Impeachment: Past the Point of No Return?

 

The House voted today to move ahead with a formal impeachment inquiry. In my mind, that means they will have to impeach the president. The vote was on party lines with only two Democrats voting against. It is partisan, it may lack any actual crimes, but it is happening.

Here is the thing: if they do this and then do not impeach, then it will be as if they cleared the president of any wrongdoing. We are coming up on an election year, so I do not believe Democrats will do that. This is no longer about Russia, Ukraine, collusion, or any other issue. This is about politics, period. With or without cause I think we passed the point of no return.

Is there a way this could proceed where the Democrats can get by not impeaching? Endless hearings for political reasons all the way up to the election? Maybe, but if the Democrat candidates look weak that might be too much of a risk. What happens next?

There are 52 comments.

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The stock market is responding by going down today. The market doesn’t care how this goes. It simply hates uncertainty.

    The Democrats should be called the Hypocrites. They say they care about jobs while they go on their merry way destroying them every chance they get.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The stock market is responding by going down today.

    Trump’s fault.

    If he had simply lost like he was supposed to in 2016, the stock market would not be falling today. Of course, that is because it could not have gotten this high over the last three years. In fact, it would probably be rising because it would have lost ground during the first years of the Hillary! Clinton Presidency and would likely be going through a dead cat bounce about now.

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The Democrats should be called the Hypocrites. They say they care about jobs while they go on their merry way destroying them every chance they get.

    How do you make people dependent on the government if they have jobs? They’ll turn us into beggars ’cause they are easier to please.

    • #2
  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election. 

    It might make for a cool campaign slogan. 

    • #3
  4. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    The vote and resolution are still a fake.  The rules allow Schiff to deny witnesses to GOP members.  They need his approval to issue a subpoena and he may deny some questions.  The Judiciary, last I heard. will probably not have open hearings.  The fix is in but the people still have a vote.

    I am also interested in this Ukraine immigrant army officer who testified that he wanted to “edit” the transcript to assist Ukraine in obtaining aid.  I wonder about divided loyalty.

    • #4
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    They’ll turn us into beggars ’cause they are easier to please.

    They’re feeding our people that government cheese!

    • #5
  6. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    It might make for a cool campaign slogan.

    That would actually be kind of fun, but I would think that even if the House impeaches, the Senate wouldn’t vote to remove . . . but having to rely on Senate Republicans is never a good place to be.

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    I am also interested in this Ukraine immigrant army officer who testified that he wanted to “edit” the transcript to assist Ukraine in obtaining aid. I wonder about divided loyalty.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/us/politics/alexander-vindman-trump-ukraine.html

    He claims without evidence that the transcript “omitted crucial words and phrases” and that he tried to re-insert them, but failed.

    So this is how the game is being played. The President released the transcript, which they didn’t expect him to do, so now they’re claiming it’s inaccurate. Of course, if you know how these transcripts are made, you know that several people listen in on the calls and construct separate transcripts which are then compared for accuracy and a final transcript is built. So several people would have had to be in on these alleged omissions for this to be true.

     

    • #7
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    but having to rely on Senate Republicans is never a good place to be.

    No kidding.

    It seems that Collins and Murkowski have found a suitable replacement for McCain to join them in a triad of reliably siding with Democrats: Mitt Romney!

    • #8
  9. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    but having to rely on Senate Republicans is never a good place to be.

    No kidding.

    It seems that Collins and Murkowski have found a suitable replacement for McCain to join them in a triad of reliably siding with Democrats: Mitt Romney!

    Collins was good during the Kavanaugh circus. She saw what was happening as fundamentally unfair. I think (hope?) she’ll see that the impeachment process the House Dems put in place is just as unfair.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election. 

    If an official is impeached and convicted, the penalty can include not only immediate removal from office, but also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Vance Richards: Is there a way this could proceed where the Democrats can get by not impeaching? Endless hearings for political reasons all the way up to the election? Maybe, but if the Democrat candidates look weak that might be too much of a risk. What happens next?

    They will have hearings with leaks and portentous and stentorian pronouncements until the election, after which, they will probably vote to impeach, if he wins re-election. If they have lost enough seats, they will do so in the lame duck session.

    • #11
  12. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    If an official is impeached and convicted, the penalty can include not only immediate removal from office, but also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    Hmmm. Article I, Section 3 does say that, but Article II Section 4 says only that the President, Vice President, and all other civil officers shall be removed from office upon impeachment and conviction. I suppose disqualification is assumed in Article II.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    danok1 (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    If an official is impeached and convicted, the penalty can include not only immediate removal from office, but also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    Hmmm. Article I, Section 3 does say that, but Article II Section 4 says only that the President, Vice President, and all other civil officers shall be removed from office upon impeachment and conviction. I suppose disqualification is assumed in Article II.

