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How Not to Impeach a President

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+34 more 
posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 09:11 PM
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There's a lot of talk going around about President Trump's upcoming impeachment. As usual, whenever something this divisive pops up, it is accompanied by a lot of disinformation. So here's the low-down skinny on what impeachment actually is and how it actually happens.

First of all, impeachment and removal from office are two different things. In a normal trial when someone is accused of a crime, a grand jury has to indict the accused before the case can go to trial. The procedure with the President is similar, but to prevent state and local authorities exercising undue interference with Presidential duties, the President is exempt from most criminal laws. Instead, the Constitution specifies that the House of Representatives can impeach the President, which is like an indictment. Once impeached, the case moves to the Senate, which acts as a judge and jury to conduct a trial. If the President is found guilty of wrongdoing, which requires at least 2/3 of the Senate, he/she is removed from office and the Vice President becomes President. He/she then appoints a new Vice President.

Whereas in a normal trial, a specific violation of applicable legal code must be shown, there is no legal code for indictment of a President. Instead, the House must create Articles of Impeachment, which list exactly what the President is accused of. Once these Articles of Impeachment are created and approved by the majority in the House, a vote is taken to impeach. It only requires half of the House members to impeach. The trick here is that the Constitution does specify that impeachment must be over "high crimes and misdemeanors," whatever that means. There is no exact definition of what can constitute a "high crime and misdemeanor."

There is a possibility that the Supreme Court could get involved in defining what constitutes a "high crime and misdemeanor." For example, it is theoretically possible for the President to be impeached for having a hangnail during a press conference... but that would obviously not be what a reasonable person would call a "high crime and misdemeanor." In that case, the Supreme Court could be requested to define whether a hangnail during a press conference could be considered a "high crime and misdemeanor."

So the charges have to be severe enough to prevent Judicial Branch involvement. The Supreme Court will likely be loathe to intervene if there is any reason whatsoever in the charges brought. It has historically declined to involve itself in partisan issues. That means the House can indeed impeach President Trump. To do so and not face the possibility of a court challenge, the charges must be severe. Bribery would be a reason. Improper dealings with a foreign country could be another.

What happens then? The President is placed on trial in the Senate. The rules of the trial - what is admissible as evidence, etc. - are determined by the Senate, within certain limitations. The primary limitation is that the President is still a citizen of the United States and therefore enjoys certain rights (like the Fifth Amendment). Those have to be respected. At the end of the trial, the Senate votes whether to convict (remove from office) or acquit. Conviction requires a 2/3 supermajority.

There is a question about whether the Senate is required to hold a trial or can simply dismiss the indictment. This is an important point, because Trump has the Constitutional right to confront his accuser and any witnesses against him. That means someone, be it the whistleblower or one of their sources, will have to stand up in public in front of the US Senate, under oath, and state their charges under penalty of perjury.

So, to get to the case of Trump, what are the potential charges? I can think of a few:
  • Bribery of a Foreign Government Official

    This would definitely be a serious enough charge to press, but can it be proven? I don't see how. Even if Zelensky were to reverse his story and claim that Trump did attempt to bribe him, he is on record stating otherwise. Without a damn good explanation, any lawyer could discredit his statement. Otherwise, there was no mention of payment or consequences, and so far as withholding funding goes, Zelensky wasn't even aware that the aide was being held up until well after the call.

  • Improperly Influencing a Foreign Government

    This is a little more nebulous, but could be a possibility. The problem with that is that the Articles of Impeachment would have to exactly specify what Trump supposedly did that was considered improper influence. Asking for assistance with an investigation is not a possibility; there is a ratified treaty allowing for this exact action.

  • Interference With an Election

    This is likely going to pop up somewhere in the Articles of Impeachment. It cannot reasonably succeed, however. Firstly, Biden is not at this point an official candidate for President; he is a candidate for the Democratic nominee for President. There is no candidate for President except Trump until after the primaries. Then there is the argument that Trump is acting in his Constitutional duty as President, which overrides any election concerns. The burden of proof that his actions were undertaken to interfere with the upcoming election is on the accuser.

