Roy Exum: Don’t Impeach Trump

Monday, November 6, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

If you’ll reach over and grab that black book on the bedside table, you can turn to Proverbs 6:16-19 and learn about abominations. Back when you were a kid you learned an abomination was a word depicting “a feeling of hatred,” or, perhaps better put, “a thing that causes disgust or hatred.”

The passage in Proverbs reads, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

I daresay our President of the United could easily be diagnosed by some of these symptoms, if not all, and the reason I bring this up is because Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) announced a group of Democrats plan to file Articles of Impeachment against Trump before Thanksgiving. On Sunday the Washington Post reported poll figures are at an all-time low, a claim that newspapers have made almost every Sunday for 40 weeks running, and that confidence in The White House has now declined to almost 60 percent.

On Sunday America’s favorite liberal, 77-year-old Nancy Pelosi, did not agree with Democrats like Gutierrez. Appearing with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” the House Minority Leader said, “It’s not someplace I think we should go.”

“Our election is about meeting the needs of the American people, stopping this tax bill right now, which is an insult to the intelligence of the American people and an assault on their financial security. That’s what we should be talking about,” she said.

Still, Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer announced last month he had launched a $10 million ad campaign towards Trump’s impeachment and other Democrats have been running around claiming the sky is falling since January. Get down off your horses and put your ear to the ground – you can hear galloping hooves.

Here’s how an impeachment works, courtesy of our Constitution, Article Two, 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 House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate.

Remember this, most abominations – as despicable they may well be -- are not crimes and Pelosi is very insistent the Democrats should make no moves in such a direction. “I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a news conference this week. She says you must have strong facts and irrefutable proof to back any motion in Congress and it is, indeed, debatable if Trump has actually committed any “high crimes."

Should action towards an impeachment be presented in Congress, it would immediately be referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. If the committee approved such a measure, it would then go to the House Committee on Rules. Passing that hurdle, recommendations would be made by the Justice Committee to the entire Congress and a majority vote would be taken.

If the House approved impeachment proceedings, the “house managers” would present its findings to the Senate. Picture this: it is much like the House is “the district attorney” and the Senate must come up with a convict-or-acquit ruling that would be presented to the Secretary of State. Mind you, it would need a full two-thirds vote in the Senate to proceed and, with dysfunction rampant in Washington, I don’t think you could get a two-thirds vote that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow.

It is an arduous process and, since 2018 is an election year, it’s a safe bet to believe neither the Representatives nor the Senators are willing to risk their feathery nests by getting crossways with the constituents.

For the record, the House has instituted impeachment proceedings 62 times since 1789 but only 19 have been actually impeached. Thus far those impeached include 15 federal judges, two Presidents, one Cabinet secretary and one U.S. Senator (that would be William Blount from Tennessee, who was accused of helping the British capture the Spanish territory.)

* * *

On July 20, 1787 Benjamin Franklin became the father of impeachment when he wrote in support of a provision to make the president impeachable.

“History furnishes one example only of a first Magistrate being formally brought to public Justice. Everybody cried out against this as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this in cases where the chief Magistrate rendered himself obnoxious? Why recourse was had to assassination in which (the culprit would not only (be) deprived of his life but of the opportunity of vindicating his character. It would be the best way therefore to provide in the Constitution for the regular punishment of the Executive when his misconduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused.”

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