Opinion: Impeachment Power Can Be Abused, Too - - PressFrom - US
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Opinion Impeachment Power Can Be Abused, Too

18:10  03 december  2019
18:10  03 december  2019 Source:   nationalreview.com

Trump: I was asking Zelensky to help America, not me

  Trump: I was asking Zelensky to help America, not me It’s all about “US,” the president tweeted.As the impeachment inquiries against President Donald Trump rocket forward, Trump tried Wednesday night to reframe the context of the phone call that sparked House Democrats' impeachment investigation. Rather than asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on his domestic political rivals, Trump claimed that he had asked Zelensky to somehow help the nation as a whole.

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.

All power can be abused . That is a large part of the reason the framers emphasized the Constitution’s division and separation of powers , and the network The concern that the impeachment power might itself be abused — or simply be too strong in concept, rendering the executive too subservient or

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Jerrold Nadler wearing a suit and tie: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler holds a news conference to discuss the Committee's oversight agenda following the Mueller hearing on Capitol Hill, July 26, 2019.© Erin Scott/Reuters House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler holds a news conference to discuss the Committee's oversight agenda following the Mueller hearing on Capitol Hill, July 26, 2019.

It is not a good look for Democrats, in purporting to respond to the president’s abuse of his constitutional power over foreign relations, to abuse the House’s power over impeachment. That, however, is exactly what they are doing in their unseemly zeal to impeach President Trump on a blatantly political deadline.

Pompeo suggests debunked Ukraine election meddling theory should be probed

  Pompeo suggests debunked Ukraine election meddling theory should be probed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday suggested that Ukraine should be investigated over allegations that it interfered in the 2016 election, a debunked theory advanced by President Donald Trump that witnesses told the congressional impeachment inquiry was spread by Russian spy agencies. Pompeo was asked at a news conference if the United States should probe accusations of Ukrainian election meddling that Trump's fellow Republicans have raised in the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives probe into whether Trump abused his power for domestic political gain.

Democrats maintain that Trump abused his power , undermined US national security and the integrity of elections – citing a July phone call with the president of The belated impeachment vote is too little, too late, the group alleges, claiming “all that 'evidence' that has been gathered before the casting of a

Impeachment ought to follow egregious abuses of power that constitute, in Engel’s description, wrongdoing “against the entire American people.” The problem is not that the process could be political but that it could easily become too partisan, another weapon in a permanent campaign.

In a December 1 letter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone notified House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) that the president will not participate in the committee’s first open hearing on Wednesday, December 4. Ordinarily — not that there’s anything “ordinary” about the potential impeachment of an American president — I’d be inclined to assess this as poor judgment.

After all, the lack of due process has been one of the president’s major complaints since late October, when the House belatedly voted to endorse the impeachment inquiry that Democrats have been conducting for months. Among the fundamental elements of due process is the opportunity to be heard. Having denied this opportunity to the president in Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s faux grand-jury phase of the proceedings, Democrats are now inviting the president to participate in the Judiciary Committee phase, where articles of impeachment are soon to be drafted and voted on. The president’s complaints are apt to ring hollow if he carps about the witnesses from the Twitter sidelines while forfeiting the right to question them at the formal hearings.

House Democrat walks back remark favoring censure over impeachment

  House Democrat walks back remark favoring censure over impeachment Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) on Tuesday walked back comments she made over the weekend suggesting that it may be better for Democrats to censure President Trump instead of impeaching him. © Greg Nash House Democrat walks back remark favoring censure over impeachment Lawrence said during a Sunday appearance on the "No BS News Hour" podcast that she preferred censuring Trump over impeaching him in the face of next year's elections - an apparent shift from her previous stance in support of the House impeachment inquiry.

