Skip to comments.Congressman Bob Goodlattte assures us that there is no impeachment in the offing
Posted on 07/13/2014 4:02:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Representative Bob Goodlatte took to the Sunday morning chat circuit, specifically ABCs This Week, to assure his fellow Americans that there was no need to impeach the President and no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. The Corner has the details.
Representative Bob Godlattte (R., Va.) does not believe President Obama has done anything that would merit impeachment under the Constitution.
We are not working on or drawing up articles of impeachment, Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday. The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of the president of the United States, Goodlatte continued. He has not committed the kind of criminal acts that call for that.
Before we get to the specifics of the crimes in question, heres the video.
I personally havent shown much interest in impeachment, primarily because the odds of it being successful seem even less likely than with Clinton, particularly given the current structure in Washington. But Goodlatte does leave room for some long standing questions to be addressed. What sort of criminal acts would it take for Bob to change his answer?
The Constitution isnt exactly crystal clear for those reading it in 21st century language on this subject. Article II, Section 4 says that it would happen on conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Treason is pretty well defined in the founding documents and would be a hard case to make. The same with bribery. But Ive always struggled with the high crimes and misdemeanors part. Obviously the use of misdemeanors is a bit different than what we think of today, or else youd be impeaching people for jay walking. But the origins are apparently quite different. Jon Roland of the Constitution Society has a pretty good primer for the layman.
The question of impeachment turns on the meaning of the phrase in the Constitution at Art. II Sec. 4, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. I have carefully researched the origin of the phrase high crimes and misdemeanors and its meaning to the Framers, and found that the key to understanding it is the word high. It does not mean more serious. It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons, that is, to public officials, those who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary persons are not under, and which could not be meaningfully applied or justly punished if committed by ordinary persons.
Under the English common law tradition, crimes were defined through a legacy of court proceedings and decisions that punished offenses not because they were prohibited by statutes, but because they offended the sense of justice of the people and the court. Whether an offense could qualify as punishable depended largely on the obligations of the offender, and the obligations of a person holding a high position meant that some actions, or inactions, could be punishable if he did them, even though they would not be if done by an ordinary person.
One of the chief and most likely applicable examples Roland cites is that of perjury. (Which quickly swings us back around to Bill Clinton if were not careful.) But the current understanding of the word as in lying under oath isnt the same as what the founders had in mind when it comes to those in high office. Roland makes the case that they defined it differently for Presidents, translated as violation of ones oath (or affirmation).
The oath in question is pretty easy to find also:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Since Im not a constitutional scholar, I wont even try to break that down for every possible scenario, but by Rolands reading, it certainly seems to leave a lot of gray area where a variety of failings of the chief executive could apply. But in any event, assuming Goodlatte is correct, this remains an academic discussion anyway.
Thank God! I was afraid there was still some vestige of the rule of law that remained.
Not one single vertebrae in the whole bunch.
Please! They can’t even stand up to him on the budget. And they would pursue impeachment?
I don’t think impeachment is a good idea, because I’m sure it would fail, as it failed with Clinton, because it is a political remedy and I’m very extremely sad to say the politics just aren’t there.
But I think Goodlatte is very wrong to say there are not grounds to impeach, very wrong.
Rep. Goodlatte was presumably present when HoR read Constitution, including Congress's Article I, Section 8-limited powers, and also executive branch duties, out loud at beginnings of 2010 and 2012 legislative sessions. So it does sound like a case of terminal GOP.
Well before you can have an impeachment vote followed by a Senate trial you first have to pick the jury — and the voters will do that in November.
Then we will see —
there was no need to impeach the President and no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. Oh thank God, now I can go back to sleep
You either impeach Obama, or you support Obama...
I am way past sick and tired of the GOP.
They are very, very close to worthless.
Virginians seem to be among the most obscure and useless of the GOP “leadership” class.
Re: “Well, before you can have an impeachment vote followed by a Senate trial, you first have to pick the jury and the voters will do that in November.”
The polls do not look promising, Chip.
We need 6 seats for a majority.
We lead in only 4 Senate races, and one of those, Arkansas, is within the margin of error.
We are tied or trail in all the other close Senate elections.
There is also a chance we could lose a Republican seat in Kentucky or Georgia.
And, there has not been a poll in Mississippi since Thad Cochran enraged the Conservatives by using Democrats to win his primary.
Bottom Line - the Republican Party leadership stands for nothing.
It’s just a question of time before Conservatives walk away by the millions.
Wonder how much $$$ of the 3.3B border location he got for saying that?
Wonder how much $$$ of the 3.3B border allocation he got for saying that?
There’s nothing a liberal likes better than a good latte.
Me, I prefer an iced Muslimacano.
Giving Obama $3.8 billion to fix his border problem would be about as smart as giving Hitler any amount of money to fix his concentration camp problem.