    Article I is where the process is given, since it is part of the Legislative power. Article II is just saying they are under the power of the people as represented by Congress.

    • #13
  14. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    Arahant (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    If an official is impeached and convicted, the penalty can include not only immediate removal from office, but also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    Hmmm. Article I, Section 3 does say that, but Article II Section 4 says only that the President, Vice President, and all other civil officers shall be removed from office upon impeachment and conviction. I suppose disqualification is assumed in Article II.

    Article I is where the process is given, since it is part of the Legislative power. Article II is just saying they are under the power of the people as represented by Congress.

    Yeah, that’s how I read it (I am not a lawyer). I can see pundits on both sides arguing this though.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I’d recommend that the Republicans stay home when it’s time to vote, so as not to provide legitimacy to this farce.  

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’d recommend that the Republicans stay home when it’s time to vote, so as not to provide legitimacy to this farce.

    You mean the Democrats? Or do you mean the Representatives?

    • #16
  17. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    If an official is impeached and convicted, the penalty can include not only immediate removal from office, but also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    Can the penalty be established during sentencing? Or must such disqualification be codified before the impeachment?

    Since this is more lawfare than law, I assume Democrats would claim disqualification either way; and many judges would join them.

    • #17
  18. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Imagining a few steps ahead: suppose the House does vote to impeach the president, which seems almost inevitable now, and, while unlikely, imagine too that the Senate does vote to remove him from office.

    How does a president assert a challenge to such a denial of fundamental due process as that to which the current sequence of events makes likely this president is and will be subjected?

    I have seen speculation that, as the presiding officer at a Senate trial, CJ Roberts could entertain a motion to dismiss the entire proceeding due to its lack of due process. But would he? Doubtful, in my view, that he’d have the courage to make such a ruling himself. And whether he granted dismissal or not, the losing side would no doubt seek to litigate the action.

    I can envision a humongous consitutional crisis —  a real one, not one cobbled together by the Democrats with baling wire and spittle.

    For instance, what if he chose to defy the conviction as unlawful and violative of the Constitution? Could he stay holed up in the White House while petitioning the Supreme Court? Could the Court stay the conviction while reviewing the matter? Then during such review, where would the executive power reside?

    Alternatively, if convicted, could he step aside as temporarily unable to perform the duties of the presidency under the 25th Amendment, letting VP Pence assume the temporary lead of the administration while he litigates the matter and then, assuming victory, resuming office as no longer subject to an inability to discharge the duties of the office?   

    The mind boggles.

     

    • #18
  19. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    If an official is impeached and convicted, the penalty can include not only immediate removal from office, but also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    That’s too bad. My husband told me there’s a joke floating around the Internet that goes something like this: Trump is impeached. Pence becomes president. Pence appoints Donald Trump to be the vice president. Pence resigns. Donald Trump becomes president. He appoints Pence to be the vice president. And the Democrats’ heads explode. :-)

    • #19
  20. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    danok1 (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    but having to rely on Senate Republicans is never a good place to be.

    No kidding.

    It seems that Collins and Murkowski have found a suitable replacement for McCain to join them in a triad of reliably siding with Democrats: Mitt Romney!

    Collins was good during the Kavanaugh circus. She saw what was happening as fundamentally unfair. I think (hope?) she’ll see that the impeachment process the House Dems put in place is just as unfair.

    There’s gotta be a better word to describe this travesty than unfair.

    • #20
  21. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    If true, I predict a landslide for Trump and taking back the House. 
    There’s nothing there. Zero. Less than Mueller. 
    This will energize Trump’s base, energize just about everyone who’s not a Democrat partisan, and depress the Progressives even more. If the Democrats don’t nominate Bernie and they are impeaching Trump, they will stay home or vote 3rd party.  
    Democrats are losing the black vote. This will help. How? African Americans are generally sympathetic to victims of over-zealous prosecutions and they have an intuitive ability to see through fraudulent behavior. That’s only those who aren’t committed partisans, but  at least 5% more.

    This will ultimately fail. There’s NO WAY there will be enough votes in the Senate to remove him. Even if there was some kind of evidence that looked bad ( which there won’t be) GOP Senators would quickly realize their party would be doomed if they actually voted to remove him.
    Looking back, it will be seen as a complete waste of time and a lost opportunity for Congress to act responsibly.  – That’s if everything goes ‘well’ which it probably won’t. Because Shiff is an idiot who is blinded by hatred. It will be the Mueller fiasco times ten.

    The only people who will be influenced by this sham are those already addicted to the MSM narrative. 

    This is all happening because certain  Intel people need it to run interference because they are in deep trouble. They control the media ( along with other forces) and the Democrats. 
    The Democrats have no choice. They are screwed.

     

    • #21
  22. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Vance Richards: What happens next?

    It does not go well. Remains to be seen for who or whom. 

