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No Crime, No Impeachment

Winning an Election is not a Crime

December 16, 2019

President Trump was sworn in at 11:59AM on January 20, 2017. Six minutes later, at 12:05PM, the Democrats made the statement, “Now the impeachment begins.” Six minutes is not a very long time in which to commit a crime. So, although impeachment requires the impeached person to have committed a crime, the only crime they could point to was that he was elected instead of their candidate – and, of course, that they hated him.

Hatred of Trump was enough for most Democrats. Since that day there has been a non-stop trumpet call to “Impeach Trump” by both prominent and unknown Democrats. Maxine Waters, one of the most hated and hateful members of the House, brags that she started calling for his impeachment from the time he was elected. She claims to be “the first to call for Trump’s impeachment.”

Last week Nancy Pelosi was asked by a TV reporter why the Democrats were “rushing through” the impeachment. Without thinking, she admitted on national TV that the impeachment process has been “going on for 22 months.”

Americans know very little about impeachment, because it hardly ever occurs. So it’s time for a civics lesson.
  1. The most important thing to understand is that impeachment requires a crime. Impeaching a president because you don’t like him is unconstitutional. Without a crime, there can be no impeachment.
  2. Impeachment is not a legal process. It is purely political. This can be seen by the fact that every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voted to send the full House Articles of Impeachment, and that every Republican voted against it.
  3. Impeachment in no way indicates guilt. It is nothing more than an accusation. Just as when a prosecutor accuses a defendant of a crime, the judge will tell the jury to not make any assumptions based on the accusation. Under our Constitution, everyone (even our president) is innocent until proven guilty.
  4. The actual determination of guilt or innocence is made by the Senate in a trial. However, this trial will be totally different from the Kangaroo Court held by the Democrats in the House. There will be no secret hearings, and the Republicans (representing the defense) will be allowed to call witnesses. That was not allowed in the House.
  5. The Constitution says that anyone who is accused of a crime has the right to face his accuser. The House made up special rules for this sham proceeding, including not allowing the president or his lawyers to face his chief accuser – the so-called whistleblower.
We’ve all seen the movie. A businessman drives through a small town and is pulled over by a policeman who has not made his quota of tickets for the month. Although the driver has broken no laws, he is dragged before a “justice of the peace” (usually the owner of the local hardware store). With no lawyer present to defend him, he is given two choices: pay a huge fine, or go to jail and have his car impounded.

This used to happen a lot. It was a profitable (if illegal) way for small towns to raise money. It still happens today, but rarely. That’s because it is police corruption, a crime that the FBI investigates. The House used much the same procedure, except instead of paying a fine, the president would lose his office. And America would lose a duly elected president.

Here’s what the Constitution says in 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 misdemeanors."

The Democrats have been unable to identify a single crime with which to accuse the president. So they brought in Liberal constitutional “experts” to assert that a president can be impeached even without proof of a crime. They said that even thinking about committing a crime was a crime.

(See my article, “Democrats Believe they Can Impeach Trump for His Thoughts,” with the sub-title, “They’re not Just Political Hacks; Now they’re Mind-Readers.”)

But, just like you should never believe what a preacher says about the Bible unless you see it in the Bible yourself, don’t be fooled by what “experts” with a political agenda say about the Constitution. Let the Constitution speak for itself.As quoted above federal officials can only be removed for office on impeachment for, and conviction of the following:

1) Treason. There is no doubt that treason is a crime, and has been in hundreds of countries for thousands of years.

2) Bribery. Again, no question. In any nation with a Judeo-Christian system of laws informed by the Bible, bribery is a crime.

3) High Crimes. No definition is given of what constitutes a “High Crime, but can anyone dispute that whatever it means, it is definitely a crime? Only a fool would argue that it is not.

4) Misdemeanors. The way it is worded, the phrase could mean “High Misdemeanors” or simply Misdemeanors. Either way a misdemeanor is a crime. It is not as serious a crime as a felony, but it is absolutely a crime. Look it up in any law book.

