OBAMA: SHOULD/CAN HE BE IMPEACHED? SOME HISTORY AND DEFINITION OF THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

There are petitions circulating on the internet calling for signatures to impeach president obama. One group in Michigan is looking for 250,000 signatures, while another group claims to already have 100,000 signatures. This in itself will reflect only the feelings of the American public which is already on record with polls regarding Obama’s performance as president. If a huge outcry is forthcoming, it could serve to influence members of Congress who would have to review any articles of impeachment that might be raised by the Congress, It is unfortunately assumed that members of Congress would ultimately vote along legal and not party lines. This would be a bad assumption as evidenced by previous attempts at impeachment of a President. In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeachment for attempting to remove the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. The reasons he used were later deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The latter was not the reason for the failure of impeachment. The vote in the Senate appears to be along party lines. In 1998, William Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives accused of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted by the Senate 45-55 on obstruction and 50-50 for perjury. If you do the math even quickly, you can see the this resulted from partisan, perhaps dereliction of duty. If we look at the current U.S. Senate, the democrats are in the majority and the chances of it upholding an impeachment of Obama would be negligible, since they most likely would not honor their commitment to the law and the Constitution that they signed an oath to uphold.

Let’s look at the significance and the rules that might allow for impeachment of a sitting president. Impeachment, although variously defined, requires the act of treason, bribery or other higher crimes and misdemeanors. The definition of the latter becomes both crucial and problematic. In 1970 while, House Minority leader, Gerald Ford defined impeachable offense as whatever the majority of the House might consider at a “given moment in history”. This in itself has been argued by legal scholars. It is required that the House of Representatives pass, by a simple majority, articles of impeachment containing the formal allegations against the accused, in this case the president. If and when passed by the House, the United States Senate has the obligation to try the accused. If the president is the defendant, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside over the proceedings, and in order to convict, two-thirds of a majority of the Senators present is required. If impeached by the Senate, the defendant can lose all of his benefits as well.

The founding fathers wrestled with the precise wording and came up with crimes and misdemeanors rather than the word corruption which was redacted. Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to make formal charges. Article 1 Section 3, gives the Senate the sole power to try impeachments. The difficulty lies with the interpretation of what constitutes crimes and misdemeanors. There is also a significant difference of opinion as what constitutes bribery and treason, although bribery should be clear enough and treason has been identified as a citizens act to help a foreign government make war or seriously injure the parent nation or attempt to overthrow the government.

The question now posed is whether there must be criminal intent to start the impeachment process. Misdemeanors could be used since it had no criminal intent as initial drawn up by the framers of the Constitution. The original standard was to be MALPRACTICE or NEGLECT OF DUTY, ultimately replaced by treason, bribery and high crimes or misdemeanors. Many legal scholars believe that NEGLECT OF DUTY and MALPRACTICE should constitute the standard. Since impeachment may not require an indictable crime, should not MALADMINISTRATION be considered as cause for impeachment?

The U.S. Congress, past and present have been derelict in their duty in not passing a list of impeachable offenses. Both the House and the Senate have the right to make their own rules governing their procedure for impeachment, and can at any time change those rules. Actual impeachment, begins with the House Judiciary Committee which is required to hold hearings, take evidence, hear witness testimony and vote on whether to proceed with impeachment. The result of this committees vote is then sent to the full House. This article of impeachment which could contain multiple counts if approved, is then sent to the Senate for trial.

Might any of the following apply, regarding MALADMINISTRATION or DERILICTION OF DUTY?
1. Failed Transparency as promised
2. Avoidance of the Truth on so many levels particularly Obamacare
3. Inability to identify and name the enemy attempting to destroy our government
4. Contributing to economic failures and rising unemployment by takeover of the automotive industry, promoting global warming and cap and trade
5. Failure to define a foreign policy
6. Indecisiveness which is recurrent
7. Forcing Obamacare that is filled with enough pre-funding it will further strangle our economy
8. Failure to reduce spending and have a positive effect on defining a budget
9. Responsibility for shut down of the government if it happens,belongs to Obama, his advisers and the democrats
10. Espousing an agenda that could lead to the collapse of our economy, forcing the U.S. to become a socialist state
11. Failure to protect our borders
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD TO THE LIST!

Our current House of Representatives has a majority of Republicans. This unfortunately is not the case for the U.S. Senate. At least not until 2012 when the entire matter of impeachment will be moot.

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4 Responses to OBAMA: SHOULD/CAN HE BE IMPEACHED? SOME HISTORY AND DEFINITION OF THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

  1. […] Susan T Thomas posted about this interesting story. Here is a small section of the postImpeachment, although variously defined, requires the act of treason, bribery or other higher crimes and misdemeanors. The definition of the latter becomes both crucial and problematic. In 1970 while, House Minority leader, Gerald Ford defined impeachable offense as whatever … If the president is the defendant, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside over the proceedings, and in order to convict, two-thirds of a majority of the Senators present is required. … […]

  2. gprimm1@cox.net says:

    It comes down to, the wolves will protect the wolves in the hen house!

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