Democrats Now Want Ground Rules On Presidential Impeachment

Where was Evan Davis (D) during the unhinged impeachments of Donald Trump? He worked for the Democrats who were looking to impeach Nixon. But, now, with a potential impeachment of Biden (really, I’m not sure the House GOP has the cajones, and there are too many squishes who might vote against even having an investigation), Davis wants to argue that rules need to be set

We need to set ground rules for presidential impeachments

Constitutional scholar Garrett Epps has called presidential impeachment “the atomic bomb of domestic politics.” It should not become a conventional weapon of political polarization.

We’re on the verge of that, however, if we as a nation don’t set a floor under the grounds for presidential impeachment.

Doing so requires public discussion of the impeachable offense of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” contained in the U.S. Constitution. What is it? What does it cover?

As a task force leader in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s inquiry into the impeachment of former President Nixon, I saw this question wrestled with first-hand. After detailed study, we concluded that “[b]ecause impeachment of a President is a grave step for the nation, it is to be predicated only upon conduct seriously incompatible with either the constitutional form and principles of our government or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the presidential office.” What does that then preclude?

You know what it precludes? “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.” That’s it. It should be serious, but, as usual, Democrats blew that out the window during the Trump years, and tried to get there during the Bush43 years. We warned you wackos that if you wanted to play games with Trump it could blowback on you

First, it requires that a president be impeached only for offenses committed while serving as president. There can be no violation of the constitutional duties of the presidential office until one becomes president. Moreover, the weight of historical precedent is key in fixing the scope of impeachable offenses: The four presidential impeachments and 15 judicial impeachments have all been for conduct while in office.

Actually, it doesn’t. Nothing in the passage from Article II Section 4 makes that claim. What if we found out the president killed someone before he/she took office? Can they not be impeached? Damned right they can. But, see

Yet there is talk on Capitol Hill of impeaching President Biden for actions taken either while vice president or in the four years between his terms as vice president and then president. As shown, the Constitution does not envision a president being put out of office for something that took place before he was elected to the office. Similarly, American voters should not be disenfranchised based on actions taken by an individual before being elected president. There are other legal remedies for such actions.

And there it is: Democrats want to exclude the crimes by Biden before he was President. Nope. That’s not going to fly.

One claimed ground for impeaching Biden, for instance, is that as vice president he conditioned aid to Ukraine on the firing of a corrupt prosecutor to help a Ukrainian company on whose board his son served. Putting aside the problem of basing presidential impeachment on conduct as vice president and the factual implausibility and speculative nature of this claim, the alleged conduct is not a crime or the abusive solicitation of a personal benefit in return for official action.

Influence peddling and extortion, especially using The People’s money, is a crime. Mr. Davis could go to jail for extortion. Why not Joe Biden?

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3 Responses to “Democrats Now Want Ground Rules On Presidential Impeachment”

  1. Professor Hale says:

    I suppose we could put the impeachment toothpaste back into the tube if the Democrats started by apologizing to Trump for their malicious prosecutions of him and his staff. It’s not just impeachment that democrats need to worry about.

  2. CT Ginger says:

    I would strongly suggest that criminal actions taken during a vice presidency discovered during a subsequent presidency should clearly be subject to impeachment.

  3. CarolAnn says:

    There is nothing in the constitution that states got a president can’t be impeached do the things he did as vice president. Impeachment isn’t strictly for presidents it’s for any high-ranking government person. 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.

    By the way high crimes and misdemeanors are whatever the hell the House of Representatives says they are as long as the Senate is willing to convict.

    You gotta realize Democrats make shit up as they go along. Professional liars tend to do that.

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