Charles Black, Jr.’s essay, “Impeachment: A Handbook,” explores the precise meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Black’s essay is a definitive exposition of the American impeachment process, and some commentators consider it to be the “most important book ever written on presidential impeachment.”

“Black argues that the Framers intended a wider range of impeachable offenses that extend beyond just treason and bribery. He derives this interpretation from a colloquy from the 1787 Constitutional Convention. In expanding the offenses, however, the Framers did not want to employ vague language whereby a president would serve “during the pleasure of the Senate.” Black explains that this concern resulted in the withdrawal of a proposal that included “maladministration” and its replacement with the phrase “other high crimes and misdemeanors.” He goes on to note that we can understand what high crimes and misdemeanors entail by looking at the type of crimes treason and bribery fall into. These kinds of crimes are offenses ‘(1) which are extremely serious, (2) which in some way corrupt or subvert the political and governmental process, and (3) which are plainly wrong in themselves to a person of honor, or to a good citizen regardless of words on the statute books.’”

(The paragraph above is quoted from the article,“What Do Scholars Say About the Impeachment Power?” on Lawfare.)

The Democrats’ Impeachment Report claims, “The Framers were not fools. They authorized impeachment for a reason, and that reason would have been gutted if impeachment were limited to crimes.” Democrats have essentially forced themselves to argue that the president’s supposed crimes are implied or that they are worse than statutory crimes. That’s an impossible argument to make.

The only thing true in the Democrat’s statement is that the Framers were not fools. They specifically limited impeachment to crimes. Every offense that the Framers listed as impeachable was a crime; and not only that, they were serious crimes.

Note that the Framers of the Constitution considered, but rejected the word “maladministration” and replaced it with the phrase “other high crimes and misdemeanors.” “Maladministration” is defined as “inefficient or dishonest administration; mismanagement.” It could basically mean anything the House considered to be poor administration of the president’s office, including inefficiency or mismanagement. It could even mean a disagreement on the truth of a statement the president made. If the House believes one thing, and the president says another, they could accuse him of dishonesty.

This is why the authors of the Constitution refused to use that word, and substituted “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Taken together with the two other crimes mentioned, Treason and Bribery, it is clear that the Framers intended that a presidential election not be overturned for anything other than a very serious crime.

President Gerald Ford is famous for saying an impeachable offense is “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” 

While it is true that a House with a majority of dishonest and corrupt politicians has the power to impeach (accuse) a president or other federal official, thankfully the framers also put a very high bar on conviction in the Senate. A Super Majority (two-thirds) of the Senate must vote for conviction. This prevents petty people from using impeachment to remove a good man from office.

The impeachment of President Trump has been an accusation in search of a crime that started even before he was inaugurated. Since then there has been a constant drumbeat underlying the Democrat’s desperate search for a crime that Trump may have committed. They know they can’t win at the polls, so they must impeach.Here are just a few of the “crimes” for which they have publicly accused our president…

1) Being a spy for Moscow and a puppet for Putin. This is so ridiculous that it’s almost not worth mentioning. While Barrack Hussein Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did everything they could to ingratiate themselves with Moscow, Trump has been tougher on Putin and his nation than any president in history. Most Americans would know this if they watched anything but the extremely Liberal media which constantly lies about the president.

2) “Collusion” with Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections. (There is no such crime as collusion. They hoped Americans would confuse that with conspiracy, which is a crime, but they knew they could never prove that.) The Russians have attempted to interfere in our elections and those of other nations for decades. That didn’t start when Trump was nominated. They also attempted to interfere on behalf of Hillary. They key point is that no one has ever proven that they had even a slight amount of success in helping either campaign.

