatening to picket or attack bookstores that carry Mr. Healey’s book.

  46. Impeaching Trump for failing to end the wars he promised to end makes more sense than this nonsense.

  47. Trump promoted massive protests but did not incite violence. That’s just BS! The problem with huge protests is that there is always a very small minority, and in this case helped by BLM and Antifah folks, that get out of hand. The national guard should have been out there protecting the government buildings.

  48. The Senate cannot try Trump and remove Trump from Office or disqualify Trump from holding and enjoying “any Office or honor, Trust or Profit under the United States,” if Mitch McConnell continues to block the Trump impeachment’s Senate trial until not earlier than 19 January (2021) and the trial does not begin until 20 January (2021), when Trump will no longer hold the Office of the Presidency.

    Some “scholars” argue that the Senate may try and adjudge the second Trump impeachment after Trump is not in Office (after his Presidency term has ended and he ceases to hold or be in Office). The arguments cite “precedents,” which I discuss below. But precedent-reliance is error.

    The Senate is not a common law court. The Senate cannot rely on or be bound by the Senate’s previous impeachment-trial judgments, as if those decisions were judicial “precedent.” In impeachment trials, the Senate’s jurisdiction depends directly and solely on this Article I § 3 clause 7 language: “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office or honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”

    In the Article I § 3 clause 7 phrase “removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office…,” the conjunction is not “or,” but “and.” Hence, if the Senate adjudges an impeached officer guilty of the charge presented by the articles of impeachment, the Senate may remove the officer from office AND disqualify him from holding and enjoying “any Office or honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.” The Senate may not either remove him from office or disqualify him from holding and enjoying “any Office…under the United States.”

    Therefore, the case must be one in which the impeached official can be removed from office. And such case does not obtain where the official is not in office.

    Were the critical conjunction “or” (not “and”), the Senate could choose EITHER (a) to remove an impeached officer from office OR (b) to disqualify him from holding and enjoying “any Office or honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” [or both (a) and (b), IF the impeached Officer remained in office when the Senate tried him]. Hence, if the critical conjunction were “or,” then even if an impeached individual were not in Office, the Senate could disqualify the individual from holding and enjoying “any Office or honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.” But the critical conjunction is not “or.” It is “and.”

    But suppose, in impeachment trials, the Senate were like a common law court — bound by, or entitled to rely on, Senate impeachment trial precedent. Still, never has the Senate held that the Senate can try an impeached Officer who is not in Office at the time of trial. So, no affirmative precedent exists.

    The first federal impeachment case was the 1798 impeachment of U.S. Senator William Blount. The Senate had expelled Blount for “high misdemeanor.” Blount was ordered to appear before a Senate select committee. He refused. A Senate impeachment trial began without him. The trial never reached the merits. The Senate dismissed the impeachment because the Senate lacked jurisdiction since Blount was not in Office at the time the impeachment articles reached the Senate for trial: Blount had been expelled from the Senate.

    Some “scholars” cite the 1827 case of Vice Presdident John C. Calhoun. Calhoun’s enemies were rumoring that Calhoun had engaged in financial misconduct when, earlier, he was Secretary of War. Though Calhoun had left the Office of Secretary of War and had become Vice President, Calhoun begged the House to impeach him concerning whether he abused his Office when he was Secretary of War. Calhoun wanted a forum and process in which he could refute the rumors. The House investigated Calhoun and cleared him. He was not impeached.

    One must wonder what “logic” moved some “scholars” to assert that the Calhoun case “proves” the Senate can try a person after he has left Office.

    Such “scholars” cite also the 1846 case of Daniel Webster. Webster had served as Secretary of State under President Tyler. Three years after he left the post (and four years before he returned to it), Webster found himself accused of using federal funds improperly when he was Secretary of State. Some House members thought impeachment would be a proper means of resolving whether the accusations were false.

    During the House’s debates in the Webster case, John Quincy Adams asserted that the House could impeach a person after he left Office. Adams’s assertion is oft-cited as “proof “ of the truth of its content. But impeachment did not occur. Hence the case and Adams’s assertion prove naught but the fact that some House members thought impeachment was possible though Webster had left the Office.

    Some “scholars” cite also the 1870 case of Benjamin Franklin Whittemore and John Deweese. The House censured Whittemore and Deweese or selling commissions to the Naval Academy while Whittemore and Deweese were House-Members — despite Whittemore and Deweese were no longer Members of the House. The House debated whether also the House could impeach Whittemore and Deweese. But impeachment did not issue — partly because one House-Member thought, erroneously, that the Blount case [see above] had established that Congress-Members could not be impeached.

