Liberal Lawyer: SCOTUS Just ‘Ripped the Rug’ From Under the Democrats’ Trump Impeachment Push
Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Well, it’s done. House Democrats have voted on the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump. They’re garbage. They’re weak. This push faces certain death in the Republican Senate. And that’s why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to hold onto the articles, refusing to transmit them to the Senate because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has pretty much said this whole circus is coming down—and he’ll be the one who rips down the big top. House Democrats think that Senate Republicans should abide by what they want for the trial. That’s not their call. Elections have consequences and the GOP kept the Senate. For all their talk about abuse of power and a constitutional crisis, Pelosi decided to create one of her own because…‘orange man, bad.’ They’re taking the ‘we had to destroy the village to save it’ approach. The only way for Democrats to save the Constitution is for them to plunge Congress into a crisis. Also, if Trump is such a threat, as they’ve said, why hold onto the articles. Deep down, to take a quote from the father of fake news Dan Rather, they know this case is shakier than cafeteria Jell-O.
Now, Katie wrote up that Trump technically might not be impeached yet because House Democrats dithered around—and this comes from the lefty law professor, Noah Feldman, who Democrats asked to testify in support of their witch-hunt. He wrote the following in Bloomberg:
According to the Constitution, impeachment is a process, not a vote
If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.”
The Constitution doesn’t say how fast the articles must go to the Senate. Some modest delay is not inconsistent with the Constitution, or how both chambers usually work.
But an indefinite delay would pose a serious problem. Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial. Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial.
Yeah, awkward. Now, we have liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz writing about how a recent Supreme Court just “ripped the rug” from under part of the Democrats’ impeachment nonsense concerning subpoenas:
The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines…
That second article of impeachment charges President Trump with obstruction of Congress for refusing to comply with the congressional subpoenas in the absence of a final court order. In so charging him, the House Judiciary Committee has arrogated to itself the power to decide the validity of subpoenas, and the power to determine whether claims of executive privilege must be recognized, both authorities that properly belong with the judicial branch of our government, not the legislative branch. The House of Representatives will do likewise, when it votes to approve the articles, as the chamber is expected to do so Wednesday.
President Trump has asserted that the executive branch, of which he is the head, need not comply with congressional subpoenas requiring the production of privileged executive material, unless there is a final court order compelling such production. He has argued, appropriately, that the judicial branch is the ultimate arbiter of conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. Therefore, the Supreme Court decision to review these three cases, in which lower courts ruled against President Trump, provides support for his constitutional arguments in the investigation.
Even if the high court were eventually to rule against the claims by President Trump, the fact that the justices decided to hear them, in effect, supports his constitutional contention that he had the right to challenge congressional subpoenas in court, or to demand that those issuing the subpoenas seek to enforce them through court.
It undercuts the contention by House Democrats that President Trump committed an impeachable offense by insisting on a court order before sending possibly privileged material to Congress.
The first article goes too far in authorizing impeachment based on the vague criterion of abuse of power. But it is the second article that truly endangers our system of checks and balances and the important role of the courts as the umpires between the legislative and executive branches under the Constitution.
Dershowitz pretty much said that dropping this article would be logical, and he’s made the case how both articles fail to meet constitutional standards. Toward the end, with this decision by the Court, he wrote, “the entire process smacks of partisanship, with little concern for the precedential impact which these articles could have on future impeachments.” Yes, and another observation that Democrats don’t care about the rule of law or institutional integrity. They just hate Trump, which is why they didn’t drop this article, making their whole case even weaker than it already was when this fiasco began.