3) Violation of the so-called Emoluments Clause (Article I, Section 9) of the Constitution. Emolument is an old Latin word meaning money. The purpose of this clause is to prevent a federal official from receiving personal payment from a foreign government. They tried to use this to say that he received personal benefit from foreign dignitaries staying that the Trump Hotel near the White House. This is farcical on two accounts. The foreign leaders could stay anywhere they wished, and Trump doesn’t need the money from a few hotel rooms.

4) They accused Trump of “foreign entanglements” (something the Founders warned us against) because he considered building a hotel in Moscow. Only a desperate Democrat could consider that a foreign entanglement – which would require governments becoming involved in each other’s affair. This was a business deal that the Trump organization considered, but ultimately rejected. It had nothing to do with either government.

There are many  problems with the so-called Trump impeachment “investigation.” Investigators approach a subject with an open mind and attempt to discover the truth. Every one of the leaders of this sham had publicly stated prior to its beginning that Trump was a criminal, he should be jailed, and that he had committed impeachable crimes. So much for fairness and the presumption of innocence. These same leaders refused to allow witnesses to be called who would have refuted the false claims of their cherry-picked witnesses, and they shut down Republicans when their questioning of the biased witness got too close to the truth.

Another problem is that impeachment inquiries are supposed to be carried out by the House Judiciary Committee. Nancy Pelosi didn’t think its Chairman, Jerry Nadler, would be tough enough, so she assigned the major part of the investigation the Adam Schiff, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Schiff held secret hearing for the purpose of screening witnesses. He leaked testimony that supported his case, and refused to allow Republicans to discuss with anyone testimony that exonerated the president. Then he held public hearings in which he only called witnesses that would help him in his attempted coup of our government. The witnesses who testified in favor of Trump were never seen in the public hearings. Perhaps they are being held in a dungeon in the basement of the Capitol.

Schiff secretly wrote a 300 page report on his “findings" that he didn’t even share with the Democrats on the committee until 24 hours before they had to vote on it. It reported to the Judiciary Committee these reasons that Trump should be impeached:

1) Quid pro quo. Supposedly Trump  withheld aid to Ukraine by pressuring the Ukrainian President in return for an investigation by Ukraine into the corrupt actions of a “political rival” and  his corrupt son – what they called a “quid-pro-quo.” The problem with this is that the president of Ukraine has stated publicly multiple times that he felt no pressure. He did not even know at the time of his phone call with Trump that the aid had been briefly withheld while the US did its normal inquiries. Also, Biden is not Trump’s “political rival.” That person has not yet been nominated by the Democrats and it is highly unlikely that it will be Joe Biden. That’s why billionaire Michael Bloomberg was recruited by prominent Democrats to enter the race. They believe that none of the current candidates – including Biden – have a chance of beating Trump. And of course there is the matter of Ukraine begging Obama for eight years for military aid. All he sent them was blankets and food. Every year Trump has been in office he has sent millions of dollars of real aid to Ukraine – weapons and ammunition. The vicious Sheila Jackson-Lee lied when she said that people died because Trump briefly withheld this year’s aid. The aid was for future military equipment, and so would have had zero effect on the current conflict.

2) Obstruction of Justice. The president’s categorical refusal to cooperate with the investigation or comply with demands for documents violated the law, the report said. It accused the president of engaging in “a brazen effort to publicly attack and intimidate” witnesses. There was no evidence presented to the Committee that indicated this – only opinions. Again, they conveniently forgot that Obama refused to honor dozens of Congressional subpoenas during his reign. Presidents are not required to roll over and play dead whenever Congress asks for documents and witnesses. Presidents have Executive Privilege, which means Congress is not allowed to know everything the Chief Executive knows. If a president refuses to give them what they want, they can always take him to court. They didn’t do this because they knew they would lose and be embarrassed.

3)Improper Removal of the US Ambassador to Ukraine. First, this is impossible. All ambassadors, cabinet members, and heads of departments of the Executive Branch have one thing in common: they serve at the pleasure of the president. The president can fire them for any reason – or for no reason. In this case the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, was an Obama holdover who did not agree with the president’s foreign policy. Since such policy is determined by the president, he has the absolute right to remove her.

