Thursday, October 31, 2019

Quickies: “Grounds For Impeachment”

     I found this in a discussion of the ongoing “impeachment inquiry” at Victory Girls:

     In other words, they know they don’t have enough evidence to impeach the president but they are so deep into their own fantasy world that they can’t admit they’ve failed, even to themselves.

     The fascinating thing about the discussions of impeachment / conviction / removal (of any official, not just the president) is that the same observation applies to it as to jury nullification. Indeed, the two subjects are on all fours with one another:

     Did you know that, no matter the evidence, if a jury feels a law is unjust, it is permitted to “nullify” the law rather than finding someone guilty? Basically, jury nullification is a jury’s way of saying, “By the letter of the law, the defendant is guilty, but we also disagree with that law, so we vote to not punish the accused.” Ultimately, the verdict serves as an acquittal.

     Haven’t heard of jury nullification? Don’t feel bad; you’re far from alone. If anything, your unfamiliarity is by design. Generally, defense lawyers are not allowed to even mention jury nullification as a possibility during a trial because judges prefer juries to follow the general protocols rather than delivering independent verdicts.

     Jury nullification is inherent in the jury system. It follows from juror’s immunity to punishment. Regardless of the offense charged, a juror cannot be punished for voting one way or the other. And so it is with impeachment / conviction / removal.

     The House can impeach arbitrarily, and the Senate can convict arbitrarily. They need no justification other than “We felt like it.” Just as with a juror’s vote, there is no way to hold them to any standard, whether it’s about the seriousness of the purported offense or the evidence for it, under the Constitution of the United States. The Representatives and Senators can proceed without having to justify themselves. The only comeback against them is at the following election.

     Impeachment / conviction / removal is therefore an entirely political procedure. The Constitutional phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” is more decorative than substantive. We might like it to be substantive, such that an impeached official must be charged with a crime recognized by the U.S. Code, but in practical terms there is no standard for the procedure.

     But beyond that, does anyone familiar with this charade sincerely believe that Schiff and his sideboys would be stopped short by the absence of a recognized offense? The “impeachment inquiry” isn’t about anything President Trump has or hasn’t done. It’s a last-ditch attempt to prevent his re-election a year from now, which, on the strength of his record, could be as resounding as Reagan’s re-election in 1984.

1 comment:


If I might chip in very quickly, I think the Left is so vested in "IMPEAAAAAACH!" 24/7 not because they think they have legal grounds to do so, but rather because by creating a continuous miasma of scandal they'll poison the electorate.