Impeachment

Contra Alan Dershowitz on Late Impeachments

On the validity of an impeachment trial for a former president.

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Alan Dershowitz recently published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that the Senate did not have the constitutional authority to hold an impeachment trial for a former president. Today, I published a brief op-ed arguing the contrary position in the same venue.

From the piece:

Why would former officers be included within the impeachment power? Impeachment trials had long served as a vehicle for exposing and formally condemning official wrongdoing, or for a former officeholder to clear his name. Disqualification from future office was also an important penalty. A former Vermont lawmaker was impeached and disqualified from future state office for leading one of the tax rebellions that spurred the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. The American founders understood the history of demagogues and dictators corrupting republics and the need to exclude them from future office. As one delegate to a state ratifying convention put it, men who held public office should be "within the reach of responsibility" so that "they cannot forget that their political existence depends upon their good behavior."

Read the whole thing here (behind a paywall).

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  1. What happens if Trump says: “Get stuffed. I am no longer President, I am a private citizen. I cannot be impeached.”?

    1. He’d be right: He can no longer be impeached. Dershowitz is right about that. Whittington’s example only proves it can be done under Vermont’s constitution, not the federal Constitution.

      The question at this point is whether he can be tried, since he has already been “impeached”. And there’s not really any basis for denying that he can be, since the only qualification for the trial is that one have been impeached, and the House did that before Trump’s term was over.

      But he’s now safe from a third impeachment.

      1. Since the articles of impeachment haven’t yet been presented to the Senate, it is even arguable whether he has been impeached. (There were a few articles from VC in January in detail on the subject)

    2. Darth, what difference would that make? Congress doesn’t need his permission.

      1. And if he refuses to comply?

        1. Darth,
          I think the ex-president is free to deliberately not put on a defense. And if he never tries to run for office again, even a conviction would have no real-world impact in that regard. But if he chooses to not put on a defense, loses his pension, security detail, etc…and then tries to fight that in court . . . that’s a different matter.

          1. The guy’s a freaking BILLIONAIRE. I don’t think that he worries about the pension (he donated his presidential salary to charity), the security detail or any of those “perks”.

            And why would he fight it in court? The courts appear to be as corrupt as the rest of the government.

            1. His affection for sucking at the government teat seems ample.
              He extended Secret Service protection to a 40-something child (more than a quarter-century past the standard threshold for protection). He charged the government for glasses of water and unused hotel rooms.

              His “billionaire” status is questionable. His solvency — against deadlines for nine-figure debt regarding faltering assets, while being shunned by lenders, lawyers, depositaries, brokers, and others — is a similar question.

              His biggest problems, though, are likely to develop in prosecutors’ offices and criminal courts. Whether he would accept accountability to spare his children could become an important issue.

              1. You forgot the Biden charged the Secret Service for use of a second residence on his property and it was more than market rent. But, hey, Trump is all bad right, so who cares?

                1. Jimmy,
                  Biden’s actions or inactions were not at all part of this thread. So, it’s a bit unfair to suddenly throw that out as an example of some hypocrisy or double standard. If ALK had made the point that (a) Trump was and is corrupt and (b) Biden is a pure as the driven snow, then your point would make more sense.

                  1. How are you EVER going to identify hypocrisy or double standards, if you’re not allowed to point out what the other side is doing? As long as THEY don’t mention their own sins, (And why would they, while attacking their enemies?) nobody else can?

                    The left is all about, in numerous ways, trying to win arguments, not by persuasive argument and refuting counter arguments, but instead by finding one or another excuse to prevent the opposite side from actually making their case.

                    This is just another example of it.

                    1. Brett, I am fine with having a conversation about the sins of the left. What I’m not fine with is using the sins of the left as an excuse to not talk about the sins of the right. And I care far less about what you perceive (often wrongly, IMO) as double standards than I am in identifying and dealing with sinful behavior.

                    2. Go ahead and point it out, but how about a source.

                      According to AEI, hardly a radical left-wing organization,

                      The Bidens rented out a cottage. Being a landlord brings with it risks, such as nonpayment, needy tenants, or destructive tenants. The Secret Service is, presumably, a much easier tenant with no risk of nonpayment, and it even paid five, six, 12 months in advance, according to federal records.

                      That’s not a massive benefit, and the Bidens look to have charged market rates, but it’s still a benefit to have the money months in advance with the risks and costs mitigated dramatically.

                      (emphasis added)

                      So there’s your complaint. Not much. AEI points out two other facts.

                      1. Other presidents, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, did not charge the Secret Service, even though they could have.

                      2. The Secret Service rents rooms or cottages at Trump’s very expensive clubs and hotels. Although White House and Trump Organization officials have asserted that the Secret Service just pays at cost, records reported by the Washington Post’s David Farenthold indicate otherwise. Sometimes the Secret Service has paid $650 to rent one room at Mar-a-Lago for one night.

                      Reportedly, the Secret Service paid Trump in just three months what it had paid Biden in more than six years. In 2017, the Secret Service rented a three-bedroom cottage at Trump’s New Jersey golf course for three whole months, paying $17,000 a month. That is, taxpayers paid as much for one summer of the Trump cottage as they did for two years of the Biden cottage.

                      Make of all that what you will.

            2. The guy’s a freaking BILLIONAIRE.

              Or so he claims.

              1. Ugh, this again. Forbes thinks he is, where’s your claim of expertise to contradict them?

                And why in God’s name is it so important to you that he not be a billionaire?

                1. I don’t actually care if he’s a billionaire, but if he isn’t, it would simply be one more thing on the long list of things that he’s lied about. And that I do care about.

                  1. “I don’t actually care if he’s a billionaire, but if he isn’t, it would simply be one more thing on the long list of things that he’s lied about. And that I do care about.:

                    Sure, “if” he isn’t, it would be. But Forbes says he is, and they put a lot of work and expertise into arriving at conclusions like that, so what motive have you got for assuming they’re wrong about it? Obviously you DO care if he’s a billionaire, because you’d have no reason to deny it otherwise.

                    There’s this pathology in many of Trump’s foes, that if they don’t like him, he can’t have any virtues at all, he can’t be good at anything, because for some reason bad people aren’t allowed to be good at anything. It’s like you’ve got “good at” and “good” mixed up in your heads, and admitting he had competency at something means thinking he’s admirable.

                    1. I haven’t denied it. In point of fact, I’m agnostic on the question. I don’t know if he’s a billionaire or not.

                      I do know that every other word out of his mouth has been untrue so I’m certainly not inclined to take his word for it.

                    2. But Forbes says he is, and they put a lot of work and expertise into arriving at conclusions like that,

                      I mean, no, that’s not true.

