Skip to comments.6 Reasons Pelosiís Senate Obstruction Gambit On Impeachment Articles Is A Disaster
Posted on 12/19/2019 12:02:29 PM PST by billorites
Immediately after impeaching President Donald Trump for allegedly obstructing the House and abusing his power as president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi obstructed the Senates constitutional obligation to hold an impeachment trial and abused her power by trying to steal power that belongs solely to the Senate under the Constitution. Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she is in no rush to formally transmit to the Senate the articles of impeachment her party in the House had just approved. Here are six reasons Pelosis impeachment obstruction stunt undermines the entire basis of the Democrats effort to eject Trump from office.
Pelosi said shell wait to send over the articles until she finds out how the Senate will conduct the trial, which looks a lot like obstructing the Senate, given that the Constitution clearly states that the Senate has the sole power to try all [i]mpeachments. The Constitutional process for impeachment is that the House impeaches and the Senate holds a trial to test the quality of the accusations and the guilt or innocence of the accused. Pelosi apparently wants to control the Senate process from her perch in the House, a power grab that looks a lot like an abuse of power.
Whats crazy about this is that one of the articles of impeachment against the President is that he must be removed from office for the obstruction of Congress by asserting his privilege and protecting executive branch communications. If Trump, asserting constitutional privilege as the head of the executive branch, has to be quickly removed from office because hes not providing a single chamber of Congress what it wants, Pelosi is obstructing the Senate by asserting a privilege to not formally transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, and abusing her power by demanding authority that under the Constitution belongs to the Senate, not the Speaker of the House.
One of the big complaints about the House investigation was that the process followed by Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., denied the president any due process rights. Its also why the investigation failed to get a single Republican to join with Democrats in their impeachment stunt.
After ignoring the principles of due process guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment, Pelosis gambit now is to deny Trump the principle of a speedy trial enshrined in the Sixth Amendment.
The common refrain is that Trump should not be above the law. Thats absolutely true. Nobody should be above the law. Its also true that nobody is below the law. Over the last three years, however, the so-called Resistance has placed Trump below the law, the target of illegitimate and spurious investigations and impeachments with pre-ordained conclusions. That may be how politics is achieved, but its not how justice is achieved.
Police states levy charges, destroy the reputations of their target, deny the accused the ability to do their jobs and, importantly, the chance to ever get out from under the charges.
The "prosecutors office" says: "He's a dangerous criminal! We promise! He must be taken off the streets!"
But, they don't want a trial? They just want accused people convicted because they said so?
The "prosecutors office" now fancies themselves: accuser, judge & jury. pic.twitter.com/N9rPpLdark
In_communicado_ (@In_communicado_) December 19, 2019
Democrats knew that Trump would never be removed from office based on the flimsy charges they put against him. They did hope to tarnish his name and harm him in the 2020 election which is interesting, since their other charge against him is that he cant conduct foreign policy or investigations that might in any way touch on a potential 2020 election opponent. If they want a cloud over him through the election, denying him the right to a speedy trial makes sure he cant be acquitted as quickly as possible.
You might call this the Gitmo approach. By treating him as an enemy combatant instead of an American citizen with certain rights, the Democrats can continue to play politics with this indefinitely. Consider it the political version of indefinite detention. The only problem is that only the most hard-core Resistance find this approach fair or reasonable.
Preventing people from wasting their time on something that they dont want to waste their time on is not a victory. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would likely rather do anything other than waste his time on an impeachment process that House Democrats failed to manage well, and said as much on Thursday morning.
Frankly, Im not anxious to have the trial, if she [Pelosi] thinks her case is so weak she doesnt want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch, he told reporters.
Pelosi thinks that holding the articles of impeachment somehow gives her leverage to control how the Senate trial is conducted. But McConnell would probably rather chew gum and confirm judges and keep accomplishing his agenda rather than waste valuable time dealing with an impeachment that has zero chance of resulting in Trumps removal from office. Pelosis threat simply has no weight. Plus, committees in the Senate can handle investigations and throw cold water on the Democrats impeachment narrative even without formally receiving the articles from the House.
