Originally posted by seagull
Mr. Clinton apparently lied under oath to a grandjury. That's, by the rules, impeachable.
No, it's not. Please consider this article on the meaning of "High Crimes and
, quoted below (outside source):
High crimes and misdemeanors is a phrase from the United States Constitution, Article II, Section 4: "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
"High" in the legal parlance of the 18th century means "against the State". A high crime is one which seeks the overthrow of the country, which
gives aid or comfort to its enemies, or which injures the country to the profit of an individual or group. In democracies and similar societies it
also includes crimes which attempt to alter the outcome of elections.
Petty crimes such as lying about getting a blowjob, even under oath, do not constitute "high crimes" in the sense intended by the Constitution.
You or I would have found ourselves in jail for the same offence. It's called perjury.
The United States Congress is not a court of law, and an impeachment action has no legal validity, nor is it intended to determine guilt or innocence
of a crime, nor can it impose any criminal penalties on the impeached official even if he/she is convicted. The Constitution specifically forbids
Congress, in fact, from imposing any penalties beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold office in the future. The impeached official
must be tried in a real court before any criminal penalties can be imposed, and the impeachment hearing itself does not invoke double jeopardy.
In short, impeachment has no legal, criminal standing whatsoever, and nothing to do with criminal justice. Do not confuse illegal actions with
impeachable ones. An illegal act is NOT necessarily an impeachable offense, and an impeachable offense might not be an illegal act. The first
federal official impeached and removed from office by the Senate was District Judge John Pickering. He was removed from office in 1804 for chronic
intoxication, which was not illegal. Also, see below re Mr. Bush's possibly impeachable offenses, at least some of which are not illegal.
In his own way, Bill Clinton is as slimey a character as you accuse Mr. Bush of being.
I'll agree with that. Not that it means anything; the same could be said of most politicians. Anyway, sliminess isn't an impeachable offense,
Going to war . . . isn't [an impeachable offense].
That depends. (Sadam's actions alleged to have justified the war have no bearing on the question, and so I snipped your comments on that.)
Going to war in Iraq would be an impeachable offense to the extent it can be shown that Mr. Bush, in arranging that war, injured the country to the
profit of an individual or group. He has certainly injured the country to the profit of some individuals and groups, the question though is whether
this was intentional. I certainly believe it was, but proving it to two-thirds of the Senate might be problematical.
Please note that, even if the war in Iraq is impeachable, Mr. Bush violated no U.S. criminal laws in arranging it. This is a case where an arguably
impeachable offense is NOT a crime. Mr. Clinton's impeachment is a case where a non-impeachable offense might actually have been a crime. There is
really no relation between the two, although SOME impeachable offenses (e.g., treason) ARE crimes.
[edit on 8-6-2006 by Two Steps Forward]