                      The valuation of things other than shares of publicly traded companies is difficult, and they rely significantly on self-reporting. It’s well known that people lobby for their placement on the list. Look at, e.g., Trump’s cabinet secretary and fellow traveler Wilbur Ross, who claimed he was worth billions. Forbes dutifully reported that, putting him on their list. Then they finally began digging into it, and decided that he was claiming $2B in wealth that never existed.

                      https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/11/07/the-case-of-wilbur-ross-phantom-2-billion/?sh=3aa43d967515

                    3. And then a few years later, they lowered Ross even further, deciding that an art collection of his was probably worth at least $100 million less than he claimed.

                      https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2019/07/23/why-forbes-is-dropping-wilbur-ross-net-worthagain/?sh=5f69112f7e57

                      I suggest you read Timothy O’Brien’s book on Trump; he was given access to Trump’s finances for the purpose of writing it, and concluded that Trump was worth about 10% of what he claimed. That was in 2005, so it’s dated, but nothing Trump did in the decade between then and when he ran for president was even claimed to have increased his wealth significantly. And in the course of that suit, Trump admitted that he just made up figures about his wealth, with most of the value being goodwill rather than hard value.

                2. Brett asks, “Why would truth matter?”

                  That’s our Brett.

                  1. I asked nothing of the sort. In fact, I’ve explicitly denied that his not being a billionaire is “truth”, the best evidence I’ve seen is that he IS one.

                    I want to know why it is so important to you guys that he not be, that you will blow off any evidence to the contrary.

                    1. What evidence, besides the Forbes report which, as David Nieporent points out, is based on dubious information?

                      I mean, information about Trump’s wealth exists – tax returns, filings with banks, etc. That he chooses to conceal all that, despite promises to be transparent, is some evidence that he’s lying.

                      Google Thomas Bayes.

                    2. I want to know why it is so important to you guys that he not be

                      Well, here’s one reason.

                      His alleged business success was a big part of his claimed qualifications for the Presidency. It was evidence of his talents and abilities and general high competence, by himself and his cultists, including you.

                      Now, suppose it’s all BS. He started with a lot of money, tried a bunch of stupid projects, and got lucky once or twice, with the result that he’s still rich, but hasn’t actually earned anything like a decent return on his starting capital.

                      What does that say about his highly touted talent?

                      And why does he fight so hard to keep the data secret, numerous promises to do otherwise notwithstanding?

        2. Same as any other defendant in any other proceeding who refuses to show up: they’ll have a trial without him.

          1. The “trial” is all for show. How can you have a trial when they have no authority over him?

            Nothing says “unity” like going after your opponents when you seize power.

            1. Tell it to the judges, clingers.

            2. Deplorables don’t get to cry about ‘unity’ and pretend that accountability is unnecessary.

    3. True – as one no longer holding an office he cannot be impeached a 3rd time. But he has been impeached for a 2nd time, and must face the consequences – trial by the Senate. IANAL, but I fail to see the arguments here.

  2. More and more it looks like the dems are engaging in mental masturbation with the silly impeachment process.

    Too many pubs have already said it is a waste of time since there are simply not 17 pubs who will vote to convict.

    Pelosi has already delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate more time than I can remember and it is even money it will be delayed again.

    At some point it is time to say ‘either shit or get off the pot’.

    1. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing whether you’re going to succeed or not.

      1. I missed when it was established that wasting even more taxpayer on yet another exercise in political vindictiveness (this time without even the possibility of a practically beneficial result) constitutes doing ‘the right thing”.

        1. Based on your posts, you seem to miss quite a bit.

          1. When it comes to the stupidity that drives your comments, I couldn’t be happier about missing out.

            1. Nonsense. If that we’re true you wouldn’t bother responding.

              1. Jesus. You can’t even follow simple English.

  3. At least we don’t have to pretend that you guys aren’t hostile to Americans any more.

    1. And at least we don’t have to pretend any more that you’re not a whore for Trump. So, a lack of pretense on all sides. A good result, yes?

      1. Whores get paid. These gullible clingers do it for free.

        1. Considering how much Trump has raked in with his “election fraud” scam, it looks like they not only don’t get paid, they pay.

          1. They didn’t become Trump fans with strong insight, sound judgment, adequate education, and good character.

  4. Deep State does not want to face his celebrity and charisma in 2024. This is another pretextual impeachment. The 2020 impeachment sought to reverse the election and my vote of 2016. This impeachment seeks to do the same for 2024.

    I have patience. When people tire of the antics of the Deep State lawyer scum bag, I have the remedies.

    1. Oh I just figured out who you are. You were Boris Badenov on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, right?

      1. Can you have the courtesy of trying harder to be funny? Test several remarks on people, before posting.

        1. You mean you weren’t?

  5. Can they impeach a regular old citizen who never held office, and disqualify that person from holding office in the future?

    Maybe…

  6. “Read the whole thing here (behind a paywall).”

    No thank you.

    As for the Belknap case, I’d say the result shows the truth is actually found in the middle.

    The Senate affirmed it had jurisdiction over Belknap, but not by a 2/3 vote. There were enough Senators who denied jurisdiction to get him acquitted (only a few Senators said Belknap was innocent – the evidence of his corruption was fairly powerful).

    Oh, and there is another precedent – a fellow named Richard Nixon who resigned the Presidency before the House had an impeachment vote – he expected, based on the Judiciary Committee recommendation, that he would have been impeached if he’d stayed in office. The proceedings were dropped.

    For the Senate to have jurisdiction, I’d say the impeached person needs to be in office at the time the House votes impeachment. After that the Senate must try the case, and it would be unreasonable to say if the person quits just before the vote on guilt, the Senate has to drop the whole thing. Defendants would be able, by resigning, to evade disqualification from future office.

    So the Senate can try Trump, but hopefully they don’t want to set a bad precedent about Sec. 3 of the 14th Amendment – kicking officials and ex-officials out of public life every time they give a rabble-rousing speech which is followed by a riot…well, that would certainly purge us of many politicians. If the standards are applied impartially, which I suspect they won’t be. Best to avoid the problem by leaving the punishment of rabble-rousers to the voters.

    1. I have pointed this out before: the Belknap case is not impeachment. It is the expulsion by the Senate of one of its members. It’s a different power under a different section of the constitution. That the Senate granted itself the power to retroactively expel a member is no precedent for the application of the impeachment power.

      1. I believe you are confusing the impeachment of Sen. William Blount in 1797 and that of Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.

        The House voted to impeach Sen. Blount on July 7, 1797. The next day, the Senate voted to expel Blount by

        1. (OOPS)

          ..a vote of 25-1. At his impeachment trial the next year, Blount argued that the Senate had no jurisdiction over him because, 1) a senator was not an “officer” subject to impeachment; and 2) even if a senator was subject to impeachment, he no longer was a senator.

          The Senate dismissed the case, agreeing on the first point, thus never reaching the second.

    2. The Senate can bar Trump from holding future federal office based on Article One rather than Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

      Trump is being accused of more than rabble-rousing. He lied for two months hoping to steal an election, and those lied provoked the insurrection that was aimed at stealing the election.

      1. I hope you are not taking the position that pols who lie should be banned from future office.

        1. Of course not. But when they lie in order to steal an election and those lies provoke an insurrection, wouldn’t you agree that is grounds for disqualification?

          1. There wasn’t any insurrection. That’s not serious rhetoric.

            1. Read any of the reporting of what it was like in the Capitol. Or read the statements of the insurrectionists as they defend themselves in court.

              It failed, but that’s exactly what it was. It’s becoming ridiculous to deny it.

