“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.”
The second view is that the Constitutional standard makes it necessary for a President to have committed an indictable crime in order to be subject to impeachment and removal from office. This view was adopted by many Republicans during the impeachment investigation of President Richard M. Nixon. The proponents of this view point to the tone of the language of Article II § 4 itself, which seems to be speaking in criminal law terms.
There are other places in the Constitution which seem to support this interpretation, as well. For example, Article III § 2 (3) provides that “the trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury.” Clearly the implication of this sentence from the Constitution is that impeachment is being treated as a criminal offense, ergo, impeachment requires a criminal offense to have been committed.
Article II § 2 (1) authorizes the President to grant pardons “for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” This sentence implies that the Framers must have thought impeachment, and the acts which would support impeachment, to be criminal in nature.
The third approach is that an indictable crime is not required to impeach and remove a President. The proponents of this view focus on the word “misdemeanor” which did not have a specific criminal connotation to it at the time the Constitution was ratified. This interpretation is somewhat belied by details of the debate the Framers had in arriving at the specific language to be used for the impeachment standard.
Initially the standard was to be “malpractice or neglect of duty.” This was removed and replaced with “treason, bribery, or corruption.” The word “corruption” was then eliminated. On the floor during debate the suggestion was made to add the term “maladministration.” This was rejected as being too vague and the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” was adopted in its place. There are many legal scholars who believe this lesser standard is the correct one, however.
Under current rules, the actual impeachment inquiry begins in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. That Committee holds hearings, takes evidence, and hears testimony of witnesses concerning matters relevant to the inquiry. Typically, as occurred in the case of President Nixon, there will also be a Minority Counsel who serves the interest of the party not controlling Congress.
Witnesses are interrogated by the Committee Counsel, the Minority Counsel, and each of the members of the House Judiciary Committee. The Committee formulates Articles of Impeachment which could contain multiple counts. The Committee votes on the Articles of Impeachment and the results of the vote are reported to the House as a whole. The matter is then referred to the whole House which debates the matter and votes on the Articles of Impeachment, which may or may not be changed. If the Articles of Impeachment are approved, the matter is sent to the Senate for trial.
As a lawyer, I find all the elements are present to impeach the president-want-to-be Donald Trump. Many of these elements were absent in the impeachment of president Clinton for lying about having a a whore suck his penis. President-want-to-be Trump having all Congress, Republicans and Democrats sucking his penis and licking his ass and they are doing nothing.
Here are the questions: Does Trump, being the Vegas Gangster he is, threaten members of both houses with harm? Does Trump, being the corrupt businessman he has always been bribe members of both houses to shut up? Is Trump really above the law?
This writer wonders every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month. Our journalists have been so demoralized that they have been not doing what they were/are supposed to do.