The performance of the members of Congress who attempted to gain access to the closed congressional impeachment hearings bordered on mob rule. What were they thinking?

Those members of Congress have constitutional powers to be the legislators of the United States, the country’s highest lawmaking body.

Their performance was childish and an embarrassment to Congress and the country: it also spoke volumes on their ignorance of or indifference to constitutional law regarding impeachment. The primary reason that the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference did not indict the president based on the findings of the report was that ”the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to accuse a sitting President of a wrongdoing.”

The constitutional law on impeachment is clear and unambiguous, and while some may debate it, the law stands as written. Article II Section 4 states that actions where the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office or impeached for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Article I Section 2 states: “The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic) their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

Article I Section 3 states: “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.” As such, the Constitution is the law of the land for crimes committed by the president rather than defer to existing civil or criminal United States law for such actions.

Without any further statements on the specific process; the sole power of impeachment granted to the House of Representatives and the sole power to try impeachment granted to the Senate and some additional wording on punishment limitations are the only constitutional guidelines on impeachment. As such, drawing up charges, depositions, admissibility of evidence, trial, etc., are all confined within the Congress, the nation’s highest lawmaking body, which precludes direct involvement with existing U.S. civil or criminal law. We elected those members of Congress and expect them to conduct themselves with civility and respect to their fellow members of Congress who are following the constitutional law on impeachment.

Harvey Burnsteel

Thurmont

(55) comments

Tom Carbo

What the writer missed is this: The constitution grants powers of impeachment to the House of Representatives, not to the Speaker or the majority party. Schiff and his crew have acted independently. They are so caught up in their fervor they have neglected to consider how history will view them. Many years from now, comparisons to Joseph McCarthy will be inevitable and this will be considered one of the low points in congressional history. Schiff is the sad by-product and symbol of hyper-partisanship aided by a complicit media and press. Truly sad.

awteam2000

Tom,

you are making a sadly uninformed comparison. Many would say “you don’t know what you are talking about”.

Comparing McCarthyism to Trump’s impeachment inquiry is like Trump comparing the impeachment inquiries to black lynchings. Asinine.

Can you defend your position?

Please share how you think the Trump impeachment inquiry are anything like the McCarthy hearings.

Tom Carbo

Easy! Persecution in the name of prosecution. Dems are not as high-minded as you may believe-just go back to our most recent impeachment episode. Not a single Dem voted to impeach Clinton despite numerous sexual misconduct allegations including one rape allegation and two IN THE OVAL OFFICE, including one he admitted to (Lewinsky). For good measure, lets throw in Travelgate and selling secrets to China. Clinton also admitted lying about the Lewinsky matter. There's plenty more stuff but you should get the picture by now. If at least some Dems had voted to impeach then maybe an argument could now be made that they are impartial but sadly this is not the case. This is a nakedly partisan impeachment exercise and all fair and honest people know it.

threecents

Tom, First off, what does that have to do with McCarthyism? Second, Clinton was impeached for lying about an affair - not for strong-arming a foreign country to smear a rival and effect the next presidential election. Actually, the articles of Trump's impeachment have not been written yet, so they might include other charges.

phydeaux994

Or conversely, history may judge Schiff and his Committee as men and women who exposed a corrupt President and a Republican Party who feared to challenge him. History will not be kind to a Republican Congress who abandoned their ethics and humanity out of fear of a tyrant.

phydeaux994

I think the majority of voters decided that Hillary Clinton should be President and have continued to do so. Donald John Trump is a Pariah to the majority of citizens who care about America. Only in golf and the Electoral College does the low score win.

prg45fan

Everyone of you people know that the only thing Trump is guilty of is beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. The dems are now moving into election interference with this sham of an impeachment "process". The left is on the wrong side of history with this and it is going to cost them big time in 2020. MAGA 2020.

Obadiah Plainsmen

It was a partisan vote for YEA and a bipartisan vote for NAY. Congress can work together.

awteam2000

Question for you... Do you know what the votes were for or against?

phydeaux994

Waaa Waaa Waaa No Fair No Fair Witch Hunt Witch Hunt What a bunch of CRYBABIES. This from the Party of NO who vowed to take President Obama down from day 1, who promised they would not vote for anything Obama for 8 years!!! And from the guy who tried to take President Obama down BEFORE he was elected!!!! with his BIRTHER CRUSADE!!! Waaa Waaa Waaa No Fair No Fair Witch Hunt Witch Hunt What a bunch of CRYBABIES. KARMA!!! Waaa Waaa Waaa No Fair No Fair Witch Hunt Witch Hunt What a bunch of CRYBABIES. 😢😢😢 PITIFUL...!!! BTW, they caught a whole COVEN OF WITCHES!!! BOO!!!

