Let’s Talk Impeachment …

Impeachment: a word that is on everybody’s minds these days, both Republican and Democrat.

“Whispers about impeachment, the most familiar constitutional procedure for removing a president, began to circulate even before Trump had taken the oath of office. But two months into Trump’s presidency, those whispers – and the search for any other possible emergency exit – have grown into an open conversation …” – The Guardian, 22 March 2017

Dan Rather on the Trump-Russian connections: “We may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged. It has all the necessary ingredients, and that is chilling.”

nixon-resignsOn August 9, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon became the only U.S. president to resign from office, in the wake of the Watergate scandal.  After two years of investigations and scandal, it was time.  Nixon said, “By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”  Nixon was guilty of a number of things, however I thought then, and I still think today, that he made a tough decision, the right decision, in the best interest of the nation.  Okay, granted, he had lost the support he needed in Congress, had lost the confidence of the nation, and would have likely been removed from office within a year, but still, I respect that he had the dignity to resign when he did. Had he not resigned, impeachment would have been the next step … a step that would have been costly and would have further divided the nation.  The House Judiciary Committee had already charged him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” in its bill of impeachment in July. There is no doubt that Nixon would have been impeached, but he might have, like Andrew Johnson before him and William Jefferson Clinton after, remained in office.

Nixon denied any wrongdoing, despite mounting evidence, until the bitter end.  Based on what we have seen thus far, I would expect no less from Trump when the investigations into his ties to the Russian government are eventually laid bare.  I suspect, however, that unlike Nixon, Trump will not have the grace to resign, but rather will force a full impeachment process, further dividing a nation that is already about as far divided as a nation can be without engaging in armed combat.

Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution states, “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 last of these, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors, is subjective and much would depend on how the 115th Congress decided to define it.  The process for impeachment is fairly simple, but by no means speedy:

  • Impeachment proceedings begin in the House of Representatives, once the Justice Department or an independent council investigates charges & presents them to the House Judiciary Committee.
  • The House Judiciary Committee then reviews the evidence, drafts the Articles of Impeachment, and debates the Articles, deciding whether to pass them to the full House.
  • The full House debates the Articles, then votes on whether to impeach. Only a simple majority (51%) is required for impeachment.  If 51% vote to impeach, the president is considered impeached, but is not yet out of office.
  • The Senate holds a trial to decide whether the president should remain in office. The House Judiciary Committee presents the evidence, acting as prosecutor, and the accused will have attorneys present to present his defense. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court acts as Judge and rules on admissibility of evidence, and the full Senate is the jury.
  • The Senate votes, and a two-thirds majority is required to remove the president from office.

Simple, right?  Well … yes … and no.  Think about the current composition of the 115th Congress and what, by their actions, they have indicated thus far.  We have 100 Senators, 52 of whom are Republicans, and 430 Representatives (there are currently 5 vacant seats), 237 of whom are Republicans.  Thus far, all bills have been voted on along almost strict party lines, with the Republicans throwing all their support to Trump.  What this means is that the Justice Department will need to have solid evidence of criminal acts committed by Trump in order to get the House to consider impeachment.  And the Justice Department is currently under the leadership of one Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III, a blatant racist who should never have been even considered, but who was hand-picked by Trump and then confirmed by the Republican-led Senate. See the conundrum?

The evidence is mounting that there will be, after the FBI finishes its investigation, and an independent commission (hopefully) conducts an investigation, incontrovertible grounds for impeachment.  If it turns out, as I believe, that Trump had direct connections to the Russian government and was aware of their efforts to alter the results of the 2016 election, or if certain of Trump’s campaign staff had connections and Trump was aware of those connections, that would be grounds for impeachment on the grounds of treason.  Another, though less likely possibility is that charges may stem from Trump  allegedly violating constitutional bans on receiving certain gifts – a problem rooted in his failure to divest from his real estate, hotel and branding businesses.

I think that whether or not the Department of Justice is willing to bring charges and then whether the House of Representatives and later the Senate are willing to follow through with the impeachment process is a matter of timing.  There are signs that some Republicans in Congress are already tiring of Trump’s shenanigans, such as his baseless claim that Obama had wiretapped his phones during the presidential campaign, his bald-faced lies, his tirades, and the blame game he is so fond of playing.  While there are undoubtedly some who will ride his coattails regardless of his actions, I firmly believe there are men and women of good conscience in the Republican party in Congress, and when push comes to shove, I believe they will opt to do the right thing.  But as of today, they are still supporting Trump, no matter what.  So, maybe in a month, maybe in two months, impeachment charges would move forward, but if they were handed down today, I am skeptical. It is rather a matter of giving him enough rope, enough time to figure out how to tie the knot in the rope, to hang himself.

The other option is that, under the 25th Amendment, Trump could be declared ‘unfit to serve’, but in my opinion, that is even more of a long-shot than impeachment. In order for this option to be enacted, the Vice-President and a majority of the top 15 members of the cabinet must find the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.  Those people all owe their jobs to Trump, and I find it highly unlikely they would go against him, especially if there were a possibility they would lose the battle and then have to live with the consequences.