              1. If it was an insurrection, then there have been many insurrections in 2020 alone.

      2. “The Senate can bar Trump from holding future federal office based on Article One rather than Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

        I’m naively focused on the inclusion of Section 3 in the impeachment article.

        The House could get rid of that reference, but so long as it’s there, the Senate is stuck with it and needs to consider the application of Section 3 to this situation.

        1. Just because the House accuses Trump of violating Section 3 doesn’t mean the Senate must pass judgment on that claim. The Senate first must decide whether to convict, and if they do, they have the freedom to punish under Article One while staying silent on Section 3.

          1. I know they have a certain informality of procedure, but I’d say that the House, as “Grand Inquest of the Nation,” decides

            -what charges to bring

            -whether to bring separate charges and

            -whether to put specifications under any charge.

            In this particular situation, the House chose to file only one charge, with no specifications – it’s all or nothing. And this charge, on which they expect the Senate to vote, invokes Section 3.

            Of course, I am aware that sometimes a Senator will base his/her vote on something other than the charge he/she is formally voting on. I would call that disrespectful to the House, whose job it is to draw up the charges – it’s the Senate’s job to say if the House charges are true – whether the House alleged and proved impeachable misconduct.

            The House wanted to include an Article 3 theory in their single charge. Unless they change their mind on that, it’s what the Senate has to work with.

            1. The impeachment charge explicitly states “Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States” without respect to Section 3, which was merely an additional justification for impeachment. As such, the Senate is under no obligation to consider Section 3 in deciding whether Trump is guilty of committing a high crime, or punishing him if he did.

              1. I’d be more sympathetic if the House were *required* to stuff all their charges and legal theories together in one article.

                But in fact they could have had separate articles or separate specifications.

                They simply chose to stick Section 3 in there, with whatever precedent it will set in the event of conviction.

                Or perhaps it won’t set any precedent and will be a one-time ticket for this train only.

        2. I think they mentioned Section 3 because that’s their plan B when the trial ends in an acquittal: They’re going to try to ‘convict’ him by a regular majority vote, and claim that Section 3 means he can never run for reelection.

    3. I am behind the paywall. It is Deep State lawyer gibberish garbage. He does not want to face Trump in 2024, after the agonies inflicted on the American voter by President Harris, a tech billionaire agent with those San Fran values.

      1. Whittington argues that officials should be held accountable for wrongdoing with impeachment after leaving office.

        He then gives examples in which partisan hacks only used the process to retaliate against political enemies, when they had done nothing wrong, Jefferson after being Governor of Virginia, a lawmaker leader of the Whiskey Insurrection, after an antigovernmental, tax rebellion by farmer patriots. Both were called demagogues and dictators.

    4. Cal,
      If it is reasonable for a person to avoid impeachment by leaving office, why could they not avoid conviction by leaving office?

      1. Because resigning just before the vote on conviction would allow defendants to completely erase the disqualification penalty from the Constitution.

        Giving them space to resign before charges are brought saves the public a lot of time and expense, so pragmatically, there’s an argument for encouraging Richard Nixon style regisnations.

        There would be no saving of time or expense to let someone resign during the trial itself, after scarce resources have *already* been spent on the proceedings.

        Does that work as a distinction?

  7. What happens if the Chief Justice refuses to participate? Can the trial even happen?

    Should the Chief Justice be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed if he fails to preside over the trial?

    1. It is not even clear that the Senate will ask Roberts to participate. The CJ is the presiding officer of the trial of a sitting prez but it is not clear who will preside over the trial of a non sitting prez. There have been claims that the VP would preside which raises a whole different can of worms.

      1. If the trial proceeds, the VP should almost certainly preside. There is only 1 president, it is no longer Donald Trump. The only reason the CJ presides over Presidential impeachments is because of the VP’s conflict of interest, being next in the line of succession.

        (Also, this also raises into question the Presidential Succession Act’s constitutionality vis-a-vis placing the Speaker and President Pro Tempore in the line of succession).

  8. You know, if we invested half the time and effort we have spent in arguing over the impeachment and removal of a president who’s term has already ended in figuring out how best to distribute the Covid vaccine, the entire country would be inoculated already. Priorities, folks.

  9. The news today provides yet another reason why Trump needed to be impeached & should be convicted:

    Trump planned to fire acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen for refusing to pressure states over their vote tallies. Jeffrey Clark, another Justice Department official, would take his place and act to overturn the election.

    Clarke drafted a letter to Georgian officials that (falsely) said the DOJ was investigating election fraud in their state and demanded they void their certified vote count. Rosen refused Clark’s plan, so the latter went directly to Trump, then returned, saying the president asked Rosen to step down in Clark’s favor.

    Not surprisingly, Rosen said he needed to hear that from Trump himself. This resulted in a meeting between the three, where DJT pressured Rosen to forward the bullshit letter and appoint multiple special counsels – including one directed to investigate Dominion Voting Systems.

    Rosen refused, but by then word spread of this plot, and DOJ Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue arranged a joint call with all the department’s remaining senior leadership. They pledged to resign en masse if Trump didn’t back down. He did.

    I remember pre-election, when all of Trump’s bootlickers here insisted DJT would never refuse to accept an election loss; they said the idea was so much TDS. Who was provided right? Thank God there were state leaders, judges & administration officials with higher ethical standards that the Trump defenders who comment here.

    Otherwise we’d have had a crippling constitutional crisis on our hands – all driven by a narcissistic psychopath’s bruised vanity.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/us/politics/jeffrey-clark-trump-justice-department-election.html

    1. You do not have the understanding that half the country has. You Democrats never address policy.

      1. You can barely speak for yourself on most days. Whatever gave you the incredible fantasy that you can speak for ‘half the country?’

        1. What are you implying? I do not understand.

          1. Early contender for 2021’s award for: “Most ironically and unintentionally humorous post.”

    2. Proof positive (to the extent any was needed) that TDS survives T.

      1. And if Rosen testifies at the impeachment trial? What will you say then?

        1. grb,
          You misunderstand Life of Brian. His point is that the PRO-Trump idiots are the ones with TDS. I gotta agree with him. The arguments raised here in defense of Trump range from the moronic to the mendacious to the good-faith-but-weak.

          #SadDefense

          1. You misunderstand Life of Brian. His point is that the PRO-Trump idiots are the ones with TDS.

            Ah, the dangers of replacing basic reading comprehension with a magic 8 ball.

            #TryingTooHard

            1. Speaking of hypocrisy, how’s the rehab going, Brian?

    3. So Trump fired Rosen and put Clarke in his place. Then Clarke successfully pressured somebody in Georgia who then overturned the whole election. Which was very, very bad.

      Oh wait! None of that happened, it just came from your fevered imagination. Either that or Mother Jones.

      All these horrible things that Trump wanted to do but was prevented from doing by…talking to him.

      Go back to your insurrection porn.

      1. It took just about the entire DoJ senior staff threatening to resign for nothing to happen.

        “Quit complaining about how I drove, your airbag deployed just fine!”

