Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/17/17

Author 76576

From commons.wikimedia.org: Andrew Johnson impeachment trial {MID-194289}
Andrew Johnson impeachment trial
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

As US president Donald Trump returned to the White House after a 12-day trip to Asia, he might be forgiven for wishing he'd spent more time seeing the sights of the Far East. Back home he faces a Republican Party torn by scandalous allegations against its candidate for US Senate from Alabama, a likely bruising fight over tax "reform," and more of the constant nipping at his heels by "Russiagate" special counsel Robert Mueller.

Oh, and Articles of Impeachment introduced in the US House of Representatives on November 15 by several Democrats.

The charges: Obstruction of justice, violation of the Constitution's "domestic emoluments" and "foreign emoluments" clauses, abuse of power (by "undermining the independence of the federal judiciary and the rule of law"), and undermining the freedom of the press.

Whether or not he's guilty of one or more of those things will be decided by the US Senate as jury (a vote of 2/3 is required to convict; the president's party holds a slim majority in that body), in a trial with the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court presiding.

- Advertisement -

Or, rather, it will be decided that way in the unlikely event that a simple majority of the House (the president's party holds a less slim majority there) actually votes to impeach him.

If past performance is an indicator of future results, then -- political theater -- is really all we can expect here.

Two past presidents -- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton -- have been impeached. Neither was convicted. A third, Richard Nixon, might have been, but he resigned before the House could vote on impeachment.

- Advertisement -

Johnson was impeached on -- and acquitted of -- ten counts relating to his dismissal of a cabinet official without the Senate's blessing and one count of making speeches that Congress found disrespectful, but one suspects his chief sin was being a Democratic vice-president when a Republican president was assassinated.

Clinton was impeached on -- and acquitted of -- two counts (perjury and obstruction) of which he was clearly guilty, relating to his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but again his real offense was political: He was a Democrat who'd won re-election against a Republican.

As much as one might like to think of the presidency and Congress as temples to civic virtue or arenas in which issues of great weight are disputed, Washington is in truth a lot more like a "professional wrestling" ring. It's two gangs of boastful peacocks putting on a tag-team show. Washington's rivalries may be more real but they're no more momentous.

I'm hard put to think of a president who never took actions meriting impeachment. But impeachment isn't about facts or evidence. It's about political party. Which means that, for now anyway, Trump's presidency is safe.

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.

NATO: This Deal is a Turkey

There She Goes Again: Clinton's Blame Game