The constitution authorizes Congress to impeach the president for "high crimes and wrongdoing." And what exactly is a high crime or a high crime?
"Whatever the majority of the House of Representatives may think of at some point in history," Gerald Ford jokes halfway.
If you want to be completely cynical, Ford was right. Two hundred and eighteen Democrats could impeach the president. Trump next week simply because they are Republicans and no one can stop them.The first impeachment count could be to raise taxes on homeowners in San Francisco and no court can repeal the vote.
But in a healthy republic we are expecting someone aqua justification more noble than willpower and power We do not expect the majority to apply brute force A suitable statesman will formulate a principle and set standards for what is considered an inevitable crime
Cabinet Chairman Nancy Pelosi has thrown his weight behind the impeachment process following reports of Trump's contacts with the President of Ukraine We do not yet know all the facts, so it is too early to take an impeachment position. But since we do not yet know all the facts, this is the perfect time to determine the appropriate standard for impeachment.
"Impetiment was never something that had to be narrowly focused on a specific list of crimes or crimes," says Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy. Healy recently wrote a book on impeachment entitled An Indispensable Cure summoning the words of James Madison.
Impeachment is correct, Healy argues, for any "conduct incompatible with public confidence."
The constitution clarifies that impeachment must be rooted in act or action. But these actions need not be actual crimes. Bill Clinton commits crimes ̵
Clinton, Judiciary Committee of the Chamber stated (with impeachment charge that it was ironically failed in the Chamber), "engages in conduct that results in abuse and abuse of his high office, violates proper and proper administration of justice and conduct. of lawful investigations and contradicts the authority of the legislative branch and the purpose of seeking truth for coordinated investigative proceedings … ”
That is, Clinton did not interfere personally with the investigations against him, but he used the office of the Presidency part of his obstacle. This is an abuse of power.
The abuse of power is the constellation that lies at the center of the universe of inevitable crimes.
Empire, Alexander Hamilton writes in Federalist Documents specifically for “those crimes that result from the misconduct of public people, or in other words, from the misuse or breach of any public trust. "
Presidential powers should be used to safeguard and protect the Constitution and to promote the national interest. Thus, the use of presidential power to promote private or political interests violates the oath of office, which can be considered as the conditions under which the president was hired.
So a standard for distinguishing imminent crime from some other atrocities can be this: Is the president abusing the presidential power in a way that harms the national interest in the pursuit of his own interest?
The problem here is that every president abuses power once a week. President Barack Obama launched an illegal and catastrophic war in Libya and also issued 11-hour regulations that were three times naked for his successor. The Bush administration's steel tariffs, justified for national defense only, were really just a pledge to win Ohio in 2004. Throw in Iran's Counter, and it's hard to think of a recent, non-abusive president.
Congressional leaders have never entertained impeachment charges against Obama or Bush, and 41 of the 44 men to be president before Trump also have never faced impeachment investigations. So, if we allow the custom to be our guide in determining the inevitable crime, we need a high threshold of abuse of power.
Hamilton tried to formulate such a threshold. He argues that unprecedented actions are the ones that cause "immediate injury to the community itself." Again, this may seem too low. After all, many of us think Obamacare's implementation is harmful to the public. Democrats view the appointment of Neil Gorschus the same way.
A 1974 study by the House Judiciary Commission, combined throughout history to formulate this standard of impeachment: "conduct in a manner incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the service."
"grossly incompatible" is a subjective term. Use case can help us determine it. In other words, if it's as bad as Bill Clinton (lying under oath and using his powers to cover it all) or Richard Nixon (covering up illegal surveillance of his political opponents and blocking any investigation in Congress) then the precedent suggests that this is impossible
As we learn the facts in the days to come, any honest statesman or commentator must begin the process of setting a standard. This is not an easy task, but preserving the republic will never be.