As you may have noticed, I have been quiet on my blog lately. There are many reasons your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker has been mostly silent – and it certainly has not been because he hasn’t had anything to say. Primarily, it’s because he is beyond disgusted. Our country is suffering through a crisis right now – one which has nothing to do with our president, Donald J. Trump. It has everything to do with the way the Leftists are moving to impeach him.
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced a House Resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry of our president. This has come after several weeks of closed door testimony presented only to Democrat caucus members. This is not RIGHT!
Republicans Push Back
Last week, members of the House Republican caucus pushed back, storming the hearing room during the closed-door testimony. My U.S. Representative, Mark Green, M.D. (R-TN), had this to say about Speaker Pelosi, “Speaker Pelosi has tyrannically commandeered the House of Representatives. As if she thinks the Founders wanted a government of Pelosi, by Pelosi, for Pelosi…”
The citizens of the United States definitely deserve better. If a partisan group of politicians attempt to impeach a duly elected president, there should be complete transparency during the entire process. It should not be a one-sided hyper-partisan affair taking place behind closed hardwood doors. I applaud all the legislators who took a stand against this political witch hunt, especially Representative Mark Green!
To provide an illustration of Pelosi’s secret impeachment actions, one need look no farther than a Tweet from U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA):
Yes, that’s right, 75% of the U.S. Representatives have been excluded from these hearings. That leaves 230 million Americans’ voices silenced during these anarchical proceedings occurring in the “People’s House.” This is truly unique to American politics – and not in a good way.
When can a president be impeached?
Our Constitution is very explicit regarding the impeachment and removal from office of the president. Article II, Section 4 states, “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.”
If it is believed that the president has committed an act of treason, bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution provides “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” This is where we are at today with Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry. This procedure is essentially the convening of a legislative grand jury.
If the House of Representatives votes to impeach, they are formally indicting the president of these high crimes or misdemeanors. At this point, the matter is turned over to the Senate for trial. This proceeding is covered by Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution: “The 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.”
If the senate convicts the president, Article I, Section 3, Clause 8 states, “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”
So, from all of this, we have learned that the president can be impeached for treason, bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors. Treason and bribery are fairly well understood. But what are “high crimes or misdemeanors?” According to Dennis J. Owens, who attempted to define its meaning after President Richard M. Nixon resigned, the phrase is derived from British Parliamentary proceedings. Owens quoted Supreme Court associate justice Joseph Story, who served from 1811-1845, “[Impeachment was] “a proceeding purely of a political nature. It is not so much designed to punish an offender as to secure the state against gross official misdemeanors.”
Furthermore, Owens went on to explain that high crimes consist of felonies and misdemeanors are a class of crimes which are more minor in nature. This would lead one to believe that impeachment is a very partisan affair which the House of Representatives can initiate for any number of purely political motives. Fortunately, our Founding Fathers were very intelligent men and required that the Senate hold an actual trial, with 2/3 of its members voting to convict and the chief justice presiding over the proceedings to ensure it is held in a non-partisan, equitable way.
Grey Beard Biker’s Conclusion
The leftist Democrats have been threatening the impeachment of Donald Trump since he was president elect. The Mueller Report was supposed to provide proof of his crimes, which would lead to an easy impeachment and conviction by the Senate. The impetus for the Mueller affair was Trump colluding with the Russians – which has largely been discredited with Attorney General Bill Barr going so far as to appoint a U.S. attorney to determine if the FISA warrants were improperly obtained by the FBI. Over the past week Fox News has reported that this probe is now criminal in nature, with former FBI officials (Comey, McCabe, etc.) possibly under grand jury scrutiny. Additional officials could also face criminal prosecution including James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence) and John Brennan (former CIA Director) – both of which have consistently been anti-Trump.
The newest accusation, by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), which was the impetus for the impeachment inquiry, is that Trump threatened to hold up military aid to Ukraine if they did not investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. (Official transcripts of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president do not reflect anything which would approach impeachable high crimes or misdemeanors.) The younger Biden had a business relationship with the Ukranian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. Their dealings, while Biden was vice president, would provide Hunter Biden with lucrative payments for sitting on the company’s board. Ironically enough, the very thing which Schiff has accused President Trump of doing – a quid pro quo – is exactly what then VP Biden did with Ukraine:
The saddest, and most maddening thing, regarding the impeachment inquiry, is that Schiff, who is heading up the impeachment investigation, had knowledge of the whistleblower’s complaint before it was even filed. It was reported by The Federalist Papers earlier this month that Schiff’s staff had met with the CIA whistleblower days before he filed his complaint. This whole thing is fraught with potential coercion between Schiff and the unnamed individual behind the complaint – a complaint the White House had blocked lawmakers from seeing.
Inevitably, the drama will continue as the House of Representatives move towards the impeachment of President Trump. Over the coming weeks, they will likely vote to impeach along partisan lines. This is a dangerous development for Speaker Pelosi who is caught in between the Socialist Left portion of her caucus and the more moderate Democratic lawmakers who are urging caution – many of whom witnessed how the impeachment of President Clinton hurt the Republicans during the following election.
Unless there is some extremely compelling proof of “high crimes or misdemeanors,” the Senate will not vote to convict President Trump. This will help the Republicans take back the house and increase their majority in the senate in 2020. Additionally, this will ensure what Speaker Pelosi fears the most – the reelection of Donald J. Trump in 2020.