In the long run, it boils down to We The People.  We must make our voices heard … our Senators and Representatives must be made to hear our voices and realize that we are the ones who have the power to decide whether they return to Congress after the next round of elections in 2018.  We need to remember that they work for us, not the other way around. While having the president impeached and removed from office may be divisive and disruptive, it is rather like having a cancerous growth removed … it is painful, but life-saving.  I believe having Trump removed will be painful for some in the short-term, but life-saving for our democratic principles in the long-term.

41 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Impeachment …

  1. Do you ever get the feeling that Trump is serving orange flavored Kool Aid to his White House staffers?

    Perhaps it is the very same concoction he is using to effectively mesmerize all his “loyal followers” into seriously believing that he is the Messiah of the United States and free world?

    I have watched many news interviews with members of his staff and long time friends who equate Mr T.’s unusually unorthodox behavior to a set plan and not damaged DNA chromosomes.

    They say that his book “The Art of the Deal” outlines his manner of thinking. I suppose you could equate that book to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in which he too outlined his plans to rectify humanity.

    President Nixon and the current White House interloper are both crooks, believe in their own infallibility and are equally deluded about their notions about truth, justice and the american way.

    Nixon’s biggest accomplishment was when he broke the diplomatic ice and visited China. Trump might be trying to break the ice with Russia but along the way Russian hackers are acting as ice cutters clearing the way for his own unwarranted successes.

    Many politicians from the past will be remembered well in the annals of history.

    Nixon and Trump will make their mark in history as unenlightened despots, hucksters and practiced con men who successfully fleeced their avid supporters into believing their platforms.

    The die has been cast and the results are snake eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes indeed … I often (daily) wonder what magic concoction he has used to mesmerize his staff, Congress, and his die-hard followers. I have considered that it is hypnosis … have thought some strange, toxic poison he releases into the atmosphere … I don’t know, but I am perpetually amazed that those who worship at his altar are so blind to the chaos he has created. He has brought us to the brink of war, yet his staff adore him, his followers defend and praise him. It is, to me, the greatest mystery of my 65 years on this earth!

      In my opinion, as one who vividly remembers the McCarthy era, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, and Watergate, what is happening today is more of a catastrophe than any of those. I wish I could come back in 100 years to see what is written about this time in the history books.

      Again, in my opinion, Trump is the biggest criminal to ever occupy the Oval Office, and I am astounded that so many are blind to this reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If I used the term “Ultimate Supreme Leader” would you be thinking KimJung Un or Trump?
        Both are mavericks, act impulsively, believe in their own infallibility and are mad.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would think of both. Right now, I think I fear Trump’s irresponsible spontaneity more than Jong-un’s, though I’m not sure why. Either way, fellow-blogger Gronda hit the nail on the head when she referred to them as ‘two world leaders playing chicken’. With very high stakes, I might add.

          Liked by 1 person

          • We all suffer from “Trump Derrangement Syndrome”. This hyper volatile maverick lacking a definitve foreign policy and not really being a team player in the conservative sense of the term is slowly discovering ( learning) the limits of his power in his limitless land of fantasy. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • I would be much more comfortable if there were more sensible people in advisory positions that might steer him in less disastrous directions than he is inclined to go. But other than McMaster and Mattis, his advisors seem to be ill-suited to the task.

              Liked by 1 person

              • A few months ago when Nordstrom’s dropped the Ivanka line I kiddingly suggested she use the spare office in the White House to sell her clothing and fashion line.

                Many folks at the time thought I was insane to suggest such a thing. Well, my dear, look what’s happened. The Ivakna line will now be sold in China.

                Trump has changed the meaning of Karl Marx’s term “Das Kapital” to mean “Big Bucks”.

                And you think there is sanity in the Oval Office?

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, and interestingly, her 3 latest trademarks in China were granted on the same day she dined with Xi Jinping … but we are told this is purely coincidental. Ethics violations … oh no, of course not! Can you imagine if Michelle Obama had done the same?

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • Ah yes, I had forgotten that. Though I will never forget the broohaha over her appearing in public in a modest, but sleeveless dress! And now, we have a “First Lady”, if one can actually call her that, whose nude pictures turn up regularly! Double standard? Nah, couldn’t be … :/

                      Liked by 1 person

    • I did not know that! Interesting … and reminiscent of Trump’s deportation of refugees and his ‘travel ban’. None of our leaders have been perfect, but I think this one lowers the bar considerably! 🙂

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  2. I don’t agree that clown comes out smelling like roses. He’s just one thick – skinned person who doesn’t care what people think as long as he;s in power. Whatever he has done during his presidency, the next president can undo . To be honest, I want him to do all the bad stuff, ( he’ll do it , one way or another )…. so bad that no Republican will ever be elected for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To us, yeah, he smells more like a skunk. But to his followers … it is almost as if they are hypnotized by him. I don’t understand it, try as I might. It’s sad, and also sometimes very maddening. I have to be careful to walk away sometimes until I can get my temper in check. I would really prefer not to live out the rest of my life in and 8′ x 8′ cell!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with what has already been said: He seems a “survivor” to me … I think he will cling on while his team falls apart. And somehow I doubt they will manage to impeach him … but I would love to be wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: In Response To A Comment … On Impeachment | Filosofa's Word