4) Schiff tried to cast the actions above as Bribery and Treason. Even if the Quid pro quo mentioned above did take place, it would not constitute bribery; but Schiff equated the two. The Democrats did focus groups to see what would resonate with the public. Bribery played well, so the Democrats started using the word in their public statements. And they tried to make the obstruction of justice (which never occurred) a treasonous act. The ostensible purpose of the Schiff Intelligence Committee hearings was to lay the foundation for impeachment. But obviously the weeks-long Schiff attacks on the president were solely designed to turn the public against Trump in the run-up to the election. We know this to be true because Nadler and his Judiciary Committee ignored all the “crimes” Schiff dreamed up, including Bribery, Treason, Quid pro quo for personal gain, Obstruction of Justice, and the laughable claim of improperly removing the ambassador.

Instead, Nadler (who many people refer to as The Troll) came up with his own 658 page report which said – nothing. The charges it manufactured out of thin air were “Abuse of Office” and “Obstruction of Congress.” Neither is a crime, and no crime is alleged in the entire boring document. It does have language accusing the president of committing “multiple federal crimes” – but it doesn’t say what they are. How would it play with a judge in court if a prosecutor accused a defendant of “committing multiple crimes,” but didn’t detail them? The judge would throw the case out – just as the Senate will throw out the two extremely vague Articles of Impeachment listed in the report.

I believe the president did abuse his office at least once. It was widely reported by the Liberal press that the president got two scoops of ice cream at a State Dinner, while everyone else only got one. That is a perfect and provable example of the president using the power of his office for personal gain. The garbage the Democrats call proof of abuse of office needs to be taken to the dump as soon as possible. Differences of opinion about foreign policy and the president’s often ill-advised and foolish use of Twitter do not constitute abuse of his office.The second article deserves to be featured of a comedy show like Saturday Night Life. “Obstruction of Congress.” They didn’t even have the guts to accuse him of “Contempt of Congress,” as they usually do when someone refuses to honor a Congressional subpoena. (Congress cited Eric Holder, Obama’s crooked Attorney General, for Contempt of Congress. Guess what happened to him? Nothing.)

Is “Obstruction of Congress” even a real thing? It’s certainly not a crime. It basically means getting in the way of Congress. According to New York Post author Josh Hammer, “To impeach for “obstruction of Congress” is akin to impeaching James Madison, the father of the Constitution, himself. He certainly got in Congress’ way many times.I believe the reason they didn’t use the Stronger charge of Contempt of Congress is that America holds Congress in great contempt. Almost three-quarters of Americans in the latest Gallup Poll disapproved of Congress, with only 4% expressing “a great deal” of confidence in the institution. Congress’ approval rating is even lower than big business, the public schools, labor unions, and the newspapers – none of which have good ratings.

Contrast that with the 50% of Americans who love Mr. Trump and you will see  that the impeachment is a desperate attempt by the Democrats to damage the president enough so that one of their sub-prime candidates can beat him.

Sorry, Democrats. That will never happen.


Gaetz: “Impeachment is the Drug, the Obsession, of the Democrats”

‘Obstruction of Congress’ is an utterly ridiculous impeachment charge

Democrats Believe they Can Impeach Trump for His Thoughts

Rep. Maxine Waters Brags She Was First to Call for Impeachment

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Thanks for the article, what happens if our president impeached? Who would be the candidate for 2020?
Copyright ©2019

Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

He has written thousands of articles that have been republished in national newspapers and on hundreds of websites, and is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. His weekly Conservative Truth article (which is read by 250,000) offers a unique viewpoint on social, moral and political issues from a Biblical worldview. This has resulted in invitations to speak internationally at churches, conferences, Money Shows, universities, and on TV (including the 700 Club).

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