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.
A very simple case can be made for the impeachment and trial of Barack Obama. He has committed a crime worthy of impeachment, one so simple and yet so obvious that no Democrat would dare defend his crime during a Senate Trial. No liberal talking head or Hollywood celebrity could excuse it either.
It is a crime that he has been committing for so long that there is no one in our country who could excuse what he has done. But first, we need to ask ourselves what did the founders determine is a high crime. Because that will be the only argument the Democrats might use to save him from being convicted and removed from office.
Believe it or not, Andrew Johnson was impeached but not convicted of violating the Tenure in Office Act. It was written to prevent Johnson, a Democrat, from removing from his cabinet Republicans (particularly Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War) that Lincoln had put in his cabinet, and replacing them with Southern Democrats without the permission of the Senate. Andrew Johnson was impeached by the house, but he was not convicted and removed by the Senate. He was impeached for trying to remove Edwin Stanton and was almost convicted by one vote short of the two thirds majority required to remove a sitting president.
Andrew Johnson’s reasons for removing Stanton were very simple. Stanton, along with General Sherman and several black ministers, came up with a plan to give the freed slaves in the south “40 acres and a mule” to compensate them for their bondage; and Johnson fired him for trying to implement it. Oddly enough, Johnson was the only senator from a seceded state, Tennessee, to remain in the Senate during the Civil War, and in a stroke of brilliance by Lincoln was chosen as his running mate on the “Grand Union” ticket because he was a Southern Democrat. The sole reason he was impeached and almost convicted was an act written by Congress to protect Lincoln’s Cabinet members from being removed and replaced with Democrats.
Most people don’t realize that Richard Nixon was never impeached; and yet when we think of impeachment of a sitting president, Nixon always comes to mind. Nixon quit rather than put the nation through the spectacle that the Watergate hearings had become. Nixon waited until he had effectively won the war in Vietnam and signed a peace treaty with the North Vietnamese before he did quit. But after he had left, the Democrats in Congress cut off all aid to South Vietnam and signaled to the North that they would allow no US troops to stop their invasion of the South, erasing Nixon’s legacy and condemning South Vietnam to communist oppression.
Bill Clinton was impeached for lying before a Federal Grand Jury in a court case about his sexcapades with various women who sued him for sexual harassment. He escaped conviction and removal because of the actions of a young lawyer and senator from North Carolina by the name of John Edwards, who did the deposition of Monica Lewinsky for the Senate’s trial. The irony of those actions would not be revealed until Edwards himself ran for President in 2008 against Barack Obama for the Democrat nomination.
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