McConnells plan, upon receipt of the articles, is to run the process the exact same way that Democrats ran the process during the Clinton impeachment. That plan was to receive the articles and hear the case for and against them before deciding on the next course of action. The next course of action could be to dismiss them, to vote them up or down, or to get more evidence to make a decision. Pelosi wants McConnell to agree to Democratic demands on the front end, before the House case is made.
If House Democrats had done their job properly and brought real articles of impeachment to a vote, they wouldnt just have some Republican support, they could proudly deliver those articles of impeachment with a bow on the same day they voted on them.
They want more witnesses called because they know that they didnt do their job even remotely well. It shows a cavalier approach to impeachment.
Democrats defense of their shoddy impeachment effort was that they had to rush through things in order to get Trump removed before the 2020 election. They claimed Trump was such an urgent threat to American national security and the U.S. constitution that he had to be charged and removed from office post-haste. That was never a particularly strong argument, but Pelosis attempt to indefinitely delay any resolution of the impeachment effort she rammed through the House shows it was an argument that her own party didnt even believe. Delaying the transmission of the articles to the Senate for even a moment, let alone weeks or months, destroys Democrats claim about the urgent need for impeachment.
The last three years of the Resistancewhether in the media, from Democrats, in the bureaucracy, or among NeverTrump activists has been the story of the destruction of Constitutional norms and institutions. These activists regularly set dynamite at the base of every institution and norm and clack it off all while decrying Trump as the real saboteur. Whether it was the Mueller probe, the abuse of civil liberties of Trump affiliates, the spurious effort to remove him via manipulation of the Electoral College or the 25th amendment, or the disgusting assaults on Brett Kavanaugh and his family, the Resistance has decided any use of presidential power by a president they dont like is wrong and maybe even criminal.
Hillary Clinton made much of Trumps statement during a presidential debate that hed wait to see the outcome of the election and how it was run before saying hed agree to the results. This impeachment, though, is the culmination of a multi-year refusal of Democrats to accept the results of the 2016 election. For all the accusations that Trump is destroying vital American norms and institution, it is the continued refusal of Democrats, media, and NeverTrump activists to accept the results of an election they lost that represents the gravest threat to our system of government.
But, what if the Senate wants to see the House's Articles of Impeachment before writing the Senate's procedures and rules that Nancy so desperately wants to see?
Sounds like a classic stand-off....or dare we say quid pro quo?
Nancy is therefore guilty of "Obstruction of Senate" which is a crime I just made up out of whole cloth just like the 2nd Article of Impeachment.
The Trump Curse will descend on the guilty ones!
Not sure I want McConnell to blow the whistle on that little scam. I'll just take my extra judicial confirmations, thank you.
Democrat voters, generally speaking, are stupid, and have no civics education, (this includes many in the media). Therefore, they cheer Pelosi doing anything and everything to try to rid them of orange man bad.
The article makes perfect sense...and 40% of Americans will understand and agree, 30% of Americans will vehemently disagree, and 30% of Americans are too dumb to know or too week to pick a side.
Fact is until they pass them out of the House, the articles are not effective. So Trump has not been impeached yet.
I would bet that if the aged RBG suddenly dropped
dead, these articles would be hand delivered to the Senate
From another post I made. A Lawfare blog response to what McConnell can do.
The Constitution does not by its express terms direct the Senate to try an impeachment. In fact, it confers on the Senate the sole power to try, which is a conferral of exclusive constitutional authority and not a procedural command. The Constitution couches the power to impeach in the same terms: it is the Houses sole power. The House may choose to impeach or not, and one can imagine an argument that the Senate is just as free, in the exercise of its own sole power, to decline to try any impeachment that the House elects to vote.