The White House has said US President Donald Trump and his lawyers will not attend an impeachment hearing on Wednesday, citing a lack of "fairness". The hearing by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee marks the next stage of the probe, with legal experts giving

The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power Abuse of power encompasses two distinct types of behavior. First, the president can abuse his power by purporting to exercise authority not given to

Abstaining now could also be problematic down the road. Eventually, there will be a Senate impeachment trial. Because the House is now giving the president an opportunity to examine witnesses, Senate Democrats will have a good argument that transcripts from Nadler’s hearings should be admitted as trial evidence — i.e., the president should not be heard to complain since he will have passed up his chance to confront his accusers.

All that said, though, the White House’s position makes sense, at least for the moment.

To begin with, Cipollone is not saying that the president refuses to participate in all future House impeachment proceedings. The letter is limited to the hearing on Wednesday, December 4. To be sure, the commencement of formal hearings in the committee responsible for drafting impeachment articles is momentous — proceedings having reached such an advanced state only three times in American history (in connection with Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton). The substance of Wednesday’s hearing, however, will be not be make-or-break.

White House won’t take part in first House Judiciary impeachment hearing

  White House won’t take part in first House Judiciary impeachment hearing The president will instead rely on his GOP allies on the panel.The decision indicates that President Donald Trump has listened to his allies and some congressional Republicans who argued that a White House presence at the hearing would validate a process they have harangued as illegitimate and partisan.

Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office

Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, an early favorite to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a summary of a Trump phone call released this week by the White House.

The committee is calling legal experts — not fact witnesses. They will be addressing the Constitution’s standard and process for impeachment rather than the president’s alleged misconduct. I do not mean to suggest that this is insignificant. Indeed, the last time there was a comparable proceeding in the House — in June 2016, when some Republicans were pushing for the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for obstructing Congress’s inquiry into the Obama administration’s targeting of conservative group — I was privileged to appear on such a panel. (My submitted testimony is here.) Obviously, it is vital to flesh out the pertinent constitutional principles, irrespective of the conduct that’s at issue. These principles are well known, though. The White House loses nothing by trusting that committee Republicans will see to their proper explication.

The White House’s abstention from Wednesday’s proceedings does not mean the president’s defense team will sit out subsequent hearings, when more consequential witnesses may testify and when the president may be given a chance to present his own case.

Jonathan Turley 'inundated with threatening messages' after testimony opposing Trump impeachment

  Jonathan Turley 'inundated with threatening messages' after testimony opposing Trump impeachment Jonathan Turley, the sole Republican witness during day one of public impeachment hearings in front of the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday said he was "inundated with threatening messages" after his testimony, which argued that Democrats do not have enough evidence to support articles of impeachment against President Trump. © Provided by FOX News"Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record," Turley wrote in an op-ed for The Hill

Instead, Congress cited " abuse of power or a certain violation of the law Impeachment and Trump. So has Donald Trump committed offenses that could be considered impeachable? In other words, America might be too polarized today to deal with an impeachment honestly and responsibly.

An impeachment inquiry that could see the president eventually removed from office is under way. But there is a fierce debate about whether Mr Trump broke Mr Trump and his supporters allege Mr Biden abused his power to pressure Ukraine to back away from a criminal investigation that could implicate

Meantime, the Trump team is mounting an effective attack on the lack of due process in the House proceedings, particularly compared with past impeachments. Most of this has to do with the Democrats’ haste, which could not be more transparently political.

The problem Democrats have had from the first is the lack of an obvious impeachable offense. To be clear, I do not fault Democrats, and would not criticize any lawmakers, for using Congress’s oversight authority to expose executive misconduct. Impeachment is a political process. I argued in Faithless Execution that it cannot be invoked effectively (i.e., with a realistic chance of removal) in the absence of strong public support. That has to be built by educating the public on what has happened and why it matters.

But there comes a point in this process when you either have it or you don’t — “it” being proof of misconduct so egregious that a public consensus in favor of removal could be reached, such that two-thirds of the Senate might convict. The Democrats don’t have it.

