trump impeachment

Last Tuesday (December 10), the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives officially announced the impeachment clause against US President Trump, focusing on two allegations: abuse of power and obstruction of Congressional investigations. Abuse of power refers to the corruption problem of Trump ’s “Ummen”, that is, the Democratic Party ’s own president has used foreign forces to investigate American citizens for their own political interests; obstructing congressional investigations and the Trump administration ’s total refusal to obey the House impeachment Investigation subpoena related.

Last Thursday (December 12), the House Judiciary Committee held a marathon hearing for nearly 14 hours around the impeachment clause. The night ended hastily, and the polling clause was voted the next day. . On Monday (December 16), the Judiciary Committee released a 658-page impeachment report.

The two impeachment clauses mentioned above are expected to be voted on by the entire court on the impeachment clause on Wednesday (December 18). If more than half of the members vote in favor, Trump will be formally impeached and become the first in American history. Three impeached presidents. The Senate, which took over the impeachment bill, is expected to launch a “trial” of Trump next month under the supervision of the Chief Justice.

What is the legal basis?

Impeachment is a common practice in the US states and the federal government to remove government officials involved. At the federal level, members of both the judiciary and the executive branch can be impeached. According to the Office of the Historian, the House of Representatives has initiated more than 60 impeachment proceedings and has voted to impeach 15 federal judges, a senator, a cabinet secretary, and two presidents.

As far as the highest-powered executive is concerned, Article 2 (4) of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the President, Vice President, and all civilian officials of the United States of America shall be responsible for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. ) Shall be removed from office upon impeachment and conviction.

Unlike ordinary court proceedings, impeachment investigations and prosecutions are conducted by the House of Representatives, acting as prosecutors, collecting evidence and setting out allegations; their trials are held in the Senate, chaired by the Chief Justice, and senators play similar juries A dual role as a judge requires a two-thirds majority to formally remove the impeached officials.

However, the “Constitution” of the United States does not give a clear explanation of “felons” and “misdemeanors”, and “treason” and “bribery” are subject to the high threshold of proof of criminal law, which is difficult to serve as the basis for impeaching the president. This leaves enough room for both parties to “over-politicize” the impeachment investigation and trial process. The party initiating the impeachment investigation will argue that Congress has the power to define which acts are impeachable and which are not. At present, there are no examples of the impeachment of the President in the United States, which has a certain relationship with party divisions.

Looking at the history of the United States since its founding in 1776, only two U.S. presidents have been impeached, namely Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton, who was caught in the “Lewinsky sex scandal” in 1998, but None of them were removed. Among them, Jensen’s attitude on how to rebuild the Southern Union states is far from the radicals in Congress. His firing of his ally and then Army Secretary Edwin Stanton was accused of ignoring “the The Senate agreed not to remove certain federal officials “, was immediately impeached by a resolution of the House of Representatives, was acquitted by one vote in the Senate trial vote, and retained the presidency.

When Clinton was tried in the Senate in February 1999, only 50 senators voted for crimes against justice and escaped impeachment.

The protagonist of Watergate, the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon, was not formally impeached. In July 1974, the then House Judiciary Committee had originally approved three impeachment clauses, accusing him of impeding justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. But before the impeachment clause was accepted by the House of Representatives, Nixon chose to resign without being formally impeached. Because Nixon knows that even if he doesn’t resign, the Senate is very likely to find himself guilty. Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s first vice president, had previously been resigned before being impeached after being charged with tax evasion and money laundering.

Democrats’ “one-man show”

For Trump, the Democrats are not waiting for him to retreat, but to render more abuses of Trump’s administration through the impeachment case, making it lose credibility.

In drafting the impeachment clause, Democrats in the House of Representatives removed allegations of “bribery” in “Tong Umen” and “obstruction of justice” in “Tong Rumen”. On the one hand, this can promote the smooth passage of the impeachment clause in the entire court, avoid the war with Republicans in the House of Representatives, and save the Democrats who support the impeachment after the “Tongwumen” broke out.