        1. It is alleged to have taken that threat. Why are you so credulous of anonymous accounts that make Trump look bad?

          Find somebody willing to confirm the story on the record. If the entire DOJ senior staff were in on the threat, you should be able to find at least ONE of them willing to give their name, right?

          1. Sure, if you don’t believe the media you get to lower the threat to whatever you want.

            1. Sarcastro, after the last four years, heck, after my whole freaking life, why SHOULD I automatically believe the media?

              On the one hand they say they’ve got anonymous people saying it happened. On the other hand we’ve got a guy who was there going on record saying it didn’t. (This exact scenario has happened multiple times during this administration.) Why are we supposed to believe the anonymous weenies? Why are we supposed to believe that they even exist?

              Because the media have proven themselves trustworthy?

              No, they haven’t. They’ve proven over and over that they’re NOT trustworthy.

              You want me to believe this happened? Find somebody who was there who’s willing to go on record saying it happened. Until you’ve got that, you’ve got squat.

        2. These anonymous heroes of the Deep State, always willing to put their careers on the line–so they claim, or so claims rgb and Mother Jones.

    4. “This account of the department’s final days under Mr. Trump’s leadership is based on interviews with four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named because of fear of retaliation.

      Mr. Clark said that this account contained inaccuracies but did not specify, adding that he could not discuss any conversations with Mr. Trump or Justice Department lawyers because of “the strictures of legal privilege.” “Senior Justice Department lawyers, not uncommonly, provide legal advice to the White House as part of our duties,” he said. “All my official communications were consistent with law.””

      So, yet another case where the media run with anonymous sources contradicted on the record by people in a position to know. This is becoming something of a cliche.

      1. Clark was lying, of course; since he was (and is) not Trump’s lawyer, privilege doesn’t apply.

        1. Yeah, establish he was lying. With people willing to put their names on the line.

        2. Executive privilege might.

          1. Not a privilege Clark can invoke. And I don’t think the current executive will be doing so either.

            1. Clark isn’t invoking it because it was a press interview not a proceeding, but it is pretty reasonable for him to refuse to answer questions he thinks involve privileged communications even if it isn’t his privilege.
              In Nixon v. General Services Administration the Supreme Court held that Richard Nixon could continue to assert executive privilege after he left office over communications that were subject to that privilege during his incumbency.

          2. I considered that maybe he meant that, but the president in his personal capacity — i.e., as a candidate — is not entitled to executive privilege.

      2. contradicted on the record by people in a position to know.

        You’re claiming that Clark is an objective observer? That’s delusional.

        Of course he’s going to deny it.

  10. So many issues with this political farce. For one, as even acknowledged by the Trump-haters here, under the ORIGINAL understanding, an individual was not “impeached” until the House actually delivered the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which the House has not yet done, contra their cries of “urgency”.

    And whether something arguably “can” be done, doesn’t mean it “should” be done. What exactly is the point? Obviously, Trump cannot be “removed” from an office he no longer holds. As for future disqualification, the Democrats and their media stooges assure us that Trump is a national pariah who could not possibly win the Presidency (the only federal office he would realistically seek). Why wouldn’t the Democrats want such an opponent? They’re not afraid the American people would elect him, are they? The odds of conviction are virtually nil. Is it a good practice or precedent to subject defendants to taxpayer-funded, time-consuming, expensive proceedings for “symbolic” purposes?

    Intemperate speech is not an impeachable offense, and even if it were, I doubt Trump would be guilty of it, This is a farce, a personal, political vendetta, and everybody knows it. As i read on another blog, if you are 22-years old, you have lived through 3/4 of the presidential impeachments in U.S. history; if you are 1-year old, you have lived through 1/2 of them.

    1. You’d be quite surprised how many people disagree with you, despite your claim that “everybody” knows this is a farce.

      Maybe you should reconsider your evaluation of the merits of impeachment based purely on mathematical counts, because that’s an idiotic argument to make. Moreso than the usual idiocy around here.

      Maybe you’re trying for an award. IDK.

      1. LOL. You’re the poster child for eliminating internet comments sections. You make scattershot responses to several posts, offering nothing but middle-school insults, as your tantrum intensifies. And you will cry yourself to sleep, wondering why no one takes you seriously. And repeat the cycle tomorrow. But I sincerely wish you the best in overcoming your issues one day. Remember: “It gets better.”

        Best wishes,

        Frank

        1. In other words, you have no proper support for your argument, and don’t understand why counting impeachments is an idiot’s approach to evaluating the situation.

          Cool story though. I really liked all the partisan drool you covered your post with.

          As to the rest of your complaint: you get what you deserve. If you’re going to sling mud at a political party and make purely partisan arguments because you think your shit doesn’t stink, I’m happy to remind you of the truth and won’t waste my time being polite about it.

  11. Can you then pre-emptively impeach candidates for a position to help your preferred candidate win?

  12. Well, speaking out against the results of an election that you sincerely believe was stolen can’t be incitement to insurrection if the election really was stolen. And despite the tone here, nearly half of the country does believe it was stolen.

    And, was this an insurrection? Hardly. It was vandalism, at most.

    If the trial is real, legit, and not farcical, discovery could be complicated. And, what of elections officials, state AGs, and governors who’s voting machines’ logs have been deleted? (This happened.)

    If this goes to trial in the Senate can Trump get a fair trial? I’m afraid not. It will be a Senate vote on whether they want him to never be able to run again, and the deep state being what it is, they will vote to convict, all Dems, and many Republicans.

    1. ThePublius : “Well, speaking out against the results of an election that you sincerely believe was stolen can’t be incitement”

      Let’s see if we’ve got this straight : A pathological liar claims he “believes” the election was “stolen” on grounds as flimsy as a single ply of toilet paper put out in the midst of a hurricane. And you say he should be excused for all his actions because he says he’s “sincere”. This from a man who has racked-up tens of thousands of lies in the past four years ?!?

      Let’s look at a past instance in Trump’s life: Deutsche Bank asked DJT to repay a forty million dollar loan. In response, Trump sued the bank claiming (a) the last recession was an “act of god” that invalidated the debt, and (b) Deutsche Bank should pay him three billion dollars in damages for harming Trump’s reputation by demanding repayment.

      So tell us what do you think: Do you see Trump’s claims as “sincere”? Or do you see them as bullshit from a huckster conman trying to evade his debts?

      Because it sure as hell looks to me like all Trump’s “election fraud” garbage was bullshit from a huckster conman trying to evade the voter’s decision.

    2. can’t be incitement to insurrection if the election really was stolen

      This refreshingly honest post nails the disagreement on the head. Those defending Trump believe the election was stolen, rather than the election was fair and Trump is the one who tried to steal the election. It’s a disgusting conclusion that needs to be repudiated.

      So, if you are defending Trump from conviction in the name of due process, precedent or unity – rather than thinking the election was stolen from Trump – then show you are serious by supporting a censure that explicitly states Trump tried to steal the election with lies that provoked an insurrection.

    3. I think it’s pretty clear, obvious, that the election was stolen. I know you guys don’t, I don’t expect strident partisans, true believers, to ever believe so, or admit it if they do believe it. And, I know its pointless to argue it here, or in most online forums. But at least VC won’t censor you if you asset voter fraud.

