Conservative, Founding Principles Violated by the Trump Impeachment
The Democrat’s efforts to impeach President Trump violate several basic principles of not just conservative, but American shared values. Most Americans recognize the wisdom of the Founders who wrote a Constitution that enshrines those values. Unconstitutional therefore equals un-American. We value the rule of law and due process, the idea that everyone deserves a fair hearing in court. Americans across the political spectrum value democracy, the idea that the people get to decide how we are governed and by whom. The impeachment of Trump as pursued by the Democrats in Congress violate on a wholesale level these principles.
It’s unconstitutional. The Trial Memorandum of President Donald J. Trump, written by Trump’s defense team makes a strong argument about the unconstitutional nature of the entire impeachment proceedings. Here, from an extract of it:
“Fearful that the power of impeachment might be abused, and recognizing that constitutional protections were required for the Executive, the Framers crafted a limited power of impeachment. The Constitution restricts impeachment to enumerated offenses: “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Treason and bribery are well-defined offenses and are not at issue in this case. The operative text here is the more general phrase “other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The structure and language of the clause—the use of the adjective “other” to describe “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” in a list immediately following the specific offenses “Treason” and “Bribery”—calls for applying the ejusdem generis canon of interpretation. This canon instructs that “where general words follow specific words in a statutory enumeration, the general words are construed to embrace only objects similar in nature to those objects enumerated by the preceding specific words.” Under that principle, “other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” must be understood to have the same qualities—in terms of seriousness and their effect on the *functioning of government—as the crimes of “Treason” and “Bribery.” –*TMOPDJT
A major tenet of American conservatism is preserving and understanding the Constitution as it was by the Founders. “Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors,” is what it says is required to impeach a member of the federal government. The impeachment passed by the House does not allege a single crime. If the Democrats in Congress thought they could prove a crime was committed, they would certainly have named one in the articles they sent to the Senate. Instead, they selected a deliberately vague term that appears nowhere in the Constitution: “Abuse of Power”. The second charge is ridiculous on its face accusation of obstructing Congress. It’s ridiculous because if the President withholds witness or evidence, there are a constitutional means for addressing this, to allow the Supreme Court to decide what is covered by executive privilege and what is not. Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi forwent that obvious route to have the disagreement between coequal branches of government settled in court. Of course, by not having done that their any subsequent claim of obstruction is forfeit. In short, their obstruction claim is made up of whole cloth.
“Abuse of power, the way they’ve defined it here, doesn’t even constitute a crime. Abuse of power is exactly what here?
Then there’s the obstruction of Congress. The President was exercising constitutional privileges that were being tested in court. The President has the right to do that. You cannot be penalized for exercising your constitutional privileges. There’s a long line of Supreme Court cases that support that argument.” -Jay Sekulow, member of Trump’s legal defense team.
The concept of due process was not invented with the passing of the fifth and fourteenth amendments, the idea that one should be able to face their accuser and bring witnesses in their defense has its roots in English Common Law and the Magna Carta. The House proceedings did not afford the President or his staff the right to counsel and the right to call witnesses in one’s defense or cross-examine witnesses for the prosecution. These rights were afforded to President Clinton when he was impeached, but sadly, not to President Trump.
“… Then, House Democrats moved on to a true show trial as they brought their hand-picked witnesses, whose testimony had already been set in private, before the cameras to present pre-screened testimony to the public. There, before HPSCI, they continued to deny the President any rights. He could not be represented by counsel, could not present evidence or witnesses, and could *not cross-examine witnesses.” –*TMOPDJT
It is undemocratic. The Democrats have been wanting to impeach President Trump since literally day one of his presidency. They now want to undo the will of the people who elected him. We are now less than a year from the 2020 election. Democrat rep Al Green gave the rationale for his party’s undemocratic move saying, “I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this President, he will get re-elected.” His fears are well-founded, as the President’s trial memorandum puts it:
“It is no accident that the Senate is being asked to consider a presidential impeachment during an election year. Put simply, Democrats have no response to the President’s record of achievement in restoring prosperity to the American economy, rebuilding America’s military, and confronting America’s adversaries abroad. Instead, they are held hostage by a radical left-wing that has foisted on their party an agenda of socialism at home and appeasement abroad that Democrat leaders know the American people will never accept.” -TMOPDJT
The people, not one party in one house of Congress should decide if Trump is worthy to continue on as president.
Americans are fair-minded people, even if not all of their elected representatives are. When properly apprised of the facts, they are bound to look at the articles of impeachment against Trump as deeply flawed and unfair according to long-held common values. The Constitution is a sacred document to them and is not to be violated for partisan political purposes. Fundamental to American law is the idea of due process, that the accused has certain rights under the law and that no one is above or below the law, not even the president. The American people reserve for themselves the right to choose those who will govern them. Impeachment, especially one so close to a presidential election, will be seen by many as an effort on the part of one party to undercut their ability to decide. History shows that individuals or parties that are seen by the ordinary citizen to violate these basic principles do so at their peril and risk punishment at the ballot box. Ultimately it will be they who judge the rightness or wrongness of the House’s actions with regards to impeachment.