    [Article II § 4 suggests a Congress-Member is not impeachable: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” A legislator is not a “civil Officer.” The term “civil Officer” denotes a member of the Executive (“executive officer”) or the Judiciary (“officer of the court”). Just so, the phrase “and all civil Officers” follows : “The President, Vice President” — so that “and all civil Officers” must denote Officers like the President and Vice President, not legislators (Members of the House or Senate).]

    Some “scholars” cite the case of Judge Mark Delahay, who was impeached in 1873. House-Members alleged that Delahay’s personal habits rendered him unfit for judicial office: he was intoxicated both on the bench and off. Delahay resigned before the House could draft specific articles of impeachment. He was not impeached. So, the case cannot be precedent, since no charge was brought and adjudged.

    In the 1876 case of Secretary of War William Belknap, the House impeached Belknap after he had resigned his Office. The Senate’s minority insisted the Senate lacked jurisdiction because Belknap had resigned his Office. For THAT reason the minority voted to acquit. Belknap was acquitted. Though the Senate’s simple majority argued that the Senate had jurisdiction and pressed the case to judgment, that argument is not precedent. The argument was not upheld by two-thirds vote. And Belknap’s OFFICE had not ended (albeit Belknap had left Office). Belknap had resigned; and, therefore, could have continued holding Office.

    A more interesting case is the 1912 impeachment of Judge Robert Archbald. At the time of his impeachment and Senate trial, Archbald was a judge of the U.S. Commerce Court, an Article III court. But of the twelve articles of impeachment, six articles addressed alleged misconduct committed while Archbald was a judge of a U.S. District Court, another Article III court. [An Article III court is a court established per U.S. Constitution Article III and having judges holding life tenture per Article III. Like the U.S. Commerce Court and U.S. District Courts, federal Courts of Appeals are Article III courts and their judges Article III judges.]

    Still, that case is not precedent for the proposition that the Senate can try a civil Officer’s impeachment when the Officer has left office. Six impeachment charges related to alleged misconduct Archbald committed while holding the Office of a U.S. Commerce Court judge. While Archbald was still a Commerce Court judge, Archbald was convicted of two of those six charges. But Archbald was acquitted on all of the impeachment charges that related to his conduct occurring while he was a District Court judge.

    Archbald had been elevated from a U.S. District Court judgeship to another federal “Article III” judgeship, a Commerce Court judgeship, when, and from which, the Senate removed him. Archbald’s two federal judgeships can be treated as one “office” — for impeachment and Senate trial purposes — for several reasons:

    (a) Often U.S. District Court judges sit in U.S. Circuit Court three-judge panels in federal appellate cases.

    (b) Commerce Court judges were reassigned to another appellate court when their term on the Commerce Court expired. Even while they served on the Commerce Court, Commerce Court judges served also as at-large appellate judges whom the U.S. Supreme Court’s Chief Justice could assign to any other appellate court.

    Commerce Court judges heard claims arising from orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Commerce Court judges rendered judicial review of such orders. So. effectively, Commerce Court judges acted hybrid trial- court/appellate-court judges. [The Commerce Court was abolished one year after Archbald was removed from that court. In 1982, the “Federal Circuit” Court of Appeals was given jurisdiction like, but broader than, that had by the Commerce Court.]

    A federal District Court judge, federal Court of Appeals judge, or any other federal “Article III judge” holds office for life, unless impeached and removed for cause provided in Article II § 4. So, even after elevated from his District Court judgeship, Archbald continued to hold the same Office — Article III judge. An Article III judge is an Article III judge — not only a judge of a specific Article III federal court. So, Archbald had not left office —Article III judicial office — when, and from which, the Senate removed him, even if the Senate removed him partly because of misconduct he committed while a U.S. District Court judge.

    Even must one question whether federal Article III judges’s impeachments rests solely on the power the Constitution’s Article II § 4 assigns to the House.

    Article III provides: “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.”

    Since (a) per Article III Congress establishes the lower federal courts and (b) since all Article III judges, even Supreme Court Justices, are appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate and (c) the Article III judge-removal standard is breach of good behavior, federal judge impeachment and removal seems a process somewhat distinct from the process of impeaching and removing other “civil Officers.” Hence, for reason of such distinction, the Archbald case may be specially not precedent for impeachments and Senate trials of Presidents, Vice Presidents, and other non-judicial civil Officers.

    The ultimate conclusion must be that the Senate cannot try an impeachment of a President, Vice President, or other federal civil Officer (except, perhaps, an Article III judge) whose Office’s term has ended and who has thus left Office.

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