This is the political rally mantra of Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA): “Impeach 45! Impeach 45! Impeach 45!” Those have been her cries since the election of Donald Trump. They initially fell on deaf ears: not so much now. Yes, we’re there!
House Speaker Pelosi announced the House has initiated “a formal Impeachment investigation.”
What is that?
There’s no Constitutional authorization for a “formal Impeachment Investigation,” no House rules allowing a Speaker to unilaterally launch any action involving the entire House. That requires a full vote of the House on the floor. There is no authority for any House Speaker to launch unilaterally a joint investigation using all six of the applicable House committees. Yet Pelosi has done it, all the while obliterating Constitutional instructions for initiating impeachment AND ignoring jointly passed House rules.
Remember this: in this House of Representatives, there have already been two formal votes on motions made to begin “real” impeachment proceedings. Both motions failed miserably in House votes. For that reason, Pelosi decided to ignore the Constitution AND jointly approved House rules. “I’ll just pander to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and ‘The Gang’ and start this thing myself.” So she has!
Here’s how impeachment is supposed to occur:
In The House of Representatives
An impeachment proceeding is a formal process by which a sitting president of the United States may be accused of wrongdoing. The articles of impeachment are the list of charges drafted against the president. The vice president and all civil officers of the U.S. can also face impeachment. The process begins in the U.S. House of Representatives, where any member of the House may make a suggestion to launch an impeachment proceeding. It is then up to the speaker of the House, as leader of the majority party, to determine whether or not to proceed with an inquiry into the alleged wrongdoing.
Next, the House Judiciary Committee will investigate; there is no time limit placed on their investigation and a likely public hearing would be scheduled at the discretion of the committee chair to vote on the articles of impeachment. A simple majority of the members of the committee would have to vote in favor of approving an article or articles of impeachment in order to proceed to a vote by the full House. The House Judiciary Committee currently consists of 24 Democrats and 17 Republicans; 21 votes in favor would be necessary.
In The U.S. Senate
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial in which there is a higher threshold that must be reached in order for an impeachment to go forward. What that means is that in the Senate, a higher percentage of the body has to vote in favor of conviction than in the House of Representatives. In the House, a simple majority is needed, and in the Senate, they need a two-thirds majority or 67 percent.
If the Senate fails to convict, then the president]will have been impeached but not removed. Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson are examples of this. In neither Clinton nor Johnson’s Senate trials was a two-thirds majority reached. According to the Constitution, at least two-thirds of the Senate have to concur to convict and remove the president from office. Once the president is removed, the vice president typically succeeds him or the normal course of the line of succession will be followed.
While the Senate trial has the power to oust a president from office, it does not have the power to send a president to jail.
Where We Stand Today Regarding Impeachment
As mentioned above, two House motions have already been voted on in the House, the first in December of 2017. In that vote, an unexpected large number of Democrats voted in favor to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, revealing the growing agitation among liberals to remove him from office. The House, however, voted overwhelmingly 364-58 to table a resolution from Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) laying out articles of impeachment against Trump, with four Democrats voting “present.” “Tabling” a resolution means simply a vote against the motion.
In May of 2018, Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”
“Donald Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter so it would throw dirt on Trump’s chief presidential 2020 rival!” These three senior Democrat Senators had themselves done exactly what they are accusing Donald Trump of doing!
By the way, the Constitution’s “take care” provision requires the president to ask any foreign government — in this case Ukraine — to investigate potential corruption in their country that may reach into ours. In this case, that would V.P. Biden’s mafia-like withholding of defense dollars unless Ukraine fired the prosecutor investigating Biden’s son’s corrupt energy company.
It’s a long time until the 2020 election. And this bogus impeachment process is intended by Democrats to perpetuate a cloud of question over Donald Trump sufficient to cause former and current Trump supporters to vote for the Democrat 2020 candidate. I’m pretty sure this current tactic will fail. But don’t be tempted to sigh in relief: they never give up and will not here. There are plenty of opportunities for Democrats to toss out more “fake dirt” on Mr. Trump again and again before election day. And I promise you, They Certainly Will!