  • Obstruction of Justice

    This is always a go-to for the House Democrats. The problem is that there is no obstruction of justice if there is no accompanying crime (as specified in the Articles of Impeachment). In addition, Trump took pre-emptive action to release the transcript of his call before it was demanded. That will fly in the face of Obstruction of Justice charges.
Remember, the Senate must vote to convict by at least a 2/3 majority. If we assume that three Senators are absent, that's still 65 Senators. The Democrats have 47 seats (I include the two Independents since they typically vote with the Democrats) which means if every single one voted for conviction, they would still need 18 Republicans to join them. That's over 1 in 3 Republicans on a partisan case, and that's assuming three Republicans are off golfing or something when the vote is taken. Remember that Mitch McConnell, as Senate Majority Leader, will set the time and date for the vote. In other words, there will have to be substantial evidence presented.

In other words, folks, it's not gonna happen. There's no there here. But there is some there there, if there is in the direction of Joe Biden... that's where the story is.

TheRedneck



+15 more 
posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 09:13 PM
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No matter how this plays out, president trump WILL BE removed from office by 2025.

You can take that...to the bank.



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 09:24 PM
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Historically the trick seems to be don’t be a Democrat as only Democrats have advanced to the Senate to decide. But you are not looking for jokes.

The real trick is to verify your sources that you base your play upon a solid basis. Speed and propaganda isn’t gonna cut it no matter how well sliced up.
edit on 29-9-2019 by Ahabstar because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 09:56 PM
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Step one in this lesson: read The Art of the Deal.



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 09:57 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

You forgot the main one: 18 USC Section 601.


Last week, I wrote a post explaining why, if Trump used withholding of US aid as leverage to try to force the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, it would be an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress' power of the purse. Quite simply, it would be a case of the president trying to use federal funds for a purpose that had never been authorized by Congress—the only branch of government with the power to authorize federal spending.



Specifically, it would be a violation of 18 USC Section 601, which criminalizes "knowingly caus[ing] or attempt[ing] to cause any person to make a contribution of a thing of value (including services) for the benefit of any candidate or any political party, by means of the denial or deprivation, or the threat of the denial or deprivation, of…. any payment or benefit of a program of the United States,… if such employment, position, work, compensation, payment, or benefit is provided for or made possible in whole or in part by an Act of Congress." Violators are subject to a fine, a prison sentence of up to one year, or both.

Section 601 pretty clearly covers this quid pro quo scheme. The aid money is a "payment or benefit of a program of the United States," one that is "made possible… by an act of Congress" (which appropriated the money). An investigation of the president's most likely Democratic opponent in the 2020 general election is obviously a "thing of value (including services)" that benefits a candidate or a political party; in this case, Trump and the GOP. At the time Trump made the call, Biden was the leading contender for the Democratic nomination, even though Elizabeth Warren may have caught up to him since then. And, if Trump made the quid pro quo threat at all, he surely did so knowingly and with full awareness of the potential political advantages. Finally, Section 601 criminalizes attempted use of funds as leverage to gain political support, not just successful efforts to do so. Even if Trump's pressure tactics failed to achieve their goals, he still violated 601.


Link

It's a clear violation of the law for the President to use funds Congress has approved for something else to gain political support. And let's not forget that the emoluments violations Trump has been guilty of since his first day in office will be thrown on the pile as well.

I don't think there's anyone that thinks Trump will be removed from office by all this. But you never know. Republicans are known for deserting people when they no longer have a use.

All told, when added up there seems to be a lot of "there" there. And I wouldn't be surprised if more violations are brought up after the whistleblower testimony and more investigation.


edit on 29-9-2019 by underwerks because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 09:57 PM
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originally posted by: incoserv
Step one in this lesson: read The Art of the Deal.


Or maybe talk to the guy who wrote it.

(Hint) it's not Donald Trump.




posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:27 PM
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a reply to: underwerks



It's a clear violation of the law for the President to use funds Congress has approved for something else to gain political support.

So , guilty in your mind's eye ?
Only 2/3rds of Senate can declare that.
You don't get a chance.
Neither does the "court of public opinion".



And let's not forget that the emoluments violations Trump has been guilty of since his first day in office will be thrown on the pile as well


What "emoluments" violations ?
You do know what the term means , yes ?

Denying ignorance
Why ?
It's in my blood

edit on 9/29/19 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:35 PM
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originally posted by: Gothmog
a reply to: underwerks



It's a clear violation of the law for the President to use funds Congress has approved for something else to gain political support.

So , guilty in your mind's eye ?
Only 2/3rds of Senate can declare that.
You don't get a chance.
Neither does the "court of public opinion".