This should have been patent from the start. In the initial public hearing in September, Schiff had to resort to reciting a parody version of the notorious Trump-Zelensky conversation because the real one was not sufficiently sinister. The parody had a fatal flaw: Schiff falsely portrayed Trump as having told Zelensky that he wanted Ukraine to “make up dirt” about his political opponent, Joe Biden.

House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment

  House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before."Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before.

Our tendency to read the impeachment power in an overly legalistic way, which is ratified by 230 Mr. Trump can be trusted not to abuse the levers of power in similar ways if he continues to hold them. But that, too , is not the question impeachment poses. The issue is whether Madison’s community

What is impeachment anyway? To impeach , in this context, means to bring charges in Congress that will form the basis for a trial. The US constitution states a president "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours".

In reality, Trump was not asking Zelensky to fabricate Biden corruption. He was asking the Ukrainians to look into a situation that undeniably oozes self-dealing: Biden’s son cashing in on his political influence; Biden’s threatening to have $1 billion in promised aid withheld from Ukraine if it did not immediately fire a prosecutor who says he was trying to investigate the corrupt company that was lavishly paying Biden’s son.

It should go without saying that a president should not exploit his control over U.S. foreign relations (and influence over the congressional aid that goes with it) in order to squeeze another country into advancing his domestic political fortunes. President Trump should know that better than anyone else: He has spent three years complaining (justifiably, in my view) that the Obama administration leveraged its control over foreign relations (as well as law-enforcement and intelligence operations) to benefit the Democrats’ 2016 campaign and to hamstring Trump’s administration.

So I am not contending that what the president did was right, much less “perfect.” Nor am I, for present purposes, looking to argue over whether Trump had legitimate motives (such as anti-corruption) that excuse or mitigate any pressure the Ukrainians may have felt — though it is worth noting that Zelensky denies having felt pressured.

My narrow point is that Trump’s offense vis-à-vis Ukraine had to be exaggerated out of all proportion because Schiff, as an experienced politician and former prosecutor, fully understood that the offense, to the extent there was one, simply is not serious enough to impeach over.

10 takeaways from the impeachment hearing: Legal scholars in plain English

  10 takeaways from the impeachment hearing: Legal scholars in plain English Amid talk of King George III, the Secret Treaty of Dover and necromancy, here's what stood out.The three scholars called to testify by Democrats — Pamela Karlan, a professor at Stanford Law School and a former Justice Department official in the Obama administration; Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School; and Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law — overwhelmingly concluded that the evidence against Trump showed the president had committed impeachable actions. The one scholar called by Republicans — Jonathan Turley, of the George Washington University School of Law — took issue with the hurried process of the inquiry.

Impeachment is not limited to such violations, which is why the abuse of the pardon power can trigger it. One danger of impeaching a president for such a violation is that it will set a precedent that can be abused : Maybe some future Congress will act against a president who was merely seeking a trade

Goldilocks rules again: “Not too fast, not too slow, just right.” Alas, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Goldilocks never wrote a playbook for dealing with President Trump. But proceed Congress must, and all who are counseling against impeachment now are overlooking the obligations of Congress that

First, there is a big difference between seeking an investigation of something that cries out to be investigated and asking that damning evidence be made up out of whole cloth. Second, Trump dropped his request before anything materially damaging happened — the Ukrainians got their defense aid without having to announce or conduct any Biden investigation. In fact, Democrats do not want to dwell on the transfer of the defense aid, just as they don’t want to get into the details of Biden’s conflicts of interest; when it comes to combatting Russian aggression, Trump’s provision of materiel to Ukraine has been markedly superior to Obama’s.

All presidents abuse their powers to some degree at some point. To be impeachable, an abuse has to be grave. Were there such an outrageous abuse of power, the House would never have to worry about the calendar. If executive misconduct were sufficiently serious to impeach, the country would be convinced that the president’s continued wielding of power was grossly inappropriate, if not dangerous. The House would not take an extended Thanksgiving holiday in the middle of impeachment hearings; but neither would it fret about the possibility that impeachment proceedings might spill into an election year.

