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Norbert Bufka

Author  ยท  Historian

Impeachment of President Trump

Impeachment of President Trump

Impeachment is the formal accusation of “treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeaners”by a public official. At the federal level this is reserved to the House of Representatives. Geral Ford said that impeachavble offenses are whatever the House says they are. So President Trump was impeached.

The Articles of Impeachment are then sent to the Senate for a trial with the Chief Justice presiding. The Constitution does not spell out how this is to be done. As in a crmminal trial, arguments are presented in support of the Articles and others argue against them. Upon a two-thirds majority vote of those present, the impeached person is removed from office.

So President Donald Trumpt was impeached but he was not removed from office. The civil courts can still bring charges against him after he leaves office. He is not immune from prosecution.

As my wife and I were returning from a visit to relatives in Illinois on MOnday January 24, 2020, we listened to the defense lawyers present their case for the President in the impeachment trial. I was shocked and dismayed to listen to Ken Starr say that abuse of power was not an impeachable offense. I remembered the trial against Bill Clinton, in which he was the Independent Counsel for bringing the charges against Clinton. He said then the primary charge was “abuse of power.” He didn’t say on Monday that he changed his mind. His speech was very hypocritical.

 Then distinguished Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz proclaimed that Trump was acting properly if he thought his re-election was necessary for our national security. This is an unbelievably vacuous argument.  There isn’t a politician now or in the past who does not believe his election is in the national interests. This argument does not fly in a democracy, where the people decide who will govern.

The Senate vote on the two articles of impeachment was not surprising. Mitt Romney announced in advance he would vote “guilty” but no other Republicans followed his lead.

It disturbs me immensely that Trump is our president not because of his political views but because he is corrupt, immoral, and narcissistic. What realy scares me however is the number of people who support him, despite his ineptness.  And our Representatives and Senators do not have the courage and integrity to recognize evil when it is staring them in the face.

Let’s work hard to elect a real president in November.

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