      As far as inciting an insurrection, the concept that objecting vociferously to the results of an election amount to incitement, and that the pre-planned actions of a bunch of agitators, including some form the left, was the result of Trump’s supposed incitement is laughable. This is the left stomping out the opposition, consolidating power. Next step will be to make the illegal fraud-enabling voting changes permanent.

      1. Yeah, there won’t be unity with people like you who don’t trust the media, or the courts, or the accountable Republican officials. You’re just out of it; nothing the republic can do except ignore you. And hold you accountable if you try something.

        More importantly, there can’t be unity with the GOP until they quit indulging you. Since they’re not stepping up on their own even after their lives were threatened, that requires accountability for them as well.

        Starting from the top. But I don’t think it can just end there.

        1. So that’s all you have, is to attack me, and not the substance of my assertions? The unity you seek is the same brand of unity totalitarian regimes seek – agree with me or suffer the consequences. Castro unity, Chavez unit, Stalin unit, now Biden unity.

          Your comment about “lives threatened” is laughable, given the widespread violence, vandalism, and murder by BLM and Antifa all year long, that continues even today. Why haven’t the Democrats or the Biden administration repudiated that?

          1. Correct: all I have to your bare unsupported assertions that the election was stolen is to say you’re full of it, even if you don’t know it.

            That’s not totalitarian, it’s the kind of marginalization of the fringe necessary in a republic.

            1. Almost half the nation believes it was stolen. Hardly fringe.

              If you were truly interested, truly unbiased and looked, you would find that there’s a mountain of evidence, and many, many otherwise inexplicable moves by Democratic progressive politicians, AGs and judges. But you won’t look, you are not interested in unbiased critical thinking, you are a member of the Democratic progressive tribe, and you have completely bought in to their philosophy and narrative.

              1. Yeah, if I were truly unbiased I’d agree with you.

                This is why I’m not indulging you – your mind is so closed it’s become smooth.

              2. If you were truly interested, truly unbiased and looked, you would find that there’s a mountain of evidence,

                There is zero evidence. None. Not one scintilla. Not one fraudulent vote for Biden has been identified. (A handful of fraudulent votes for Trump, yes.)

          2. Your assertions have no substance. They are evidence-free, no matter how many others believe the same thing.

      2. I think it’s pretty clear, obvious, that the election was stolen. I know you guys don’t, I don’t expect strident partisans, true believers, to ever believe so, or admit it if they do believe it.

        Strident partisans… like Bill Barr.

      3. I think it’s pretty clear, obvious, that the election was stolen.

        Then you need medical help.

  13. “Impeachment trials had long served as a vehicle for exposing and formally condemning official wrongdoing, or for a former officeholder to clear his name.”

    Oh? Is the Senate going to allow Trump to put on a defense this time? They refused last time.

    1. Was that before or after the Republican leadership running the trial on party-line votes refused to allow any witnesses?

      It wasn’t that long ago, AYM. People’s memories aren’t that short.

      1. Here’s a hint: McConnell was not an ally of Trump.
        Hint 2: He still isn’t.

        Trump wanted to call witnesses and to cross examine those who had given evidence in the House impeachment proceedings. He was not allowed to do so.

        1. No, he didn’t want to call witnesses. He wanted to examine (not cross-examine) his perceived enemies. Adam Schiff and Hunter Biden were not witnesses to Trump’s impeachable acts.

          1. David,
            Your position dictates that a president cannot investigate credible evidence of corruption that is in the public domain without risking impeachment. While at the same time the opposition party is free to smear the president by way of impeachment and preventing investigation into that corruption despite evidence that corruption has very likely occurred.

            What do you imagine would have been the outcome had Trump been removed from office last February and it was subsequently found out that the FBI had Hunter’s laptop but did not turn over to the defense?

            Suppose last year’s Senate proceedings had opened up to witnesses and full blown trial. Suppose it was proven that the Bidens engaged in the shake down alleged. Would any sane person support removal of the president for having pushed for an investigation?

            1. Mike, he didn’t send something to the DoJ, he asked the Ukrainian government to open an investigation. Based on nothing credible, despite the right-wing attempts to jimmy the timeline and ignore the paper trail.

              Your hypotheticals are therefore not really relevant to anything real.

              1. You are kidding, right? Trump was subject to surveillance by the FBI and subsequent investigation by a Special Council who should have known very quickly that that the Russian collusion BS was in fact BS. The FBI had Hunter’s laptop but said nothing -that confirms Trump’s distrust of other agencies was warranted.

                The Qui Pro Quo pressure Joe Biden applied to Ukraine is not in question, that jackass went in front of cameras and bragged about it. Is video evidence credible?

                Hunter’s no show employment with Burisma is also not in question. Are his financial records and those of Burisma indicating generous payments credible?

                The outcome of the Burisma/Zlochevski investigation and trial by the prosecutor Biden had installed is also known and it plainly favors Zlochevski. Is the record of Ukraine court credible?

                Did someone pull the wool over Joe’s eyes and get him to push for an even more corrupt prosecutor? Or did Joe Biden know that his actions would lead to Zlochevski walking freely?

                How did the outcome of the new prosecutor’s efforts further the State department’s goal of cleaning up corruption in Ukraine?

                There is a lot we do not know for certain, but we won’t ever know if there is not a full investigation. There is more than enough facts (credible evidence) to launch an investigation into the Biden family’s actions in Ukraine.

                Lastly was it OK for the US to ask UKraine’s help in prosecuting Manafort? Of course it was. Without Ukraine’s help the government would never have found out about the money Manafort was paid in Ukraine and which he did not report.

                The defense for both Trump and Biden is that they were just doing their jobs. However Biden’s actions reek of self dealing as the money flowed into his family and the actual result of his deeds favored his son’s employer and not state dept policy.

                1. Mike Hansberry : The Qui Pro Quo pressure Joe Biden applied to Ukraine is not in question, that jackass went in front of cameras and bragged about it. Is video evidence credible?

                  So very dumb. Yes, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin. That was because :

                  1. That was the president’s order, Shokin must go.
                  2. That was State Department policy, Shokin must go.
                  3. It was a public U.S. foreign policy objective, Shokin must go
                  4. It was a bipartisan consensus of Congress, Shokin must go
                  5. It was a demand of the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
                  6. It was a demand of the European Union
                  7. It was a demand of the World Bank
                  8. It was a demand of the IMF
                  9. Ditto the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

                  It was also a demand of every anti-corruption group in Ukraine itself. There were street demonstrations in the capital against Shokin alone. After he was finally ousted, the Kyiv Post said he was probably the most loathed man in the entire country.

                  And you think this was all about little Hunter Biden ?!? Perhaps the letter signed by Republican Senators (including Lindsey Graham) that demanded Shokin firing attests to their deep concern over Hunter.

                  Try doing a little research on the subject and get back to us, Mike.

                  1. Yeah, and 50 former Intelligence experts told us a few months ago that Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation.

                    Funny how Joe Biden and Zlochevsky got just what they wanted, nothing to see here folks. And I suppose it was just a fluke that none of your list of characters pushed for further prosecution of Zlochevsky. He got off with a slap on the wrist and was able to retain his ill gotten extraction permits, his crimes swept under a rug.

