The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

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Addie
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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#76

Post by Addie »

I miss Tollie :crying:

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#77

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Indeed. All of our losses have been of wonderful people. :crying:

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#78

Post by Addie »

The Atlantic - Michael Gerhardt: The Impeachment Inquiry Is Fully Legitimate

In their efforts to trash the Democrats’ investigation, the president and his defenders are trashing the Constitution along with it.
WaPo - Amber Phillips: Your impeachment questions, answered

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#79

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LA Times - Doyle McManus
Alexander Hamilton saw this coming

WASHINGTON —

The grounds for impeaching President Trump aren’t hard to find. They’re clearly stated in the spare words of the Constitution.

“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.”

This week, the House Judiciary Committee takes up two critical questions:

Does Trump’s scheme to persuade Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of Democrats, including Joe Biden, qualify as bribery?

If not, was it a serious abuse of power — a “high crime or misdemeanor”?

To help find the answers, I looked up the debates in the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia that produced the impeachment language.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#80

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The Guardian - Robert Reich
Trump won't lose his job – but the impeachment inquiry is still essential

The process is required by the constitution, seems to be shifting voters’ opinions, and will render the president unpardonable


Not even overwhelming evidence that Trump sought to bribe a foreign power to dig up dirt on his leading political opponent in 202o – and did so with American taxpayer dollars, while compromising American foreign policy – will cause Trump to be removed from office.

That’s because there’s zero chance that 2o Republican senators – the number needed to convict Trump, if every Democratic senator votes to do so – have enough integrity to do what the constitution requires them to do.

These Republican senators will put their jobs and their political party ahead of the constitution and the country. They will tell themselves that 88% of Republican voters still support Trump, and that their duty is to them.

It does not matter that these voters inhabit a parallel political universe consisting of Trump tweets, Fox News, rightwing radio, and Trump-Russian social media, all propounding the absurd counter-narrative that Democrats, the “deep state”, coastal elites, and mainstream media are conspiring to remove the Chosen One from office.

So if there’s no chance of getting the 20 Republican votes needed to send Trump packing, is there any reason for this impeachment proceeding to continue?

Yes. There are three reasons.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#81

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Law & Crime: Legal Experts: ‘Deeply Troubling’ Letter From Trump’s WH Counsel Is Factually and Historically Incorrect
Lawfare: Imagining a Senate Trial: Reading the Senate Rules of Impeachment Litigation
Law & Crime: Some Are Suggesting Congress Use Its ‘Inherent Contempt’ Power — Here’s What That Means
NYRB - Garry Wills: The Framers’ Answers to Three Myths About Impeachment

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#82

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Newsweek
Republican Legal Scholar Says Trump Call 'Wasn't Perfect' and President 'Committed Impeachable Offenses Including Bribery'

A Republican legal scholar and former Trump staffer took to social media Tuesday to state that he believed that President Donald Trump had committed "impeachable offenses including bribery."

The law expert in question was J.W. Verret, an associate professor of law at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. The conservative lawyer previously worked for the president as a member of Trump's pre-transition team.

Verret's tweet came in response to Joyce Alene White Vance, another law professor, who commented that the president should elaborate on his claim that "legal experts" reviewed the transcripts of his July phone call with the president of Ukraine and found it "absolutely perfect." The president made the claim during a press conference with reporters in London, where he arrived Tuesday for the annual NATO summit.

The scholars Trump referenced in the clip "should be interviewed," Vance wrote. However, she also wrote that she is "certain they don't exist."

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#83

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WaPo - Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Yes, Trump is guilty of bribery

When presidents trade public actions for political favors, the proper punishment is not a matter of opinion; it’s a matter of law. President Trump solicited a bribe. And the Constitution makes clear that a president who engages in bribery “shall be removed from office.” In fact, along with treason, it is one of only two crimes specifically mentioned as conduct that would necessitate impeachment and removal.

Before I joined the Senate, I spent decades in law enforcement deciding when bad conduct rises to the level of illegality. Any good lawyer starts with the legal text, and when the Constitution was drafted, bribery was defined broadly as any “undue reward” for a public action. As illustrated during the House impeachment inquiry, which moves to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, a political investigation ginned up to reward Trump for providing needed military aid would certainly fit the bill.

But even under the narrower definition of bribery currently in the criminal code, Trump’s actions clearly qualify. Federal law defines bribery as the solicitation of “anything of value personally” by a public official “in return for” an official act. It also specifies that a bribe can be a reward for an act the public official would have done anyway. In short, merely soliciting a bribe is bribery.

