Monday, March 11, 2019
WHY ARE WE HAVING HEARINGS IF THEY DON'T PLAN TO IMPEACH?
Weekly Opinion Editorial
PELOSI DOESN’T SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT?
by Steve Fair
Only two presidents have been impeached in our nation’s history- Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Neither were removed from office. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 to avoid impeachment. The U.S. Constitution (Section 4, Article 2) allows Congress to impeach and remove a president from office if they believe the president has committed treason, bribery high crimes and misdemeanors. The first two are pretty clear, but the later two were intentionally vague because the founders wanted to give Congress some latitude.
President Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House for perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power after he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The vote to remove him from office fell short with only 50 of the 55 Republicans voting for removal. 67 Senators must vote for removal.
Since Democrats took control of the House last November, there has been talk of impeaching President Trump, but on Monday Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t support impeachment. “I’m not for impeachment. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it,” Pelosi told the Washington Post. Evidently Pelosi hasn’t told her Democrat caucus. They continue to call witnesses and conduct public hearings with their stated objective to impeach. Will the hearings stop? Of course not! The hearings are only being conducted to energize the Democrat political base.
Pelosi told the Post she believed Trump is not fit ethically, politically or intellectually to run the country, but yet she won’t support impeachment? Three reasons Pelosi doesn’t want to push for impeachment of President Trump:
First, she doesn’t have the votes in the U.S. House to impeach. Democrats have just a 35 seat margin and there are 27 Blue Dog Democrats(Conservative Ds that vote with the Rs), which makes impeachment not very likely.
Second, if impeachment were accomplished in the House, the trial in the Senate would be great for Republicans. Removal would be difficult at best since Republicans control the Senate and getting two thirds to vote to remove would be next to impossible. The only hope Democrats have in removing Trump is if he really does commit treason, take a bribe or commits a crime. They need Republicans to turn on him.
Third, impeachment would be a foolish political move if the outcome is not certain. Pelosi recognizes that she will need Republicans to turn on the POTUS to impeach. While many Republicans question Trump’s antics, they aren’t to the point they would vote to impeach or remove.
When Republicans impeached President Clinton, polls showed most Americans didn’t support the procedure, but Speaker Newt Gingrich forged ahead. Speaker Pelosi seems to have learned from history and is trying to avoid that mistake. But is she continues to hold public hearings to fire up the liberal base that may be as big of mistake, because it also fires up Trump supporters.