                    If it was State Department policy to aid Burisma’s corruption in Ukraine, we ought to find out why. Follow the money is the normal course of action.

                    You might recall from the impeachment hearing that the ambassador to Ukraine testified that when she joined she was told that any questions about Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma is to be be directed to office of the VP. How then can Biden continue to deny he had no knowledge of his son’s dealings? Was the government playing who’s on first, or is Joe lying about what he knew?

                    1. You might recall from the impeachment hearing that the ambassador to Ukraine testified that when she joined she was told that any questions about Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma is to be be directed to office of the VP.

                      I don’t recall that, and I just reviewed the transcript of Yovanovitch’s testimony and I don’t see that. But if you’d like to point it to me:

                      https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6538626/Marie-Yovanovitch-Testimony.pdf

                      But of course you’re taking the most ridiculous possible interpretation of Biden’s words. When he said he didn’t know about his son’s business dealings, he obviously did not mean, “I didn’t have any idea that my son was serving on the board of Burisma; for all I knew he was working as a gas station attendant in Portland for the last eight years.” He meant he knew no details.

                    2. Yovanovitch appeared at two hearings, the first on Oct. 11 and the second Nov. 15. DMN’s link is to the transcript for the first, but the second is where the “office of the VP” came up. It was a question about how the State Department had prepared her for her confirmation hearings in 2016.

                  2. But Shokin was replaced by Lutsenko, an engineer without legal experience, training, or education, (The parliament had to change their Prosecutor General law to permit this.) A man who had been imprisoned for forgery and abuse of power.
                    Yet Biden had no problem with him.

                    Although, once Lutsenko started talking smack about Ambassador Yovanovitch, Adam Schiff had no problem calling Lutsenko corrupt.

                2. The FBI had Hunter’s laptop but said nothing -that confirms Trump’s distrust of other agencies was warranted.

                  First, that’s entirely proper, so it’s not clear how this would confirm that Trump’s distrust was warranted. The FBI as a matter of longstanding policy does not comment on investigations. (Trump himself was the beneficiary of this policy in 2016, with the FBI refusing to talk about Trump being investigated before the election; what was actually unusual was that the FBI revealed to the benefit of Trump that they were investigating Hillary.)

                  Second, of course, is that we can be quite certain from the failure of Rudy and the NYP — or any other media outlet, including Fox — to actually release it is that there’s nothing incriminating on that laptop.

                  Hunter’s no show employment with Burisma is also not in question.

                  I mean, it certainly is. Who on earth told you that it was ‘no show’? (Also, it wasn’t “employment.” He was on the board of directors, not toiling in the mailroom.)

                  The outcome of the Burisma/Zlochevski investigation and trial by the prosecutor Biden had installed

                  Biden did not have anyone installed. He — openly, on behalf of the U.S. government and anticorruption groups around the world — demanded that Shokin be fired, not that any particular person replace Shokin.

                  How did the outcome of the new prosecutor’s efforts further the State department’s goal of cleaning up corruption in Ukraine?

                  Maybe it didn’t. But time flows in only one direction. If the Eagles do worse in 2021 than they did in 2020, does that mean that people who demanded that Doug Pederson be fired must not have been sincere?

                  Lastly was it OK for the US to ask UKraine’s help in prosecuting Manafort? Of course it was.

                  Which is why this was done openly, through the DOJ pursuant to the MLAT between US and Ukraine, rather than through a private attorney utilizing a threat to withhold aid to Ukraine.

                  1. Davide
                    regarding Yovanovitch Testimony

                    https://nypost.com/2019/11/15/marie-yovanovitch-admits-obama-admin-prepped-her-on-hunter-biden-before-her-confirmation/

                    “It was something along the lines of, ‘I would refer you to the vice president’s office on that,’” Yovanovitch replied.

                    I posted same info from WaPO a while back, so please do not dismiss because it comes from NY Post.

                    1. Thank you. I knew that many people had testified twice, once in closed deposition and then once in open hearings, but I had forgotten that, given the eventful past year.

                    2. David,
                      Did you know that Yovanvich left out a great deal in her Impeachment testimony regarding Burisma?

                      https://nypost.com/2020/05/15/yovanovitch-may-have-misled-congress-over-burisma-knowledge/

                      Maybe she forgot, or maybe she just did not want to remember. Either way, the impeachment hearings might have had a different flavor if she told about her contacts with Burisma.

              2. And that’s putting it mildly, because he didn’t ask, he tried to extort personal benefit from the foreign policy favor of the United States. Mind you, this wasn’t just the phone call with military aid as the cudgel.

                Two weeks earlier, aides to the Ukrainian president were told the price for a summit between the two presidents was an investigation targeting Biden. This was during a Washington meeting and the demand was specific : Zelensky had to sign a paper committing to a public announcement by him, the President of Ukraine. That’s what drove Bolton from the meeting yelling he “wasn’t going to be part of any drug deal”.

                And it goes back even further – well over a year before the call. Help Zelensky’s predecessor before Ukraine’s election? The price was investigating Biden. Who attend the inauguration of Ukraine’s new president? That depends on investigating Biden. Why do you think Trump channeled United States foreign policy thru his burnt-out husk of an attorney & two low-grade crooks?

                Bonus question for Mike Hansberry : What in the dodgy laptop would have been relevant to Trump’s defense? As I recall, there was a suggestion Hunter got a handshake with daddy from a Ukrainian business associate – that’s it…..

                1. So a President cannot investigate corruption if there is any personal benefit? That is an awfully strange view as there is always going to be some personal benefit from doing one’s job well. Are you saying a president can only investigate corruption within his own party? However uncovering corruption in his own political party would surely endear him to the public as being the great drainer of swamps -so I guess that is out too? So then the president cannot investigate corruption in the opposition party or his own party. Got it, the president cannot investigate corruption, it is an impeachable offence. What about Congress, can the majority investigate corruption…? Surely Nancy Pelosi saw some benefit to herself and her party in pushing for impeachment, should she be impeached?

                  What’s on Hunter’s laptop? Well the China deal that, although it apparently fell through, did show that Joe Biden was aware of and taking part in Hunter’s deals.

                  Where we might agree is that a president should not use his office to dig up dirt to smear political opponents. The Biden/Burisma scandal was hardly that case since the Bidens’ actions are the sort of public, “in your face,” corruption that cannot be ignored.

                  1. Mike Hansberry : So a President cannot investigate corruption if there is any personal benefit?

                    I think I’m the third person to try and explain this to you, Mike, but patience is accounted a virtue. So : Trump didn’t try to “investigate corruption”. He did not ask a Justice Department filled with his political appointees and headed by his stooge Barr to “investigate corruption”. He did not present a potential case of corruption to Ukrainian officials for their comment, review and assistance.

                    Somewhere above you bring up Manafort. This is not a comparison you wanna make, Mike. The Justice Department investigated Manafort, identified possible crimes, documented a potential case and asked the Ukrainians for information. There’s a treaty between our country & theirs on criminal matters and that’s precisely how it’s supposed to work.

