Trump’s Stonewalling of Impeachment Inquiry Is Itself an Impeachable Offense

by on October 8, 2019 · 1 comment

in American Empire

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / October 7, 2019

As three committees of the House of Representatives proceeded with the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, the president tweeted, “I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP.” Encyclopedia Britannica defines coup d’etat as “the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group.”

On the contrary, Congress is fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to investigate allegations that could constitute impeachable offenses — that is, high crimes and misdemeanors. Indeed, during its early history in England, impeachment was called “the most powerful weapon in the political armory, short of civil war.”

Impeachment is mentioned six times in Articles I, II and III of the Constitution. The “sole Power of Impeachment” resides in the House of Representatives. Impeachment is like an indictment. It requires a simple majority of voting House members. The case then moves to the Senate for trial. It takes two-thirds of the senators to convict the president and remove him from office.

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee staff report for the Nixon impeachment inquiry noted: “The Revolution had been fought against the tyranny of a king and his council, and the framers sought to build in safeguards against executive abuse and usurpations of power.”

The grounds for impeachment are not limited to criminal offenses. “Unlike a criminal case,” the 1974 Judiciary Committee report says, “the cause for the removal of a President may be based on his entire course of conduct in office. In particular situations, it may be a course of conduct more than individual acts that has a tendency to subvert constitutional government.”

Alexander Hamilton characterized impeachable offenses as political, writing in Federalist No. 65 that they “proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

There is abundant evidence of abuse of power and obstruction of justice by Trump. Both are impeachable offenses.

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Copyright Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar thequeenisalizard October 9, 2019 at 8:13 am

Here’s a joke for you. Congress threatens to punish anyone who refuses to testify, and they all laugh. That’s funny right?
Raise your hand if you think any of the people who refuse to testify will be held in contempt and actually arrested and jailed, or even pay a fine. That’s even funnier!

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