oh lord, what have i gotten myself into. at least i can safely say that all my regular readers/followers can agree that DT is an idiot. (at least i hope my father thinks he’s an idiot.)
but, since impeachment is being investigated and the white house is vehemently pushing against it even though every day DT seems to start a new dumpster fire to extinguish the one he started yesterday (which happens to be still going; the world is just one big trumpster fire at this point).
so i thought i’d compare what DT been doing in comparison to other presidents who’ve been impeached, convicted, and/or resigned due to impending impeachment processes.
and really, i don’t know how much i want to dig in to what he’s been doing. i will do some digging, but i feel like it’s a LOT and
so i think i’ll take a look at presidents who have faced impeachment and see what he’s done relative to them. this may be 10 pages long*.
*(oh you know i like research papers.**)
**really i do. i’m not lying.
ok, but first, what is the process for impeachment? a president can be impeached but still remain in office, as was the case with bill clinton. in order for a president to be removed from office, s/he needs to be impeached by the house of representatives and then convicted by the senate after a trial.
- impeachment by the house after investigation
- trial and conviction by senate – and 2/3 of the senate members must uphold the conviction.
- the SCOTUS chief justice presides over the trial. so the other two executive branches are present when an attempt at a removal of a president happens.
as it happens, it’s actually called out in the constitution that the president has no power to pardon him/herself in the case of impeachment. (good news. and unfortunate that it needs to be spelled out.)
not only that, but it’s called out in article II, section 4, that:
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.
other high crimes, in this case, is kind of vague. the meaning of them is not defined in the constitution, which is probably why nancy pelosi has been hesitant to pull the impeachment gun until now.
at this point, congress generally has defined three categories for grounds for impeachment:
- improperly exceeding/abusing the powers of office
- behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office
- misusing the office for improper purpose or personal gain
(excessive period intentional.)
now here’s an interesting quote by gerald ford: “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the house of representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
so there’s that, which is great.
ok, so there have been 17 impeachments voted on by the house. here are the presidents:
- james buchanan for corruption. he was NOT impeached but it was voted on.
- andrew johnson for violating the tenure of office act (a 20-year law that restricted the POTUS from removing senate-approved officeholders without approval from the senate). he was impeached and the senate was one vote short of conviction. the SCOTUS then repealed the law saying it was unconstitutional.
- richard nixon for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, contempt of congress. the house was amidst impeachment proceedings when nixon resigned. we’ll go into more what he did later on.
- bill clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. the republican house voted to impeach but clinton was acquitted in the democratic controlled senate and remained in office.
other presidents who had unsuccessful impeachment attempts include john tyler, george W. bush, and barack obama.
ok, so i want to go over what nixon did and what clinton did because they are the most aligned with what DT possibly has done.
first, clinton because it seems a little easier.
clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice. paula jones filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against clinton from when he was governor of arkansas, and after ken starr put his report together for the house judiciary committee, impeachment proceedings began. the jones attorneys wanted to prove a pattern of behavior of clinton with women, and linda tripp secretly started recording convos with monica lewinsky. after it was shared, lewinsky was put on the witness list, and clinton started to try to bribe her to cover up their relationship.
clinton gave a sworn deposition where he denied having a sexual relationship with lewinsky and that he was ever alone with her. he also publicly stated the now infamous “i did not have sexual relations with that woman.***”
ultimately, the judge threw out the jones case because they failed to show damages, and clinton settled after jones appealed.
BUT that was not the end of this.
ken starr was gathering info on the whitewater issue (another day) when he found out from linda tripp that lewinsky was planning on lying to the courts about her relationship. starr looked a little more into this and found emails between clinton and lewinksy that showed they did have a relationship. clinton tried to assert that his “there’s nothing going on between us” statement meant nothing going on right at the moment of his deposition. the house of representatives took the starr report as its investigation, and after newt gingrich passed his speaker seat on and during a repub lame duck session, the house impeached clinton on perjury with a 228-206 vote and obstruction of justice with a 221-212 vote.
***i was a first year at st. ben’s while this was going down. in college, you don’t watch the news, and you’re so concealed from EVERYTHING outside of the college experience. i went home in january one weekend and was like, “who’s monica lewinsky?”
how clinton’s impeachment relates to DT
so, JUST TODAY (10-1), we find out that DT may have lied to the mueller investigation about his knowledge of the contact his campaign had with wikileaks during the 2016 campaign. (this seems a lot more serious than lying about a BJ in the oval office. just sayin.)
apparently (saying this because this is all just suggestion at this point), the house of rep. legal team cited a passage about paul manafort (DT’s campaign manager) testimony that he recalled DT kept asking to be kept updated about wikileaks’ email dump.
there is some redacted text surrounding this that may be key. if the president did know about wikileaks and then lied on the written response to the special counsel, that could be likened to perjury and/or obstruction of justice.
but what did DT ultimately give to mueller? DT’s lawyers did everything they could to keep him from having to give a face-to-face testimony. in the end, his legal team said he submitted answers to mueller’s written questions. is this akin to a deposition? probably not, but who knows what the redacted text in the mueller report shows!
now, this is not to say that DT doesn’t lie. the dude lies ALL.THE.TIME. it’s just that he hasn’t lied under oath. probably.
onward and upward.