                    In contrast, Trump subcontracted U.S. foreign policy to his private attorney & two crook legmen. They spent over a year trying to bribe or cajole the Ukrainian government into a public announcement targeting Joe Biden. There was no U.S. investigation; there was no case; there was no hint of a case. All Trump ever wanted was a TV appearance by Zelensky where some big “investigation” was publicly announced.

                    I’m curious, Mike : Do you honestly believe in your Donald Trump, Scourge of Corruption shtick? Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy & Easter Bunny too?

            2. Your position dictates that a president cannot investigate credible evidence of corruption that is in the public domain without risking impeachment.

              No. My position dictates that a president cannot do illegal things without risking impeachment. Even if you were right about his ends, that does not mean that anything goes in accomplishing those ends.

              If Nixon sincerely believed that (e.g.) the DNC was engaged in drug dealing, that would not have justified the Watergate break-in, and proving that they really were trafficking in drugs would not have been a defense to impeachment.

              (Obviously no sane person thinks that Trump was interested in an investigation of corruption by Biden, as opposed to simply getting a foreign country to smear his chief electoral rival. If he had, he would have had the Attorney General, not his private attorney, make a formal request of the Ukrainian government for assistance, in the context of an actual FBI or grand jury investigation, rather than trying to extort an announcement of an investigation by withholding legally required aid.)

              1. David,
                Exposing Biden’s corruption is not a smear. Trump did not invent Joe Biden’s quid pro quo, nor did he invent Hunter’s no show job with Burisma. Nor did he have anything to do with the sham trial that Joe Biden facilitated in which Zlochevsky got away with slap on wrist. The sham trial resulting from Joe’s interference in Ukraine did nothing to fix corruption in Ukraine. and the whole mess cries out for a thorough investigation. Our government, even if they had any interest, would be hamstrung to investigate corrupt acts occurred that occurred in Ukraine.

                On the other hand the Dems invented the Russian collusion hoax from whole cloth.

                Gee, can you think of any reason that Trump would go directly to Ukraine rather than involve the FBI -who had been investigating him from before he took office? Why would an outsider trust the insiders to fix anything? The state department looked askance for 4 years while Hunter acted as bag man. The kicker is that the FBI sat on Hunter’s laptop while the impeachment went down but you say Trump should have gone through usual channels. The usual channels are corrupt as hell.

                1. There was no quid pro quo as I pointed out. Firing Shokin was the publicly announced policy goal of the President, White House. State Department, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, European Union, IMF, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A bipartisan group of Senators wrote a letter demanding the prosecutor must go.

                  That you pretend this was about Hunter Biden just makes you a joke. Also, you still seem to be clueless about Hunter & Burisma. Sure, the company hired him for his name but so what? People get appointed to company boards for name or prestige every day of every week. Is it possible you don’t know that?

                  At the same time Burisma announced Hunter’s appointment, they also added an ex-president of Poland to the board, Aleksander Kwasniewski. They named a respected Wall Street investment banker, Alan Apter, as new board chairman, brought in a fresh executive team and hired respected international firms to audit its reserves and financial results.

                  They were trying to buy respectability and Hunter was probably their cheapest purchase. Of course it created the appearance of a potential conflict, but I could produce a long list of theoretical conflicts in the Trump administration easily equal to Biden-Burisma. You need more and you don’t have it. Your one faux -scandal – the Shokin firing – is imbecilic nonsense.

                  You also keep talking like the dodgy laptop is your ace in the hole. Of what? Of course Giuliani refused to release the entire laptop or allow analysis of its raw data. But what was released was underwhelming : Hunter may have gotten a business associate a handshake with daddy. Hunter may have wanted to cut his father in on a deal after the latter was out of office & a private citizen. Hunter had a substance abuse problem. And that’s it….

                  Giuliani promised us kiddy porn but never delivered. Hannity said he was about to announce Shocking New Developments, but no announcement came. Your laptop was a bust. Can you give us a substantive reason to claim otherwise?

                  1. and asked the Ukrainians for the information.

                    Because they are the ones who had it. Not the easter bunny or anyone else.

                  2. So who benefitted?

                    There is a lot of spin and hand waving but no one asking the most basic questions of any investigation -who benefitted and where did the money go?

                    I will quote from a source seems you might readily agree with.

                    https://read.macmillan.com/lp/proof-of-corruption-ukraine/

                    “While Shokin’s successor Lutsenko will keep the Burisma investigation in a “dormant” but not yet closed status after he becomes prosecutor general in 2016, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch (see chapter 20) will tell Congress in October 2019 that this was not because Lutsenko intended to—or felt he had the evidence to—reopen an investigation into Burisma, but rather for strategic reasons. “It [was], frankly, [politically] useful to keep that company [Burisma] hanging on a hook,” Yovanovitch will tell Congress…”

                    and

                    “at the time Hunter’s father was calling for Shokin’s termination at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, Burisma was not only no longer under ongoing investigative scrutiny, it was already working toward “a [November 2016] settlement and a fine paid by one of the firm’s accountants,” per USA Today.”

                    Removing Shokin did not accomplish anything but that doesn’t seem to register even a passing thought by the author that perhaps something is amiss.. Zlochevsky kept his extraction permits and kept raking in the dollars. He got off with a slap on the wrist that was already in the works before Shokin was forced out. Keep reading from where I left off. The claim was that international pressure to root out corruption was behind the push to remove Shokin. But somehow nothing changed, Yovanovich and all the other characters mentioned seemed not to give damn that Zlochevsky got off so very lightly and that no further actions would be directed to his corrupt company. “Dormant state” and “hanging on a hook” my ass. The gravy train was kept on the tracks -that is a far more likely explanation. Why go to all the trouble of removing a prosecutor and then not even push for prosecution? That horrible Shokin didn’t prosecute somehow becomes better to hang ’em on a hook -and that doesn’t strike you as odd?

                    1. You’re just being a clown. The entire United States government demanded Shokin be fired. All our western allies demanded Shokin be fired. Republicans in the Senate demanded Shokin be fired. It was the President’s orders that the Vice President acted on. That was the State Department policy that the Vice President followed.

                      You can whine, wail and moan, but none of those facts will ever change. Your position is beyond defense. It’s against every fact. It is irrefutably irredeemably wrong. Instead of making a fool of yourself with another useless post, here’s what you should do:

                      Go back to the handler who sold you the Shokin-Hunter bullshit. That person or organization saw you as an ignorant dupe and treated you like a fool. They took garbage that can’t stand a minute’s scrutiny and shoved in in your ears. Ask yourself : Can I ever trust anything they tell me again?

                      In the end, Mike, you need to consider your own self-respect.

  14. It was not so long ago that Trump sycophant Matt Gaetz was salivating about a post-presidency impeachment of Barack Obama for Lord-knows-what. My, how times have changed!

    The truth is that it’s basically impossible to find an impeachment in the roll of Founding-era British precedents that *wasn’t* for a former official. Macclesfield, Hastings, Melville… all former officers. But that won’t matter to the always-Trumpers who fill the Republican ranks. Mainstream Republicans have never been more than fair-weather originalists, and the current cohort will gladly latch onto any excuse not to disqualify their Dear Leader from future office.

