September 24, 2019.
A day that will live in infa…well, we will see.
The speaker of the house announced a formal impeachment inquiry against the President… Making him only the fourth American President to face a serious impeachment threat. What a club to be a part of:
Nixon resigned before the full house had a chance to vote on articles of impeachment. So only Johnson and Clinton were actually impeached, and neither was removed from office. The argument is that this is a massive test for both sides.
For the President, the irony that after all the Russian interference concern, and all the insistence that this President would never go to a foreign power for help in his election… He is now potentially accused of exactly that. But the constitution sets out this power not merely for political payback or push back against policies. Google the Johnson impeachment for that precedent.
He was impeached on 11 counts, a laundry list of all the things congress didn’t like about him, basically. But the senate came up one vote short of removal. The message: this can’t just be about politics. Clinton is also a cautionary tale for both sides. It informs why this President was so wary of sitting under oath with Mueller… Because that is what led to Clinton getting caught in the Lewinsky trap. But congress may have also misfired.
It’s no doubt one reason the house speaker was so cautious about declaring an impeachment inquiry.
The prevailing logic: it backfired on republicans. First, Clinton wasn’t removed. And second, democrats picked up five house seats in the next election. But a republican won the white house in 2000 in a controversy of its own, so maybe the outrage helped both sides. We may see a new wrinkle in the potential trump impeachment. A non-compliant senate.
Not only are Republicans loathe to move against this President, but experts suggest that while a senate trial is contemplated in the constitution, it doesn’t have to happen. McConnell might just hold a vote to cancel the trial. But the ultimate test here is how each side views its duty to the people and the constitution as captured in their oath of office. Principle must win out over pragmatism. Facts over farce. High crimes over hype, the interests of the people over politics.
They may hold a vote in the house and less likely in the senate but all will be measured by this…by a vote next fall.