So, we face two questions. First, did Trump seek something of personal value from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?

He most certainly did. Everything from information about the whereabouts of a witness to the promise of future campaign contributions has been identified as a “thing of value” in bribery law.

Trump clearly valued Ukrainian investigations into his political enemies. By all accounts, he was obsessed with them. According to multiple reports, Trump cared more about the investigations than he did about defending Ukraine from Russia.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#84

Post by Addie »

Newsweek OpEd - Robert Reich
Robert Reich: If Impeached by the House, Trump is Literally Unpardonable ...

Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives a president the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of offenses against the United States, with one exception: "In Cases of Impeachment."

If Trump is impeached by the House, he can never be pardoned for these crimes. He cannot pardon himself (it's dubious that a president has this self-pardoning power in any event), and he cannot be pardoned by a future president.

Even if a subsequent president wanted to pardon Trump in the interest of, say, domestic tranquility, she could not.

Gerald Ford wrote in his pardon of Nixon that if Nixon were indicted and subject to a criminal trial, "the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost."

Had the House impeached Nixon, Ford's hands would have been tied.

Trump isn't going to be as lucky. The House will probably impeach him before Christmas.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#85

Post by Dan1100 »

Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:30 pm
Newsweek OpEd - Robert Reich
Robert Reich: If Impeached by the House, Trump is Literally Unpardonable ...

Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives a president the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of offenses against the United States, with one exception: "In Cases of Impeachment."

If Trump is impeached by the House, he can never be pardoned for these crimes. He cannot pardon himself (it's dubious that a president has this self-pardoning power in any event), and he cannot be pardoned by a future president.

Even if a subsequent president wanted to pardon Trump in the interest of, say, domestic tranquility, she could not.

Gerald Ford wrote in his pardon of Nixon that if Nixon were indicted and subject to a criminal trial, "the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost."

Had the House impeached Nixon, Ford's hands would have been tied.

Trump isn't going to be as lucky. The House will probably impeach him before Christmas.
While I'd love that to be true, doesn't that really mean that the President can't undo an impeachment by issuing a pardon?

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#86

Post by Whatever4 »

Dan1100 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:43 pm
Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:30 pm
Newsweek OpEd - Robert Reich
Robert Reich: If Impeached by the House, Trump is Literally Unpardonable ...

Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives a president the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of offenses against the United States, with one exception: "In Cases of Impeachment."

If Trump is impeached by the House, he can never be pardoned for these crimes. He cannot pardon himself (it's dubious that a president has this self-pardoning power in any event), and he cannot be pardoned by a future president.

Even if a subsequent president wanted to pardon Trump in the interest of, say, domestic tranquility, she could not.

Gerald Ford wrote in his pardon of Nixon that if Nixon were indicted and subject to a criminal trial, "the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost."

Had the House impeached Nixon, Ford's hands would have been tied.

Trump isn't going to be as lucky. The House will probably impeach him before Christmas.
While I'd love that to be true, doesn't that really mean that the President can't undo an impeachment by issuing a pardon?
That was my read, also. Too. A subsequent president could pardon the acts that lead to the impeachment (and conviction), but the impeached person is still out of office. Impeachment isn’t only for presidents.
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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#87

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

I agree. I think Reich has it wrong.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#88

Post by Addie »

Law & Crime: Law Profs: Robert Reich’s Op-Ed on Trump’s Pardon Power Got the Impeachment Exception Wrong

Dan1100 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:43 pm
Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:30 pm
Newsweek OpEd - Robert Reich
Robert Reich: If Impeached by the House, Trump is Literally Unpardonable ...

Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives a president the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of offenses against the United States, with one exception: "In Cases of Impeachment."

While I'd love that to be true, doesn't that really mean that the President can't undo an impeachment by issuing a pardon?

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#89

Post by bob »

Dan1100 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:43 pm
While I'd love that to be true, doesn't that really mean that the President can't undo an impeachment by issuing a pardon?
The takeaway from that Law & Crime article:
The impeachment exception in Article II has no bearing on criminal proceedings – it only precludes a president from reversing the legislature’s decision to impeach and remove a federal employee from their position in the federal government.

“There is only this limitation to [a presidential pardon’s] operation: it does not restore offices forfeited, or property of interests vested in others in consequence of the conviction and judgment,” the Court wrote in [Ex parte Garland].
So a pardon doesn't undo an impeachment; the officeholder is forever impeached. A pardon doesn't restore a person back to the former office, nor does it return fines and other penalties to the pardonee.