And let's not forget that the emoluments violations Trump has been guilty of since his first day in office will be thrown on the pile as well


What "emoluments" violations ?
You do know what the term means , yes ?

Denying ignorance
Why ?
It's in my blood


Given the President has already publicly admitted enough information to make him guilty of usurping Congress' power of the purse, yes. It's pretty clear he's guilty of that. But it isn't up to me to decide that. If the Senate Republicans don't choose to vote guilty on this, then the next important thing is to get their support for it on record.

That way there is no running away from their support of a president flagrantly violating the law and constitution. And yes emoluments violations. Contrary to what you may believe, Trump hasn't divested from any of his businesses. All he's done is said he has. And that opens up a whole other can of worms. Foreign influence, etc. Saudi Arabia bought an entire floor of Trump tower.

All that will be investigated as well.

You might want to do a little research and try that whole "deny ignorance" thing again.


+9 more 
posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: underwerks
Guess you didn't see the doj determined your description not to be the case; also no further investigation warranted.
Like you would know better than the subject matter experts.


BAMN tho right?



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:40 PM
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originally posted by: MisterSpock
No matter how this plays out, president trump WILL BE removed from office by 2025.

You can take that...to the bank.


The exploding heads will be in the past by 4 years, will the streets be clean by then?



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:42 PM
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originally posted by: shooterbrody
a reply to: underwerks
Guess you didn't see the doj determined your description not to be the case; also no further investigation warranted.
Like you would know better than the subject matter experts.


BAMN tho right?



Which description of which violations?

Do you have link?



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:45 PM
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President Trump will not be impeached.

And we’ll hear the “REEEEEEEEEE” for months


+9 more 
posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:45 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

Wah ! Wah ! Wah!
It was Hillary's turn....Orange man bad......and ignore the dead in Benghazi, the $100 million to Hillary from RUSSIA for UraniumOne and her felonious handling of CLASSIFIED emails, copies of which were sent to Chinese firm....

Wah ! Wah ! Wah!
It was Hillary's turn....Orange man bad....

Libtards.....
edit on 29-9-2019 by M5xaz because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:46 PM
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a reply to: M5xaz

If that type of response is all you have I really feel sorry for you guys.


edit on 29-9-2019 by underwerks because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:47 PM
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a reply to: underwerks
I posted it here
No campaign finance violation.

time.com...

Time is an ok source?



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:50 PM
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a reply to: shooterbrody

Nothing I linked was about campaign finance violations. It was about usurping Congress' power of the purse, which is a completely different thing.

Read the link in the post above. It's from a conservative publication.



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: underwerks
That is a seperation of powers issue?
Not a crime tho is it?



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:53 PM
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a reply to: shooterbrody

Yes. It's a federal crime and a violation of the constitution. It's all explained in the link.


+6 more 
posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 10:56 PM
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originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: shooterbrody

Yes. It's a federal crime and a violation of the constitution. It's all explained in the link.

No it doesnt
It says it could be a violation of the constitution, you know a seperation of powers issue.
Nice try tho

I doubt scotus would scold the executive for reviewing Pentagon funding.

It is their constitutional duty. Like it or not.



posted on Sep, 29 2019 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: shooterbrody

Yes it does. You might want to read the whole article before arguing about what it does or does not say..


Since then, a great deal of relevant evidence has become public, including the transcript of at least part of Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the report of the "whistleblower" who played a key role in bringing this issue to public attention, and the report of the intelligence community inspector general assessing the whistleblower's complaint. Taken together, this evidence strongly supports the notion that Trump did indeed try to use the aid funds as leverage. If so, he both violated the Constitution and committed a federal crime.


And even if it wasn't, as was clearly shown in the link, no crime has to be committed for a President to be impeached for it. So your argument about "no crime being committed" is disingenuous from the start. And in fact it sets a very bad precedent allowing a President to get away with it.


For reasons indicated in my earlier post, circumventing Congress' power of the purse is a serious violation of the Constitution, and one that could set a dangerous precedent if Trump manages to get away with it. If the president can use withholding of federal funds as leverage to pressure people to do his bidding in ways not authorized by Congress, that opens the door to numerous potential abuses of power. And this is not an isolated case, but merely the latest of several instances in which the Trump administration has tried to usurp the power of the purse.


A violation of 18 USC Section 601 is a federal crime and a violation of the constitution. That isn't debatable. Read the link.
edit on 29-9-2019 by underwerks because: (no reason given)




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