Impeachment: All you need to know (and you do need to know it)


1. It is NOT necessary that the President, other officers in the executive branch, or federal judges commit a crime before they may be impeached & removed from office.

Federalist Paper No. 66 (2nd para) & Federalist No. 77 (last para) show that the President may be impeached & removed for encroachments, i.e., usurpations of power.

Federal judges may also be impeached & removed for usurpations of power (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).

Throughout The Federalist Papers, it is stated that impeachment is for "political offenses".

2. The House has the SOLE power of impeachment (Art. I, Sec. 2, last clause).  The Senate has the SOLE power to try all impeachments (Art. I, Sec. 3, next to last clause).  The decision to convict is not reviewable by any other body – and common sense tells us what that means!  The House may impeach, and the Senate may convict, for any reason whatsoever; and their decision cannot be overturned.

3. The meaning of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" at Art. II, Sec. 4, is far broader than one might at first glance think.  Somewhere I saw a scholarly paper showing that the "high" refers to the status of the official – it does not refer to the severity of the offense.

Now, note well! Misdemeanor" has a broader meaning than "a lesser category of criminal offense".  Webster's 1828 Dictionary shows the primary meaning is: "Ill behavior; evil conduct; fault; mismanagement."

This shows that a President, Vice-president, and all civil Officers and Judges of the United States may be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office for "mismanagement".

4. Errant members of Congress are never impeached – they are expelled (Art. I, Sec. 5, cl. 2).

5. Military personnel are never impeached – they are court-martialed (see UCMJ – Uniform Code of Military Justice), and may be kicked out of the military.

6. It is not feasible to criminally prosecute, under federal law, a sitting President: his prosecutors, the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorneys, all serve at the President's pleasure. He can fire anyone who dares to criminally prosecute him. That is why sitting Presidents who have committed federal crimes must first be removed from office via impeachment, then be criminally prosecuted. (Federalist No. 69, 4th para).

But do not forget: A President may – and should – be impeached & removed for usurpations of power, mismanagement, incompetence, or for any other reason deemed sufficient by Congress.

The lawful methods of getting rid of a sitting President [whether eligible or not to hold the office], in addition to impeachment, are set forth in the 25th Amendment: Natural death, resignation, or inability to do the job.

The 22nd Amendment permits Congress to make laws providing for succession where a President elect has not qualified.

Do not spin your wheels in fruitless insistence that a person (who may still be an Indonesian national) who occupies the office of President can't be impeached because he is ineligible to hold that office. The FACT is that he holds the office. Impeachment is a lawful & constitutional method to rid ourselves of this blight.

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About Publius Huldah
Lawyer, philosopher & logician. Strict constructionist of the U.S. Constitution. Passionate about The Federalist Papers (Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay), restoring constitutional government, The Bible, the writings of Ayn Rand, & the following: There is no such thing as Jew & Greek, slave & freeman, male & female, black person & white person; for we are all one person in Christ Jesus. She also writes legal and Constitutional commentary at her site: Publius-Huldah
  • $20677385

    lets get it on we don't need more Obama gaff to destroy America.

  • Drawer22

    @Publius Huldah - And I quote:

    "The lawful methods of getting rid of a sitting President [whether eligible or not to hold the office], in addition to impeachment, are set forth in the 25th Amendment: Natural death, resignation, or inability to do the job.

    ...

    "Do not spin your wheels in fruitless insistence that a person (who may still be an Indonesian national) who occupies the office of President can't be impeached because he is ineligible to hold that office. The FACT is that he holds the office. Impeachment is a lawful & constitutional method to rid ourselves of this blight."

    Thank you for setting me straight on this point of law. I had previously understood that, unless an elected official were lawfully in office, said person could not lawfully be impeached. The unpleasant alternative would be criminal prosecution, which is at least dicey, in that those called to judge would be subject to the whims of the official being tried, if only through those placed in office by that official.

    I shall make every effort to correct those entries I've erroneously made.

    De Oppresso Liber

  • phunyfarm

    Thank you for giving me a very clear understanding of just what is considered impeachable, by whom etc. Looks like we have one that has scored on several counts.
    He's the big winner of the" I fulfill the most valid reasons in most all catagories to be impeached" award. Might as well go ahead and start it in the house, use all the catagories and irreproachable instances of failure. Make it simple and to the point.
    Let the Senate do what they will. Argue with a fence post. The answers are there, like IN YOUR FACE offenses, and inability to do the job. It's so beautifully simple. Thanks for enlightening and brightening my day a little.

  • Mountain_Man469

    when the government does just about everything it wants and reads your e-mails and listens to you talking on a phone what makes any of you believe that they don't mess with voting machines to get in office,they certainly don't worry anymore about what you think,don't believe that? try writing or calling your congressman and see if he answers you..maybe a form letter if your lucky

  • Mountain_Man469

    launching 100 missiles into a country without the house or the senate approving it,is the actions of a dictator he should have been gone!!!!! and no! bush had approval in case there is one of those blamers out there

  • daveveselenak

    Impeachment proceedings should be rolling off the tongues of every patriotic American until the din can not be "drone" out! The line in the sand has been drawn. There can be no denying that this communist regime is the enemy, got that NSA, I hope so, you punk-^ss bastards! America had better start expressing some righteous anger towards these communist thugs! There are a hell of a lot more of "US" than them! Millions of "US" should be marching on "Moscow West" and shutting it down until they get the point and stop the TYRANNY! They need to start fearing "US", as we have been fearing them for much too long! ROCK & LOAD!

  • mdhawthorne

    I've been reading about this, hearing about this, reading about this, hearing about this, when is Congress going to DO something about this?

  • Patriotsam

    I see the TROLS are out like a bunch of Hyenas barking out a lot of garbage tying to confuse a very simple issue. Read her paper. It is very clear. The Constitution says there is no review of anyone congress impeaches and convicts. That means if they don’t like the shoes the president wears the House can decide to impeach him, and if the Senate convicts, it is all over. No appeals, nothing except removal from office. Now it is up to you people to elect people to congress that have the gumption to obey their oaths of office.

  • Seeking_Truth

    A friend sent me this regarding this article.

    "High Crimes does not refer to the status of the offender. ALL
    "high crimes" are in fact serious misdemeanors that at generally
    punished as if they were felonies. Note: All true felonies have a NAME
    (like murder, burglary, rape manslaughter, larceny, etc.). No crime not
    having a NAME (such as tax evasion, carrying a concealed weapon or
    possession of controlled substances for sale) can be an actual felony.
    This dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215. Prior to that time the king
    (or later parliament) could make any supposed crime a felony."
    Publius-Huldah could you supply us the "scholarly paper" that you mention. We would like to know the truth.

  • ForrestHorn

    Ah! If only. SIGH!