A pardon could prevent (or otherwise mitigate) criminal proceedings based on the conduct that led to impeachment. (See, e.g., Ford's pardoning Nixon.) So Reich was wrong is suggesting otherwise.
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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#90

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New York Times OpEd - Martin H. Redish
The President’s Pardon Power May Be Weaker Than It Seems

At least when it comes to “cases of impeachment.”

Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime confidant, was recently convicted on seven counts of criminal behavior. Other associates of Mr. Trump’s were previously convicted of crimes. Under the pardon power granted to him by Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, Mr. Trump could pardon all of them at any point during his term in office. With one important exception, the president’s power to pardon for violation of federal laws is unqualified.

The pardon power was designed to permit the nation’s leader, at his discretion, to correct the mistakes of the judicial process. Like much of the Constitution, it was designed to enable one branch to check one or both of the other branches. In this instance, it gave the executive a check on the judiciary. In enacting the pardon power, Alexander Hamilton wrote, the framers intended to place this unrestrained authority in the hands of “a single man of prudence and good sense.” But constitutional history is also dominated by the framers’ obsession with the prevention of tyranny; and of the three branches, the most likely to degenerate into tyrannical rule is the executive, which is headed by the president, the military’s commander in chief.

It is likely for that reason that the framers inserted an important qualification concerning a process that has dominated the news for months: The president could exercise the pardon power, “except in cases of impeachment.” In its narrowest form, both textually and historically, this means that the president cannot pardon an executive or judicial officer — including himself — from impeachment conviction. But perhaps this reading doesn’t go far enough, for the president is capable of undermining the impeachment check in indirect but equally dangerous ways.

Imagine the following situation: The House of Representatives conducts an impeachment investigation into the president. A House committee subpoenas witnesses to provide damaging evidence. What if the president, any president, were secretly to suggest to these witnesses that he will pardon them if they are convicted of contempt for refusing to testify or for committing perjury while testifying? Under a strict reading, use of the pardon power in this context would be constitutionally authorized: The president would not be overturning an impeachment conviction.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#91

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WaPo - Elizabeth Holtzman
Here’s how broad the House should go in framing articles of impeachment

Perhaps the most critical question confronting the House Judiciary Committee this week is how broadly to frame the articles of impeachment. Should the committee focus narrowly on President Trump’s abuse of his presidential powers when he bullied Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 presidential election? Or should the committee also include non-Ukraine-related abuses?

Now that it has received the House Intelligence Committee report, the Judiciary Committee is expected to draft at least two articles — one dealing with Trump’s abuse of power involving Ukraine and a second dealing with Trump’s obstruction of the House inquiry by directing witnesses not to testify or provide documents. It might draft a third article charging bribery: dangling a White House meeting or release of military aid to Ukrainian officials in return for investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Many have called for including non-Ukraine-related abuses in the charges against Trump, and there are good reasons for doing so. Focusing only on Ukraine suggests that Trump’s impeachable offenses are limited to this one matter. That approach might make it too easy for the Senate and the public to say, in effect, “Bad as it is, it doesn’t warrant removing the president from office.” The narrow focus minimizes the fact that Trump’s abuses are staggering and continuous, and include lining his pockets by ignoring the emoluments clause and flouting the rule of law in general.

The Mueller report identified 10 ways that Trump committed obstruction of justice. These include directing then-White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as a way of impeding the Russia investigation, and hinting at pardons to deter witnesses from cooperating with Mueller’s probe.

Should the House ignore these misdeeds when similar acts were grounds for articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon? Nixon was charged with trying to block the Watergate investigations by firing the Watergate special prosecutor and offering pardons to the burglars, among other things. Without a compelling rationale, Trump should not be treated more leniently than Nixon for similar offenses.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#92

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Daily Beast OpEd (paywall) - David R. Lurie
Brett Kavanaugh Wrote That Hiding Evidence From Congress Is an Impeachable Offense

Back when he worked for Ken Starr, the future justice had no tolerance for anything that could be construed as obstructing Congress.


Law Professor Jonathan Turley, who was called before Congress this week by Republicans, argues that Donald Trump should not be impeached for using the courts to prevent Congress from obtaining evidence of his misconduct. Turley said this despite the fact that Trump has categorically instructed current and former government employees not to comply with requests for testimony and documents, having unilaterally declared Congress’ impeachment investigation to be constitutionally “illegitimate,” One former Republican prosecutor now sitting on the nation’s highest court long ago was far less tolerant of efforts to stymie the disclosure of evidence of presidential misconduct.

