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  1. LibertyDefender Member

    Before @AdamWhite next expounds on the Impeachment clauses of the Constitution, I hope he will at least read those clauses. 

    We can’t say that “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” just means whatever the Senators say.  I think that’s a line that was bandied about, I can’t remember which House Democrat said that, but I think it’s actually originally Gerald Ford’s line from the 1970s, that “impeachment means whatever the House and Senate decides it means,” and that’s not true either.  The term High Crimes and Misdemeanors, it’s in the Constitution, it has to have some sort of meaning.
    –Adam White

    We can’t say that?  Says who?  Follow @richardepstein‘s advice: read the text of the Constitution.  The text of the Constitution says that the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.  Sole power, Professor.  And you misquoted Gerald Ford.

    Let’s go back to basics:

    ARTICLE I, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 5The House of Representatives…shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

    That’s it.  Impeachment – merely an indictment, is unrestricted.  Gerald Ford is precisely correct:

    an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history;

    Then what? 

    ARTICLE I, SECTION 3, CLAUSE 6The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. 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.

    Again, Gerald Ford is correct:

    conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body [the Senate] considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.

    In Prof. White’s defense, nearly everyone who has commented on the issue has focused on the imprecise term “impeachable offense.”  In Alan Dershowitz’ masterful lecture to the Senate, nearly every time he said “impeachable offense,” what he was actually referring to was an offense “sufficiently serious to require removal from office.”

    Back to basics:

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    The verb is “shall be removed.”  According to the text of the Constitution, “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” are not the only “impeachable offenses.”  Rather, they are the offenses that require removal upon conviction.

    I’m astonished at how few constitutional law experts understand this simple fact about Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

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  2. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive

    the key word is ‘other’

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