On the other hand, this can also focus Trump’s “criminal trial” in the Senate. After all, the “Through Russia” investigation has been concluded, and it has little impact on voters. There are also shortcomings such as insufficient evidence for bribery charges.

However, from the current point of view, the advancement of the House impeachment case, including closed committees and public hearings, has not yet reversed public opinion at the national level. According to poll results released by Quinnipiac University and Monmouth University on Wednesday (December 11), in the past month, Americans have responded to the impeachment case and Trump The approval rating has hardly changed. About 50% said the president should not be impeached and removed, and 45% called for impeachment and removal. There have been no examples of Republicans supporting the impeachment case.

Therefore, the outside world has basically understood the evolution direction and results of the impeachment case, and now it is nothing more than how the donkey elephant parties used the impeachment case to start a new phase of power struggle. However, under the premise of the White House’s refusal to defend the House of Representatives, the House impeachment process is entirely up to the Democrats. Some rules are also controlled unilaterally by the Democratic Party, including the timing of hearings.

For the next “sensation” of senators, it will also be a drama of party struggle. Under the supervision of the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, 100 senators will hear arguments from the House Democrats and Trump or his lawyers, or even new witnesses will join. This debate is expected to continue the bipartisan “mouth-to-mouth battle” during the House hearing.

Among them, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler will be the prosecution, and the White House will form a defense team to defend Trump. At the same time, witnesses from both sides can also testify. Of most concern is whether key witnesses, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, have been asking to testify and will attend.

When asked on Tuesday whether White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and the Secretary of State would attend a Senate impeachment hearing, it was up to Trump to decide. Trump has barred any senior government officials from attending all previous hearings in the House.

Who is the winner?

Trump is likely to receive this special “gift” on Christmas Day, destined to become the third impeached president in American history. This will be a label and a shame that Trump cannot shake off, and a milestone in the political career of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Even if all Democratic senators vote in favor, at least 20 Republican senators will be required to support impeachment if Trump is to be ousted. Some Democrats believe that the Senate’s innocence verdict will strengthen Trump’s “innocence”, but savvy Pelosi certainly weighed the advantages and disadvantages. She has repeatedly publicly emphasized non-discrimination and hated Trump. She is more likely to value the Democratic Party ’s chances of winning in the next year ’s Congress and White House elections, rather than impeaching Trump by impeachment before next year ’s election.

The impeachment comes to an end in the Senate at the start of the 2020 general elections in Iowa and New Hampshire. How effective the impeachment case is depends on how American voters choose in the 2020 election. Control in both the Congress and the White House can be used as a yardstick. Even if the Democrats can’t win the White House, it can be considered a big victory if they can gain control of both houses of Congress.

At present, even if the Democratic Party really promotes impeachment from “morality” to prevent future presidents from imitating Trump, it will eventually return to the consideration of actual party interests. After all, the Republican Party ’s firm stance of “supporting Trump desperately” has shown that the impeachment case is undoubtedly a continuation of the bipartisan struggle in the eyes of the public. Some Republican senators facing re-election in the coming year are also unlikely to take the blame inside the party and ruin their political future. Under these circumstances, the Democratic House of Representatives’ impeachment process is already the “actual end point” for the checks and balances of executive power in Congress, and it will be difficult to change the situation after entanglement.

Therefore, in theory, this impeachment case should have been the last solemn line of defense in defense of the American democratic system, and it was ultimately reduced to a party fight. As the British The Economist said in an article on Thursday, if this impeachment case is finally blocked by the Senate, the deterrent power of the next impeachment investigation will be greatly reduced, because many people will tend to regard it as a kind of politics. struggle. At that time, it will become even harder to really want to oust a weak or unconstitutional or illegal president. The President of the United States will only be labelled more “President of the Emperor”.

In this sense, no matter what party or voter, there is nothing to celebrate for the passing of the impeachment or the impeachment of Trump.

 

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