Yes Democrats, You Do Need a Statute in Order to Convict on Impeachment

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Opinion: Yes Democrats, You Do Need a Statute in Order to Convict on Impeachment

Not being able to articulate a crime for which to impeach and remove President Trump from office, the incompetent House Democrat Impeachment caucus has settled on two amorphous Articles of Impeachment: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Absent yet another (and another…..and another) “bombshell” from the New York Times or its journalistic equivalent the National Enquirer, the United States Senate will vote on these articles this coming Wednesday.

Of course, that vote will come only after the Senators each get to stand up and pontificate and the House Managers and Trump Defense get to make their closing arguments. House Managers must list the elements of proof for each of the articles and prove that statements and actions by President Trump, meet each of those elements. Problem is, they cannot, for they do not exist.

Here is an example of how this generally works in Republics that have due process. First of all there is a crime. In this particular example, we will use “Petit Theft.” Depending on the state, Petit Theft is stealing up to a certain value of property. In Alabama, that amounts to $500.00. In order to get a conviction, the prosecution must prove the below elements

That the accused

* Took another person’s property;
* Property was valued at $500.00 or less;
* Without their consent or authorization; and.
* With the intent to deprive the person of that property.

Our Constitution does this quite clearly in the case of Treason. From that magnificent document

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Elements of Proof For Treason

The Accused either

* Levied war against the United States OR;

* Adhered to their enemies OR;

* Gave them aid and comfort AND;

* Two witnesses testify to that overt act by the accused OR;

* The accused confesses in open court.

My question to Messers and Mesdames Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler et al, “What are the elements of proof for the charges of ‘Abuse of Power’ and ‘Obstruction of Congress?’” Where are those elements enumerated? What is the constitutional basis for them? Where are they codified in statute?

I cannot imagine the Framers believed the House of Representatives could simply pull Articles of Impeachment out of…..thin air…and they can’t. That’s why except for certain crimes such as Treason spelled out in the Constitution, the way we do this in the United States, is via statute, both Federal and State. Statutes prescribing sanctions for misbehavior are spelled out. In order to get a conviction, the prosecution must prove all the required elements of proof , which are also spelled out in the statute.

Although the Impeachment and Senate Trial processes have their own procedures, due process is still required. That means The House Managers must properly define via the Constitution and/or duly enacted U.S. Statute, just what ”Abuse of Power” and ”Obstruction of Congress” consist of. They must list the elements of proof and then show that President Donald J. Trump met all of them.

Of course they were and still are unable to do so, because no such listing exists. There are several crimes that the Democrat Managers bandy about such as, “corruption” or “bribery.” The issue with those is that they are crimes and have listed elements of proof. So why did Manager Schiff fail to include those in the Articles and instead substitute the amorphous ones he did? Simple. He knew he couldn’t come anywhere near meeting those elements…despite 3 years of investigation (including information provided from the Mueller witch hunt).

So Schiff decided to include two Articles of Impeachment that Senator Feinstein declares so dangerous that we must remove President Trump immediately. Well Senator Feinstein, if Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress are such dangerous and egregious sins, then there ought to be a statute somewhere defining exactly what they are, Right? Bottom line Democrats, prove a crime—with all the required elements of proof, or let President Trump get back to the business of helping Americans.

Mike Ford

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters. 

 


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