- Harrison Wells ’20
During the past two months, news cycles have been filled with updates regarding the impeachment process that Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats recently instigated. They claim that President Trump threatened to hold foreign aid from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky unless he opened an investigation in Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings in Ukraine.
Now, whether or not Trump actually did this is up for the people and The House of Representatives to decide. The transcript has been made public by the White House and is ready for the American people to read such that they can come to their own conclusions. The decisive issue facing the American people is whether or not this is an impeachable offense under the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution. It is important to note that impeaching a president is simply an indictment, or charging them with a crime. The House of Representatives will vote to bring charges against Trump but they can’t actually remove him from office.
The Democrat- controlled House must reach a simple majority (50%+1) in order to charge President Trump with a crime. From there a trial will begin in the Republican-Controlled senate. If the Senate finds there is sufficient evidence to remove the President from office a two-thirds vote is needed to officially remove him. As of now the House as yet to vote on the chargers and they are still in the investigative stage. Pelosi and other House Democrats are working to build a case and find evidence against Trump in hopes to find something that will stick.
Democrats in Congress do not have the best interests of the American people at heart with regards to this impeachment inquiry. They are more focused on building a case than they are the actual facts of this matter. Facts are being sought out only to fit the conclusion of what the Democrats want, not to find the truth. Americans are relying on Congress to find all facts that pertain to this matter so the full story can be seen. The Constitution states that the President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The Democrats claim that Trump’s actions fall under the category of other high crimes and misdemeanors.
This phrase has been interpreted in many different ways over time and can be viewed to mean different things. Alan Dershowitz, a highly recognized constitutional law scholar, says, “I interpret these words more literally, requiring at the least criminal-like behavior, if not the actual violation of a criminal statute.” Criminal activity or at least criminal-like activity must have taken place in order for Trump’s actions to be an impeachable offense. If President Trump truly withheld aid from Ukraine, in hopes that they would open an investigation into the corrupt business dealings of Hunter Biden, it would not classify as a crime or even criminal activity. At most, it could be seen as maladministration, which was in fact denied by the founders at the constitutional convention to be an impeachable offense.
The Democrats have placed themselves above the law by trying to impeach Trump outside of the constitutional guidelines. Congresswoman Maxine Waters even went as far as to say, “Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment. What the Constitution says is high crimes and misdemeanors, and we define that.” Congress members have taken an oath to uphold and apply the Constitution fairly, not to ignore the criteria that have been established. The Democrats are clearly ignoring what the Constitution has laid out as guidelines for impeachment and it is sad to see that the true abuse of power is being done by Pelosi and House Democrats.
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