Trump has proffered supposed legal arguments for some, but by no means all, of his rejections of Congress’s requests for witnesses and information, including that his closest White House advisers are “absolutely immune” from testifying about even the most serious presidential crimes. It is also all but certain that Trump will broadly assert the executive privilege in an effort to bar the now absent witnesses from answering key questions, even if they do ultimately appear before Congress, likely leading to yet another round of litigation.

Apart from the impeachment proceedings, Trump has been litigating for months against virtually all demands for documents and information related to various types of potential presidential misconduct. Trump has also suffered a remarkable series of courtroom losses, often accompanied by emphatic judicial repudiations of his typically weak and overreaching arguments, and the lower court losses are now piling up before the Supreme Court.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#93

Post by Sam the Centipede »

Addie wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:52 am
Daily Beast OpEd (paywall) - David R. Lurie
Brett Kavanaugh Wrote That Hiding Evidence From Congress Is an Impeachable Offense
:snippity:
I'm confident that Liar Justice Kavanaugh will speedily locate the IOKIYAR clause in the Constitution. He is not an honest man.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#94

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New York Times OpEd - Anne Milgram
Donald Trump Is a Clear and Present Danger to the 2020 Election

Who gets to pick the next president of the United States — President Trump, Russia or us?


The report released on Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee begins with a powerful indictment: “The impeachment inquiry,” the first sentence says, “uncovered a monthslong effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”

Mentions of the “2020 election” and the president’s re-election campaign can be found scattered throughout the 300-page document. The core message comes through loud and clear: The harm here is not a historical one. This report warns of a future harm: that an American president used his enormous power — and may use it again — to compel a foreign country to alter the outcome of the next presidential election.

We are faced with a direct threat that is unfolding before our eyes. If left unchecked, the president’s abusive behavior stands as a clear and present danger to the future of our democracy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as much on Thursday when she announced that the House Judiciary Committee would begin drafting articles of impeachment. “The facts are uncontested,” Ms. Pelosi said. “The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit, at the expense of our national security.”

Our criminal law has three main goals: to punish a person who has broken the law, to stop that person from causing a current harm and to deter future harm. It is the last goal, and the importance of preventing future wrongdoing, that resonates so clearly in the work of the Intelligence Committee. And it is through Article I of the United States Constitution, which establishes impeachment as the mechanism for holding the president of the United States accountable for criminal conduct or other wrongdoing, that this goal can be achieved.

The Intelligence Committee report sets forth more than just the president’s goal of corruptly influencing the 2020 election. It also presents considerable evidence that Mr. Trump’s efforts to interfere with the 2020 election were willful, knowing and intentional. With meticulous detail, the report catalogs his knowledge of the 2016 Russian interference into the United States election. And it notes that his request for “a favor” from President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during a July 25 phone call came one day after Robert Mueller, the special counsel, testified before Congress about his investigation into Russian 2016 election interference — testimony that Mr. Trump claimed exonerated him of wrongdoing.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#95

Post by Addie »

Lawfare - Josh Blackman, Seth Barrett Tillman: Defining a Theory of ‘Bribery’ for Impeachment
WaPo: More than 500 law professors say Trump committed ‘impeachable conduct’

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#96

Post by Chilidog »

Addie wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:06 pm
Lawfare - Josh Blackman, Seth Barrett Tillman: Defining a Theory of ‘Bribery’ for Impeachment
I just read the lede.

Short version: Trump's innocent because he is a moron.

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#97

Post by tek »

Chilidog wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:18 pm
Short version: Trump's innocent because he is a moron.
Even those of us whose entire legal education consists of Bugs Bunny cartoons know that's no defense.
There's no way back
from there to here

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#98

Post by Dan1100 »

tek wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:41 pm
Chilidog wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:18 pm
Short version: Trump's innocent because he is a moron.
Even those of us whose entire legal education consists of Bugs Bunny cartoons know that's no defense.
I feel like if this ever ends up in a real courtroom, Trump is going to go for the full on "Vinnie 'The Chin'" defense.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_G ... l_insanity

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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#99

Post by Foggy »

Good.

Because the worse of a defense he puts on, the more national outrage when the Republicans vote against removing him. He doesn't need a defense and he knows it. So he should put on the most offensive, stupid, illogical defense imaginable. That will amuse him no end. "Ha ha, I didn't even put up an intelligible defense and they acquitted me anyway!" That will feed his ego immensely ... and then we'll see what the voters think. :madguy:
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Re: The Constitution on Impeachment: What the experts are saying ...

#100

Post by Jeffrey »

If Trump is too stupid to know he can’t ask for bribes then he’s too stupid to be president.

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