Originally posted by negativenihil
Not necessarily. If they were to be found guilty of high enough crimes, they would be removed from office.
Wrong. Impeachment and removal are two entirely different things, and neither one requires a "conviction" for a crime. All impeachment is is an
official finding, supported by a majority of the House of Representatives, that the official in question could legitimately be charged
crime. If it is felt that the official could legitimately be charged with an actual crime on the books in the US, then impeachment proceedings can be
initiated. If a majority of the House so votes, then the official is "impeached." That sets the stage for the next potential step-- removal from
With Clinton, the House of Representatives impeached him - yet the Senate's trial ended up clearing him. Thus, he remained in
Wrong again-- there was no Senate "trial," nor can there be. The Senate is empowered, if they so choose, to propose and vote on the removal from
office of an official that has already been impeached by the House. Again, the only issue is whether the official could legitimately be charged with
a crime. It's not within the Senate's powers to actually charge the official or to have a trial-- ALL they can do is to remove the official from
office so that s/he can then
, potentially, actually be charged. They chose not to do so with Clinton. Had they chosen to pursue it, and had
he actually been removed from office, then he might
have actually been tried for his crime (perjury) in a court of law. Clinton was not
"cleared" of anything, and as a matter of fact, his law license was revoked after he left office, as is standard with lawyers who commit perjury,
but even that action couldn't be taken until after he left office.
Unless you're aware of another impeachment that resulted in a conviction but allowed the president to stay in office, your statement "he will
finish out his term" has no basis.
The point is that Bush hasn't, at least to anyone's knowledge, actually committed any crimes. Certainly much of what he has done might figuratively
be called a "crime" as in "a crime against humanity," but in order for him to even face impeachment proceedings, there would have to be evidence
of him having committed an actual, actionable, currently defined by US law CRIME, and there's simply no evidence that he has done so. No crime-- no
impeachment, much though he might arguably deserve it.