Alright guys, I want to take a little time to discuss the impeachment of Donald Trump. Technically, at this point, Donald Trump has already been impeached. As an impeached president, he is now facing the Senate for potential conviction.
There are some factors that I’d like to hear from you all about. Please let me know if you have any specifics questions you’d like answered regarding the impeachment.
One: Should Congress Be Able to Impeach?
This may be a question whose answer, at first glance, seems obvious. However, if you read the opinions of the founding fathers, they were not so quick to get on board with the idea of Congressional impeachment. In fact, there were quite a few who opposed impeachment. They feared that it would create an unfair balance between the three branches of government, giving the legislative too much power over the executive.
Think of it this way. The legislative was already created as the most powerful branch—holding all lawmaking power and the power to amend the Constitution (with the agreement of the states), establish the judiciary and more. Should the legislative also have the ability to judge the actions of the executive and expel him from office?
Remember, impeachment is not about prosecuting a criminal offense; rather, it’s a determination of fitness for office.
My question for you is, do you believe that impeachment is a power that Congress should have? Why or why not?
Two: Does a Lack of Bipartisan Support Automatically Invalidate the Impeachment Process?
One of the factors that made that Nixon “impeachment” (it never made it to Congress since he stepped down before the process could start) so powerful was the bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. The evidence against Nixon was so damning, that members of both parties were willing and ready to impeach and convict. Because Nixon knew this, he went ahead and stepped down rather than go through the painful impeachment process—-a process whose end he already knew.
In other words, if the guilt of someone is so obvious and the offense already deemed worthy of removal from office, bipartisan support is expected. (Remember, legislators have two things to think about. First, is the person guilty of whatever offense? And second, does the offense warrant removal from office? Not all offenses do warrant removal from office, even if there is evidence of the offense.)
Partisanship in the impeachment process causes me to question the legitimacy of the process. I believe that a legitimately impeachable offense should not cause a perfect division between both parties. Otherwise, what the founders feared would happen, is happening. What I mean by this is that if one party hates the executive of the other party, what is to stop them from trying to find a way to remove the executive from office—no matter what the cost and regardless of how legitimate the “offense”? It seems that an offense that legitimately warrants removal from office is something that would be obvious to both parties.
So, my question to you is this. Should impeachment require bipartisan support for it to actually be legitimate? Further, should this be written in the Constitution?
Three: Is Asking Another Country to Investigate a U.S. Citizen an Impeachable Offense?
This leads me to my final question. I discussed this very topic with a friend yesterday, and he said he believed that a president should never ask another country to investigate an American citizen and that, because Trump had done this, he should be impeached. I respectfully disagreed, as I do not find this action to be worthy of impeachment. Again, impeachment is simply finding someone unfit for office. There is no “legal” precedent to refer to here.
Right now, Congress has no evidence of intentional bribery or quid pro quo. In fact, they have very little evidence besides a phone call between Trump and Zelensky. In the phone call, Trump says:
“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
So my question for you all is this. Does the act of asking another country to investigate an American citizen warrant removal from office? If this were a Democratic president, would your answer be the same?
I’m curious! Please respond in the comments below. I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. I’ll be responding as well.
If you have any questions for me about the impeachment, please, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below and I’m happy to research and find answers for you.
Until next time!
The Liberty Belle