If a president were to do something that really warranted removal, then the imminence of an election would not be a persuasive reason for Congress to stay its hand. If Trump had actually asked Ukraine to dream up a Biden corruption case, or — even worse — if he had actually conspired with the Kremlin to hack DNC email accounts, no one would care that we are going to the polls in eleven months. There would be a bipartisan outcry that the country could not abide such a rogue for one day more than what was necessary for Congress to conduct exemplary but swift impeachment proceedings.

Ukraine lawmaker met Giuliani to discuss misuse of US taxpayer money in Ukraine

  Ukraine lawmaker met Giuliani to discuss misuse of US taxpayer money in Ukraine Ukraine lawmaker met Giuliani to discuss misuse of US taxpayer money in UkraineKIEV, Dec 5 (Reuters) - An independent Ukrainian lawmaker said on Thursday he had met U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in Kiev to discuss the alleged misuse of U.S. taxpayer money by Ukrainian state bodies.

Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, an early favorite to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a summary of a Trump phone call released this week by the White House.

Here, by contrast, Democrats have had trouble even explaining what the impeachable conduct is, floating “campaign finance,” “extortion,” and “quid pro quo” as possible labels before finally (it appears) settling on “bribery” — a word that tested well in “impeachment focus groups” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee conducted in House battleground districts.

Moreover, in other important investigations (such as the one conducted by the 9/11 Commission), Democrats have told us that every rock must be turned over and every witness with any relevant information must be interviewed. Here, however, they lurch pell-mell toward articles of impeachment without litigating the privilege claims of essential witnesses (Giuliani, Mulvaney, Bolton, et al.). Again, if there were an offense in the impeachment ballpark, that would not happen. The House would press the courts for expedited review because a national emergency demanded that these witnesses’ confidentiality claims be resolved. And if the alleged abuse of power were truly grave, it would take no effort to persuade the courts of the need for speed.

That is not the case here because what’s at stake is not the well-being of the country. Rather, it is the anxiety level of Democrats. They are pushing for Donald Trump’s impeachment because their political base demands it, not because the American people broadly perceive the need for it. Democrats know the president won’t be removed, but they hope that affixing a scarlet-letter “I” on his chest will make him easier to defeat in 2020. Yet they are not confident that this is so, which is why they want to wrap up the House proceedings — the only ones they can control — as quickly as possible.

Democrats are well aware that without a real impeachable offense, they are not attracting Republican votes. The proceedings are starting to look just as politicized as they have always been. They are precisely the abuse of the impeachment power that the Framers feared. If matters fester too long, Democrats holding seats in pro-Trump districts may pay the price on Election Day. The race for the Democratic presidential nomination could be overwhelmed by an impeachment trial. Instead of paying attention to the candidates, the public will be hearing the president’s defense team make its case for why Biden — still the Democrats’ 2020 front-runner — merited an investigation. Instead of the Democrats’ political case against the president’s reelection, the public will be hearing the president’s team argue that Democrats collaborated with the so-called whistleblower to trump up impeachment, the political equivalent of a capital crime.

The Democrats could have made hay: exposing the president’s attempt to exploit foreign-relations power for political advantage, making it a 2020 election issue, and perhaps even offering a congressional censure resolution that would have put the president’s supporters on the defensive. Instead, House Democrats are abusing their impeachment power for political advantage. It is a miscalculation: They will never remove the president, but they might well help him win four more years in power.

Ukraine lawmaker met Giuliani to discuss misuse of US taxpayer money in Ukraine .
Ukraine lawmaker met Giuliani to discuss misuse of US taxpayer money in UkraineKIEV, Dec 5 (Reuters) - An independent Ukrainian lawmaker said on Thursday he had met U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in Kiev to discuss the alleged misuse of U.S. taxpayer money by Ukrainian state bodies.

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