The current rules governing Senate practice and procedure do not pose an insurmountable problem for this maneuver. Senate leadership can seek to have the rules reinterpreted at any time by the device of seeking a ruling of the chair on the question, and avoiding a formal revision of the rule that would require supermajority approval. The question presented in some form would be whether, under the relevant rules, the Senate is required to hold an impeachment trial fully consistent with current rulesor even any trial at all. A chairs ruling in the affirmative would be subject to being overturned by a majority, not two-thirds, vote.
The Senate has options for scuttling the impeachment process beyond a simple refusal to heed the House vote. The Constitution does not specify what constitutes a trial, and in a 1993 case involving a judicial impeachment, the Supreme Court affirmed that the Senates sole power to try means that it is not subject to any limitations on how it could conduct a proceeding. Senate leadership could engineer an early motion to dismiss and effectively moot the current rules call for the president or counsel to appear before the Senate. The rules in place provide at any rate only that the Senate shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses: they do not require that any other than the president be called. Moreover, the Senate could adjourn at any time, terminating the proceedings and declining to take up the House articles. This is what happened in the trial of Andrew Johnson, in which the Senate voted on three articles and then adjourned without holding votes on the remaining eight.
** McConnell can Dismiss the house impeachment articles anytime. He has more cards then Pelosi.
Voting TO impeach. Not impeached already!
I would disagree with Mark on this one. The House has sole power of impeachment, until it sends Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, they can do whatever they want under their own House rules. The Senate has zero say over impeachment (until or unless the articles are filed). (It’s also not a formal impeachment unless the articles are filed.)
Federalist bump for later.....
Great points bttt
Pelosi didn’t follow any of the other previously established procedures for conducting an impeachment, so it’s no surprise that she’s not following established procedures for transmitting the articles of impeachment to the senate for trial.
I hope and pray, McConnell doesn’t flinch on this. I think Trump would tell him do not negotiate, and do not give in to her.
orange man bad
Somewhat unrelated, but I’ve adopted the above phrase to ridicule brainless and bigmouth Trump haters.
Previously I’d made the mistake of trying to engage them on the facts, to no avail.
Now when I hear a public criticism of Trump I just say “Orange man baaaad” in a mocking tone.
I’m yet to get any response other the speechless embarrassment. The left isn’t used to us speaking up.
The House impeachment process is nothing more than a grand jury. A grand jury, after listening to evidence presented on whether there is sufficient information in which to proceed, then votes to either indict or acquit. If the GJ reaches a decision to indict, then it issues its opinion and its function is over. IOW, they can go home and forget all about it; they won't be called as witnesses, and they cannot be seated as jurors in a regular trial (if it proceeds).
So no that an indictment has been issued, the prosecutor has two choices: file a motion before the criminal court in which to proceed, presumably to a trail, but in the vast majority of cases, some kind of plea bargain. Or, for whatever reason the prosecutor can elect NOT to bring the GD decision before the court. This would be extremely rare, because why would the prosecutor bother to convene a GJ in the first place if not to pursue justice? In actuality, in this type of situation, a credible defense could be asserted that the prosecutor himself was corrupt by using state resources for personal gain (typically during an election for the office of DA).
So, that's where we are with the House holding up the indictment aka impeachment. However, unlike a court system which has a massive backlog of thousands upon thousands of cases, scheduling, etc, and can deal with all kinds of delays, the constitution stipulates that the Senate (the court in this impeachment instance) would have to drop all business to attend to the matter. That's the hang-up; not a label or whatever else suits someone's fancy.
Let it be noted that Trump was the first politically impeached president in this country's 230 year history. The House has destroyed a legacy of measure, temperate and thoughtful process of dealing with important national electoral issues in an entirely partisan, rushed and emotional manner. There's no shame to being a victim of this witch hunt; rather it should be worn as a badge of honor, a medal Trump earned fighting the enemies of the republic.
We are seeing sedition writ large upon the Republic. Time for arrests and trials, then prison for the rest of their miserable demon rat lives. The treasonous one like Vindman, Yavonovich, Taylor, Brennan, McCave, Comey, Ciarmella, well they need trials and hangman’s noose.
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