JohnSchaeffer1

This is just the Dems still being PO'ed that Hillary lost and have been looking for excuses to impeach Trump since day one. The Mueller report didn't give them the excuse so now its about withholding foreign aid to Ukraine. Give me a break! Look the election is in one year. I suggest the Dems but up a viable candidate and let the people decide. As they did in 2016 .

shiftless88

To be fair, he may have started violating the Constitution on day one (emoluments).

Thewheelone

Good one, Shiftless

hayduke2

John - quit litigating the Hillary stuff. Address the issues raised in the 10 issues of the Mueller report and the witholding of aid.

Obadiah Plainsmen

The Frederick area is blessed with a large conglomerate of Constitutional scholars. So here is the question, Does impeachment require a crime?

olefool

No!

shiftless88

I do not believe so. Nor is any "crime" necessarily impeachable

public-redux

Not according to the top ranking Republican in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He wrote in "National Review" ".... The test of fitness for an office of public trust is whether an official is trustworthy, not whether she is convictable in a criminal court. Consequently, as I outlined in Faithless Execution, “high crimes and misdemeanors” — the Constitution’s trigger for impeachment — need not be violations of the penal code."

Faithless Execution is his book explaining why Barack HUSSEIN Obama should have been impeached. The National Review quote is from 2016 explaining why Clinton should be impeached immediately upon taking office in 2017 if she won the election. I agree with his analysis that a crime is unnecessary.

hayduke2

OP - see public's response...

Obadiah Plainsmen

HD, Why do you think I ask the question. The founders made it clear that an impeachable/convictable offense need not be a crime. Now If it goes to trial in the Senate for removal then rules get a little tighter. The trial is governed by standing Senate rules that ensure due process. Precedent mandates that prosecutors prove their charges by “clear and convincing evidence.” The Constitution says that to convict, two thirds of Senators present (not a majority) must "agree". All Senators do take an oath before the trial begins. Senators must swear that they will “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.” But that oath is just a formality, it has no substance. All this does is set stage for the future Presidents. A President is of one party and the HOR made up of the majority of the other, They can impeach the sitting President without cause, ie abuse of power such as to many executive orders. But then again if Trump gets impeached and is not removed by the Senate, he could possibly win in 2020 ( electoral college). Then the Constitution will be again, the enemy of the majority of voters

Obadiah Plainsmen

HD one more thing. If Trump wins the election and the Democrats hold the HOR, They can impeach him again. Now if the Democrats get a super majority in the Senate then Trump is in trouble. Can you imagine a sitting President getting impeach in two consecutive terms. The odds of that happening have to be about the same odds of the Nationals winning the World Series. # wonthefight.

hayduke2

Thanks for the lecture OP

threecents

OP, So maybe it would make sense for Republicans to pick someone else in the primary elections.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Three, what would that accomplish? That's like saying " Oh we Democrats approve of this person, we won't impeach. What do you think if a Democrat wins and Republicans win back the HOR and keep the Senate. Can you say "paybacks".

phydeaux994

NO!!! Read the meaning of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” as understood in 1787 OP. It’s a phrase commonly used on Old English Law is my understanding and borrowed by our Founding Fathers for use in the Constitution. It covers behavior from drunkenness to mass murder.

awteam2000

Question: Does impeachment require a crime?

Answer: Impeachment are charges of high crimes and misdemeanors covering allegations of misconduct by officials, such as dishonesty, negligence, perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of public ... Wikipedia.

Note: Impeachment doesn’t mean removal from office but a ‘trial’ that could result with removal from office. Also, if found to be unable to do the job, the President can also be removed from office under the 25th amendment. He’s getting close.

Obadiah Plainsmen

AW, Please explain to the readers who decides the President is unfit and how the President is removed and the time limits required to undertake such action under the 25th amendment.

awteam2000

I, retired two years ago. But looking to go into education . Can I count on you as one of my students?

awteam2000

After the vote today, the rules for the next stage in the impeachment inquiry will have public hearings, visible to the average American. As was done when the inquiry was closed, both parties will be allowed to ask questions of the witnesses. The president’s lawyers will now get to participate in the House impeachment hearings, subject to the president not blocking subpoenas, and not obstructing justice.

thump1202

Time to grab the popcorn and watch 100+ comments of my team right your team wrong smoke screen covering up the steady erosion of our hard fought rights and money.