what did richard nixon do, anyway? what the heck was watergate?
five burglars broke into the democratic national committee headquarters at the watergate office complex (hence watergate) in 1972. the fbi did their thing and found a connection between cash found on the burglars and a slush fund for the nixon election campaign (this is why you launder money, folks. or use paypal).
former staffmembers came forward to testify in an investigation, and it was found that nixon had recording systems in his offices and had recorded many convos. SCOTUS finally rulled that nixon needed to release the tapes, and on those tapes, well. it was found that he attempted to cover up activities that happened after the breakin and used federal officials to try to deflect the investigation.
some more details: during the burglary, they photographed DNC campaign docs and installed wiretaps on the phones. then they “burglared” again to fix a faulty wiretap. it was during this attempt that a security guard noticed some weird stuff going on and called the police, who then arrested 5 guys. at this point, nixon and the white house started to cover up the crime and the president’s connection. the burglars were tried and either pled guilty and /or convicted.
now comes the fun part.
the fbi found a couple names in two of the burglars’ address books who were white house peeps whose job it was to stop security leaks and investigate super secret activity. but i guess what really got the ball rolling was the money trail. $25K was found to be deposited in one of the burglars’ bank accounts. the check was made out to the president’s reelection fund – it was a campaign donation. a bunch of people making private donations for reelection were actually donating to the wiretapping. they found that all five burglars were directly or indirectly tied to the reelection campaign, which prompted a judge to suspect conspiracy with higher-ups (ya think).
what’s interesting is this news came out a month before the presidential election, and nixon won in a landslide. i’m going to try avoid covering the media involvement in this because this is about nixon. but you should all watch “all the president’s men” if you want to know more about that.
one of the burglars wrote a letter to the judge saying that the defendants had been pressured to remain silent. then there is a whole bunch of white house turmoil, with nixon asking for a bunch of resignations (that sounds familiar). a bunch of former aides were indicted by a grand jury for conspiring to hinder the watergate investigation. and, here’s something noteable: nixion was named an unindicted co-conspirator because a president can only be indicted after he leaves office.
at this point, the white house release the tapes that were recorded in nixon’s offices, and at first it had a positive reaction for releasing them, but after listening, more and more people called for impeachment.
“He is humorless to the point of being inhumane. He is devious. He is vacillating. He is profane. He is willing to be led. He displays dismaying gaps in knowledge. He is suspicious of his staff. His loyalty is minimal.” – chicago tribune. several newspaper op-eds said things to the same effect, and it was agreed that there may not have been an indictable offense, but nixon was contemptuous of the US, its institutions, and its people. the difference between today and then is that the republican party members believed he should step down.
but, here’s the gist of what was on the tapes:
- the watergate case and the subsequent coverup details
- it was called out that the money paid and the aides involved was an obstruction of justice
- there was blackmailing going on and nixon wanted to pay the money, saying he wanted to “keep the cap on the bottle that much”
- nixon said the burglars had to be paid. “that’s all there is to that. they have to be paid.”
and, parts of the tape had been erased on purpose (not just redacted).
it was looking gloomy and doomy for nixon, and the house decided to recommend an obstruction of justice impeachment and then abuse of power, then contempt of congress.
THEN. here’s the nail in the coffin.
on august 5, a tape recorded a few days after the break-in was released. a couple aides brought up the breakin and explained a cover-up plan. nixon approved the plan, and after more info on how the reelection campaign was invovled in the break-in and how the CIA was going to obstruct the FBI (i mean, really, what), he said “You call them in. Good. Good deal. Play it tough. That’s the way they play it and that’s the way we are going to play it.”
BEFORE this tape, nixon denied any involvement in watergate. but this was what did it.
the ten loyalists who voted again the articles of impeachment announced they would now support it when it came up to vote. there were enough votes in the senate to convict – only 15 were willing to acquit (50 peeps in the senate).
nixon resigned on aug. 8. he claimed innocence until he died in 1994.
peace out dude.
how this relates to DT
so there is a LOT of stuff with the mueller report that i’m not going to go into, but the most recent is the ukraine debacle. a whistleblower complaint was filed in july by a member of the intelligence committee. the director of national intelligence refused to send it to congress, as directed by LAW (come on), saying the white house had told him not to. the whistleblower complaint was regarding a phone call to ukraine.
rudy giuliani and DT had been trying to get ukraine to launch an investigation into joe biden and his son hunter. in late july, the topic came up on a phone call with the president of ukraine. at that point, DT blocked distribution of military aid to ukraine. DT asked the ukrainian president for a “favor” – to investigate biden.
so then the white house released the transcripts from the phone call.
” The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
i don’t know. that sounds like, oh, any one of these impeachable offenses:
- improperly exceeding/abusing the powers of office
- behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office
- misusing the office for improper purpose or personal gain* (dingdingding this one is most likely)
and that’s what finally broke nancy pelosi’s anti-impeach stance. one thing i’d like to know is if a whistleblower complaint against a president automatically instigates an impeachment investigation.
SO. that’s what we’ve got. at this point, it’s not a matter of if DT is guilty (cuz if you think he’s innocent, you’re drinking the MAGA koolaid); it’s a matter of if republicans in the senate can see past their own party loyalty and to their loyalty to their country, the constitution, and the american people.