    • #22
  23. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The stock market is responding by going down today.

    Trump’s fault.

    If he had simply lost like he was supposed to in 2016, the stock market would not be falling today. Of course, that is because it could not have gotten this high over the last three years. In fact, it would probably be rising because it would have lost ground during the first years of the Hillary! Clinton Presidency and would likely be going through a dead cat bounce about now.

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The Democrats should be called the Hypocrites. They say they care about jobs while they go on their merry way destroying them every chance they get.

    How do you make people dependent on the government if they have jobs? They’ll turn us into beggars ’cause they are easier to please.

    Yes, this is not about Trump and/or his performance. Much is known about what nefarious acts have been undertaken in efforts to prevent his ascension to or depose Trump from the office to which he was duly elected. Even the basis for starting the inquiry subject of this post is farcical. Imagine what has gone on and what would have if she had made it through to that office. This is not really about Trump for either side, this is about our country and Trump is standing athwart the corrupted ‘deep state’ and progressive politicians efforts to destroy America as the land of free individuals. Let us hope and pray that the next year will display to all Americans what this is about. And be thankful that Trump is in the way.

    • #23
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Funny thing: I’m fairly sure there is no law preventing an impeached President from regaining the office in an election.

    It might make for a cool campaign slogan.

    You are correct.

    However, per the Constitution, the Senate has the authority, should it vote to remove him, of banning him from future high office.

    • #24
  25. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    I support removing Trump from office and having Pence become Trump’s replacement because I think having Pence become president instead of Trump would be better for the national interest.  

    On the other hand, even if one prefers a President Pence over a President Trump there are some issues to consider:

    [] The Constitution does give the House the power of impeachment with a majority vote and the Senate the power to remove the president with a two-thirds vote, it does provide a small amount of guidance to Congress by mentioning “bribery, treason . . . . high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    This gets to the question of “What would James Madison do?”  Or “What would Alexander Hamilton do?”  So, even if you prefer Pence over Trump, you have to keep this question in mind.  Is it a proper use of the impeachment/removal power?

    [] Would it represent undue disrespect for the electorate?   The electorate voted from Trump in 2016.  To remove Trump from office would, in some way, overturn those election results. 

    Not entirely of course.  It’s not like Hillary Clinton would become president.  Pence, hand picked by Trump to be his VP would become President.  But still, one does have to keep this in mind too.

    My sense is that the House will impeach and the Senate will not remove Trump.  But it will be interesting to see how this impacts the 2020 election.  In 1999 when the GOP impeached Clinton, Clinton was popular.  But the GOP won the presidential election in 2020 anyway.  

    • #25
  26. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Alternatively, if convicted, could he step aside as temporarily unable to perform the duties of the presidency under the 25th Amendment, letting VP Pence assume the temporary lead of the administration while he litigates the matter and then, assuming victory, resuming office as no longer subject to an inability to discharge the duties of the office?

    If it comes to that, I hope Trump does step down and litigate. Even a semblance of a dictatorship (as Democrats would portray an impeached and fired Republican still in office) might be even more damaging to relations between Left and Right. And it could be used as a precedent (however incorrectly) for the next Democrat President to defy the end of term.

    Not that I have any confidence in the Judicial branch to satisfy an appeal.

    This is a fiasco however it plays out. It further attacks the legitimacy of elections and laws.

    • #26
  27. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    I support removing Trump from office and having Pence become Trump’s replacement because I think having Pence become president instead of Trump would be better for the national interest.

    You are for conviction without process. That’s very Soviet of you.

    The national interest lies in honoring our Constitution, not which Republican would be better in the Oval Office. 
    Beyond that, trust me…. removing Trump from office in this fashion ( without real evidence of clear impeachable wrongdoing) will be very, very bad for America.

     

     

    • #27
  28. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey (View Comment):
    So this is how the game is being played.

    That’s what strikes me most about the whole sick affair, that it’s a game. An elite cohort openly rejects consensual reality and works to replace it with an alternate consensus. The mass of less-well-connected players (power law networks are a good tool to find the shape of what’s going on, btw) enlists itself in that consensus, similarly to how they pay with their deep identity to the internet elite.

    It’s a game, sure, but the problem is how fragile it is; its sophistication isn’t static but relies on continuous active support. Maybe this time it’s true there’s no stepping back for them; they’re in for all or nothing, it’s their ’44 Ardennes offensive.

    • #28
  29. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey (View Comment):
    . So several people would have had to be in on these alleged omissions for this to be true.

    The four officers who DID listen, apparently this Ukraine agent did not, all insist he is misrepresenting what was said.

    • #29
  30. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Arahant (View Comment):
    also the inability to hold another position of trust.

    Alceee Hastings who was impeached and removed as a judge for corruption, is #2 on the committee writing the Rules.

    • #30

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