Comment deleted.
thump1202

Uh who's whining? I'm pointing out a half a century at least trend in this country. We're treated to a show where no one is ever punished properly for their obvious corruption and all the while it becomes more difficult for the average American to make a living in terms of education, healthcare, and home ownership. It's undeniable when compared to inflation and wage growth these costs have risen exponentially. Why don't you man up and get some therapy? You aren't coming off as righteously angry here.

awteam2000

Odd pleasure, but if that’s your thing, “go for it”.👍

awteam2000

Harvey when did you write this letter? This past Friday, federal courts ruled the congressional impeachment inquiry process appropriate, totaling wiping out the ‘mob rule’ defense. Even Trump has ordered the GOP to move onto attacking the substance and the messengers rather than the process. You better catch up 🤷‍♂️.

https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/467583-top-democrat-court-ruling-wipes-out-gop-claim-of-fake-impeachment

enufalready

Elect a clown, expect a circus.

cleanrunoff

Do folks think that the republican party is excluded from these proceedings? That there are no representatives of the President's party in there? Is that really what you think? Or is the issue the fact that the proceedings are being conducted in direct violation of the law? If the proceedings are being conducted in violation of the law, please present the statutes and file charges against the lawbreakers. Why, if these proceedings are being conducted in violation of the law, has no one done this? Why?

Dwasserba

No violation.

FCPS-Principal

That closed room is for discussing sensitive and classified information. The room is known to be soundproof and eavesdropping proof. Barging in with cell phones on is illegal and violation of national security laws. Scalice and his outlaws should all be jailed.

Dwasserba

That was violation.

BunnyLou

Sir, when the probe is one sided without allowing equal time to examine witnesses, subpoena power or access to the record without oversight from majority party yes I would consider that action is required to shed some light on the process. If everything is held in secret, then why do we know so much about it? Think on that for a bit then consider re-writing this letter and asking how this process affords both Americans and the president due process under the law.

bnick467

First of all, no light needed to be shed on the process. Thirteen of the Republicans who embarrassed themselves by barging into that room are on the Congressional committees that are involved in the process. They are not being locked out of the process, they are part of it. Secondly, the House is following the rules put in place by the Republicans. Third, this part of the process is not supposed to allow equal time to examine witnesses or defend the president, it is to gather facts without outside influence to witnesses or to allow time for those questioned to coordinate their responses. It is the equivalent to a Grand Jury in the criminal process system; to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial. If the House determines there is enough evidence, they will pass that information to the Senate for a trial, where the President will be allowed to face his accusers and defend himself. Think on that for a bit then consider re-writing this comment and asking how allowing this President* to continuously flaunt his nose at the Constitution is good for this country.

BunnyLou

Your third point is flawed, questions should be able to be asked of the witness by either party. Schiff is selectively leaking the material as a means to advance an agenda. Finally provide some evidence of the president flaunting his nose at the constitution.

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup]

olefool

This comment shows how little bunny knows about the congressional process. It's an out right lie to state that no republicans were included in the deposition phase. There are eight democrats and seven republicans making up the committee, rules made up by the republicans by the way. All those republicans were present during all the depositions. They were allowed to ask any questions they wanted of the deponents, however many of them were tongue tied by the honesty and patriotism of the witnesses. Finally, if you can't see the plethora of illegal actions by trump to prevent the production of evidence by ordering people to ignore legally sufficient subpoenas you cement your status here that you're just another Russian troll. .

matts853

Change the channel from Fox News Bunny Lou. You’re being lied to.

BunnyLou

I won’t change the channel because I need to find out what is happening. CNN, MSNBC, NBC and more have failed you and the country by poor reporting. This all started with the Russian Collusion that wasn’t, so don’t you feel a little embarrassed?

threecents

Except that anyone who is a committee member, including Republicans, can ask questions.

richardlyons

Big vote is today. Should be telling.

richardlyons

So funny!

matts853

Republican committee members absolutely have, and have always had, equal time to question witnesses, so you’re just plain wrong BL. But facts don’t matter to Trumpeteers. And be careful what y’all wish for in having public hearings. There will be no where to hide from the truth then. The only question is will these feckless Republicans stop lying and obstructing and start behaving honorably? That would require serious political backbone and I don’t think they have it. What a sad day in America it will be if they don’t remove this constitutional menace from office.

BunnyLou

Then explain why the republicans were cut off by Schiff when trying to ask Vindman a question regarding who he talked to before speaking out?

olefool

It was a closed hearing bunny, so how would you know anybody was "cut off" during the hearing??? Or did you hear this from a GOP conspiracy theorist on your favorite entertainment news channel??? Really, how do you know what you are saying is a fact??

richardlyons

Always the funny one.

shiftless88

Bunny complains about leaks and then posts a leak. Whew!

Dwasserba

Rebublican members of the committee are in there. The secrecy is to prevent witness intimidation.

threecents

Bunny, Correct me if I am wrong, but there will be public hearings. However, it is customary to gather evidence before hearings, right? Both sides (Dems and Repubs) had people in these closed hearings - where information was gathered - including sensitive and classified information. If you don't get it, just watch any procedural police show where the detectives ask witnesses and suspects questions one at a time in a closed room. Lawyers are allowed, but obviously not the general public. After gathering evidence, they decide who to charge, what to charge them with, how to organized the case, and what to ask witnesses.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominem criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.