    • I have heard others voice the same opinion, and it is certainly a possibility, as the man seems to always come out of a pile of poop smelling like a rose! Remember when he said he could stand on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and nobody would care? Apparently he was right. I don’t know what it is … he is certainly NOT charismatic!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Jill,

    DT has to be impeached or he has to be rendered impotent where he knows he is in big trouble. In 2018, democrats have to compete in every race where there is an election and democrats have to vote en masse in a midterm election so that republicans fear losing their cushy jobs.

    I claim guilt. Until DT came along, I had no intention of getting actively involved in politics and was content to sit on the sidelines. Well my attitude has changed and I bet that I am not alone.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, Gronda … one way or another, he must go and soon … before he destroys what we have worked so hard to achieve in the past 2+ centuries. I’ve always been a political animal, but this year I am more or less obsessed. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Back in the old colonial nation I too became politically active before our last general elections for the first time and joined a party. Sadly, with Brexit and much else since I have become resigned to being unable to use my freely given skills to help (thanks to the party machine) and have stepped back to be an observer. And I don’t like what I see. Last night I wept – again – as I watched us leave the EU.
      Good luck with draining the new swamp. Or as I like to think of it (good for successful vanishings) the bog 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I felt very sad when I read Theresa May’s letter. I guess all along I had hoped that there would be a change of heart and it would all, somehow, just go away. My thoughts are always with my UK and EU friends … I wish this didn’t have to go this way. Hugs, dear friend! And yes … I like the word ‘bog’ much better than ‘swamp’ … I shall use ‘bog’ from now on! Between you, David and Roger, I will be speaking like either a Brit or a Welshwoman before long! I think I’m even picking up the accent! 🙂

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  6. Your last paragraph Jill has focused in one the most important factor in all of this.
    A president must have some large measure of approval (enthusiastic, grudging or passive) from the population, with some grudging acceptance that ‘I guess we’re stuck with them for the next 4 years’.
    Where there a substantial demonstration of mistrust or dislike then the tenure is at risk. Traditionally it could be an over-turn of majorities in both houses which could clog presidential intentions and the president becomes lame-duck from the mid-terms onwards, and (in this case decides not to stand next time for health reasons)
    However where that president is a highly controversial figure and has a very substantial antagonistic section of the population, then the mid-terms take on a far stronger significance.
    If your wish comes to fruition then the panic for one’s own job sets in, and thus The Powers That Be within the Republican party could start to look back over the campaign and the charges made by some that Trump hijacked the GOP for his own purposes. Then history may be re-written and stances previously taken explained away in other contexts. And suddenly the outsider could be forgiven for wondering how Trump won the nomination when so many of the republican Great & Good opposed him. Then we might move into very stormy and uncharted waters.
    2018 will be the great testing time.
    You are so right it will be a case of ‘We The People’

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think Trump will skate while his people will take the rap. “high crimes and misdemeanors” are hard to define. Chis Christie of NJ has just skated as two of his people took to rap for prison. Hillary Clinton’s escapades were many times worse than Nixon as has been the case with many politicians over subsequent decades. I am really tired of scandals . I want the government to govern and not have to do an investigation,a new one it seems every two weeks it seems. Beside our upcoming celebration of Easter I wish George Washington or Teddy Roosevelt could be resurrected too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have heard from several who share your opinion that his minions will take the blame while he goes unscathed. And you may be right, because he seems to have fallen into many large piles of manure and come out smelling like a rose every time. I hope you are wrong, but acknowledge that you may well be right. Time will tell … if we don’t all become alcoholics by then!

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  8. Nothing will change my mind to the fact Trump should be removed by whatever means possible but I’d want his little gang to go too. If impeachment is the best tool then impeach him, you’re right that he wouldn’t voluntarily resign as that would be accepting fault.
    I think whatever happens, the results will be felt for a long time and just maybe it will remind those in power just who they work for and that they should do so honestly rather than is happening currently.
    I’m pleased to see today one Republican Senator has recovered his conscience, may many more follow.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 2 people

      • Ah yes, the infamous ‘low speed chase’ …. and the glove that didn’t fit. I had all but forgotten that …. I wonder, though, if we will ever forget this nightmare? Like you, I hope it does not last a full four years.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, my friend … I want them all out of there! He used the term ‘drain the swamp’ so many times, and yet there are more alligators and toxic gases in the White House AND Congress than there have been in many decades, at least. I saw a funny meme earlier today that said something like “we used to think greenhouse gases were destroying the earth, now we know it’s actually whitehouse gases”. I laughed … right before I cried. 🙂 Sigh. Cwtch Mawr!!! Many times over!

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