    (Incidentally, it’s not entirely clear as a matter of first principles that the Constitution limits impeachments to officers at all. Article I tells how impeachment trials work and limits the penalties that can follow from impeachment, but doesn’t expressly limit impeachment to officers, consistent with the English tradition that any person could be impeached whether or not they were an officer. Article II says that officers must be removed from office if they are impeached, but obviously doesn’t say anything to limit the impeachments of other persons for the purpose of disqualifying them. Yet I suppose that, after the Blount precedent, it is probably too late in the day to argue for the impeachment of someone who has never been an “officer.”)

    1. You really need to get a better understanding of the difference between impeachment by the House and the trial that follows in the Senate. No prez has ever been found guilty by the Senate after the House impeached them. The pols that have been found guilty have had an underlying crime associated with the impeachment and usually found guilty by a criminal court. Clinton was found guilty by a criminal court and even then was not found guilty by the Senate.

      Schumer made one of the dumbest statements I have seen him make when he said he favors impeachment going forward because it is the only way to punish Trump. If as some of the silly dems claim Trump is guilty of crimes on the books it would be a simple mater to try him in criminal court. Problem is no one with an IQ above room temperature thinks Trump would ever be convicted in criminal court for what he said about the election or any of the demonstrations he was impeached for.

      As has often been posted a pol can be impeached for anything the House says is an impeachable offense. Problem with that is it takes a supermajority in the Senate to convict. Only a moron would think there are 67 votes in the Senate to impeach Trump.

      Bottom line is the whole mess is a waste of time because Trump will never be convicted.

      One more time for the galactically stupid dems who are the 17 senators who will vote to convict Trump.

      1. Clinton was found guilty by a criminal court

        No.

      2. Only a moron would think there are 67 votes in the Senate to impeach Trump.

        The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      3. Trump can and should be both convicted & disqualified for the articles that have been voted upon in the House and also indicted for any more ordinary crimes (tax fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to violate election law, etc. that can be proved up). The field of play for impeachment overlaps with the field of play for criminal charges, but neither subsumed the other. Clinton was (contrary to the overactive imagination of right-wing conspiracy theorists) never charged with a crime. Neither was Andrew Johnson. Not any of the other of the first seven officers to be impeached by the House (including Judge Pickering, who was convicted by the Senate of, among other things, drunkenness on the bench which is hardly a crime).

        There are First Amendment issues with a criminal prosecution for incitement of the Capitol Hill Riot; as has been discussed at length on this site, those issues do not really exist for a trial upon impeachment. And disqualification is the proper remedy than prison time because the offense is closely tied to conduct in office. On the other hand, stuff like bank fraud or perjury is more appropriate for ordinary criminal law.

  15. Welcome to the United States of Banana Republic! To your right you will see an example of how we vote for our citizens. No need for them to waste their time with casting a ballot! And over here, we have an exhibit about the various show trials which are a feature of our great land every four to eight years…

    1. Jimmy the Dane : No need for them to waste their time with casting a ballot!

      Bizarre thing for a Trump supporter to say, given his day-glo orange god spent the last two months trying to sabotage the vote results.

      1. And now we have reached the exhibit about state control media. This demonstrates how the government elite collude with big industry to censor criticism of the automatic votes we provide for our citizens and then the state media entities run interference by gaslighting the public into thinking that those who protest these “rigged” elections are really the ones who are rigging them! It is a great system we have here at the USBR.

        1. Yep. It’s the fault of the “state control media” all your evidence of voting fraud is laughable garbage…..

          1. And now on to this room where we have many examples of the Useful Idiot. Her is one – we use him to say things like “obviously, of course, there is no evidence because if there was it would be published in the media!” Fortunately this man is so dumb he has no idea hwat he is saying is completely stupid and the great thing about the Useful Idiot is when you get enough of them in a room people actually start to believe them!

            1. Perhaps you missed Bill Barr also saying there was no evidence of fraud, and his claim did not rest on what was published in the media.

              1. Moving along here is the fallacy argument room. In the USBR we teach our Useful Idiots how to use rhetorical logical fallacies to detract from those who are making legitimate points. A great example of this is relying upon the word of ONE person to make it seem like everyone else who is reasonable would be in agreement with this ONE person. It is a great trick that delegitimizes a dissenter if all of our other tactics such as censorship or canceling have not worked. All you have to do is say something like “well this guy with a fancy degree and a high up position said (insert some authoritative sounding)” and poof anyone who doesn’t agree with you now is obviously an idiot because of course the guy with the big fancy degree knows what he is talking about!

                1. Whereas you rely on idiocy and fantasy?

                  I hate to say it out loud, but if those are the options, I suppose I’ll go with Bill Barr.

                  It’s not an appeal to authority fallacy when your argument is figuratively bullshit without evidence.

                2. Jimmy the Dane : “Moving along here … (rambling gibberish)”

                  Look, we get it. You think it’s fun to pretend the election was stolen. With a smirk, nudge, and a wink you lay it on thick. But to what end? Trump is finished; Biden is president, and the percent of people playing along with this bullshit is going to gradually bleed down to zero – which (statistically) is you.

                  As games go, it’s pretty pointless, plus it has the added disadvantage of being a ludicrous lie. Hell, why not go whole hog and sign on with QAnon if that’s how you wanna live?

                  Alternately, you could cast your mind back pre-Trump to recall a time when your existence wasn’t focused on a continual string of lies. Bet you had more bounce to your step back then. Wouldn’t it be nice to recover a life when you weren’t constantly mediating between some fraud narrative & reality’s fact. Why not try it!

                  (You’re welcome)

  16. I have found nothing in the Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Debates, nor in John Adams’ Defence of the Constitutions of Government, nor in the Federalist Papers or Anti-Federalist Papers to support the OP’s claims. If anyone with access to full article can cite any evidence provided by the OP in his article that would be greatly appreciated.

    The below from Federalist 39 ((Madison) undercuts the OP’s claim by stating plainly that, as opposed to some states, the President of the United States is impeachable at any time during his continuance in office.

    From Federalist 39:
    “In several of the States, however, no constitutional provision is made for the impeachment of the chief magistrate. And in Delaware and Virginia he is not impeachable till out of office. The President of the United States is impeachable at any time during his continuance in office. The tenure by which the judges are to hold their places, is, as it unquestionably ought to be, that of good behavior. The tenure of the ministerial offices generally, will be a subject of legal regulation, conformably to the reason of the case and the example of the State constitutions.”

    Note that by Madison’s view a person could avoid impeachment and conviction by leaving office as did Nixon.

    The removal from office punishment can only apply to office holders. And given that the punishment required in the text of Article II is removal from office, the logical conclusion is that the person convicted is an office holder

    That there is a further punishment that might apply to office holders as well as former office holders and to those who never held office does not logically extend the impeachment and conviction powers to non-office holders.

    Does anyone seriously claim that since disqualification from future office could apply to anyone, the impeachment and conviction powers necessarily extend to persons who never held office?

  17. Impeaching Trump now would constitute a Bill of Attainder and that is SPECIFICALLY BANNED in The Constitution.

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