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by Sharon Rondeau

(Dec. 19, 2019) — Following an all-day floor debate on two Articles of Impeachment passed in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi adjourned the House for the Christmas break on Thursday afternoon without sending the Articles to the Senate, as the Constitution outlines and most observers anticipated.

Democrats, who hold the majority in the lower congressional chamber, passed the two Articles Wednesday night on a party-line vote with a few exceptions:  Rep. Justin Amash (I) voted with the Democrats on both Articles; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted “present” on both Articles; two Democrats opposed Article I, which alleges “abuse of power”; and three Democrats opposed Article II, charging Trump with “obstruction of Congress.”

The New York Times published the complete breakdown of the votes.

Gabbard is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and, according to Politico, will not seek re-election to the House in 2020.

According to Wikipedia as of this writing, “The Constitution limits grounds of impeachment to ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors’.[4] The precise meaning of the phrase ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ is not defined in the Constitution itself.”

However, it adds:

The notion that only criminal conduct can constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment does not comport with either the views of the founders or with historical practice.[1] Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 65, described impeachable offenses as arising from “the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”[5] Such offenses were “political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”[5] According to this reasoning, impeachable conduct could include behavior that violates an official’s duty to the country, even if such conduct is not necessarily a prosecutable offense. Indeed, in the past both houses of Congress have given the phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” a broad reading, finding that impeachable offenses need not be limited to criminal conduct.[6][1]

The purposes underlying the impeachment process also indicate that non-criminal activity may constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment.[1][7] The purpose of impeachment is not to inflict personal punishment for criminal activity. Instead, impeachment is a “remedial” tool; it serves to effectively “maintain constitutional government” by removing individuals unfit for office.[8][1] Grounds for impeachment include abuse of the particular powers of government office or a violation of the “public trust”—conduct that is unlikely to be barred via statute.[8][6][1]

Until Wednesday evening, major media reported that the Senate was expected to quickly take up the Articles; however, the media did not anticipate that Pelosi could delay the House’s appointment of “House managers” to transfer the Articles formally to the upper chamber and act as prosecutors if and when a trial takes place in the Senate.

As of Wednesday night, CBS News reported, “Now that the House of Representatives has approved articles of impeachment against President Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce who she wants to represent House Democrats during the Senate trial.”

Approximately an hour later, however, The Washington Post reported, “Pelosi says House may withhold impeachment articles, delaying Senate trial.”

Just after 7:30 p.m. Thursday, The Wall Street Journal headlined an article with, “Pelosi to Delay Sending Impeachment Articles to Senate” with the subtitle, “House speaker wants more clarity on rules for Senate trial of President Trump, who denounced her decision.”

Constitutionally, the Senate “shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

Article I, Section 3, clause 5 of the Constitution further states:

When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

On Thursday morning, Pelosi told reporters in a press conference, “When we see the process that’s set forth in the Senate, then we’ll know the number of managers we’ll have to move forward, and who we would choose.”

Just before Pelosi’s presser, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated on the Senate floor that the Articles are “shoddy work” and that to him, “Looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet.”

In response to Pelosi’s hesitation in a column titled, “If Impeachment Articles Are Not Delivered, Did Impeachment Happen?” former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy wrote at National Review:

It’s hard to believe the Speaker’s latest stunt will go on for very long. In the Senate this morning, the Democrats’ minority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer, renewed his demands about trial procedures, discovery, and witness testimony. There was no discernible hint of doubt that the House would soon deliver its impeachment articles, such as they are.

Similarly, Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman, a prior Trump critic who testified for House Judiciary Committee Democrats earlier this month that Trump deserved to be impeached, wrote at Bloomberg on Thursday:

If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.

Later on Thursday, McConnell officially announced an “impasse” between the two chambers of Congress over the impeachment process.

The Senate is also in recess until January.




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  1. “Repeat a lie enough and it’s often accepted as the truth…one of the favorite tactics of the America hating leftist…….proven effective..”

    Prima-facie examples:

    “Obama was born in Honolulu, HI on August 4, 1961”
    “Obama is a natural born citizen.”
    “Birthers are racists.”

  2. The Dems are afraid to take impeachment to the Senate and may he happy to just have their owned MSM endlessly repeating, “TRUMP WAS IMPEACHED”, with no concern over whether the impeachment was legitimate. Repeat a lie enough and it’s often accepted as the truth…one of the favorite tactics of the America hating leftist…….proven effective..

  3. hvanallen@hvc.rr.com
    apparently there is also an ex parti special three judge FISC Court of Review overseeing the FISC court — all reporting directly to Roberts and the court has been noticed that Durham in focused on FISC process. See Collyer’s DOJ Dec 5 order declassified today.

    Now The federal election espionage based in Clinton infested NYS is focus of Durham who has been also requested/tasked by Trump with investigating the origins of the 1992 and 1996 Perot campaign FISC activities as well as the more recent 2008 and 2012 and 2016 AKA Clinton-Obama NBC issue and Perkins Coie coordination with foreign Australian UK Italian and Israeli Intelligence as well as US- CIA DOS DOJ FBI