If it honors the Constitution, the Senate should dismiss the articles of impeachment presented by the House. 

(2) comments

Bohlken1

To clarify my prior writing, I would point out that I do not believe this Senate trial should have ever occurred. The impeachment articles should have been dismissed at the outset because (a) the articles fail to meet the constitutional standard of alleging the commission of "Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" and (b) all of the evidence obtained by the House investigation was in violation of the Constitution and historical precedent because there was no prior House vote authorizing the impeachment investigation and due process rights were denied the Republican party members and the President. These due process rights include the right to counsel, to subpoena evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, and to have an impartial presiding officer.

So we should recognize, while this trial is on going, that dismissal would have been appropriate and neither we nor the senators would be subjected to this travesty or expected to judiciously evaluate evidence of these non-crimes. Such dismissal would protect future presidents from what has been, since the day of President Trump's inauguration, a partisan impeachment in search of a crime.

By way of comparison, if you were sued because someone didn't like the color of your hair, or arrested because having your hair color was allegedly a violation of the law, you could have those cases dismissed, before a full trial, because being offended by someone's hair color is not a recognized cause of action and having a certain hair color is not a crime. You would not be required to present any defense on the question on whether or not your hair was the offending color.

Since Mr. May does not dispute that the impeachment articles do not allege that the President committed any high crimes and misdemeanors, and only discusses whether an abuse of power would be proper grounds for impeachment, then it appears that May accepts that the impeachment articles do not allege any high crimes and misdemeanors.

I relied first upon the plain language of the Constitution requiring the showing of high crimes and misdemeanors in order to impeach. This is the controlling authority as to what is required.

I then cited Professor Dershowitz's opinion that abuse of power was not sufficient grounds to impeach a President as persuasive authority. It is true that he has changed his mind from his position at the time of the Clinton impeachment. Abuse of power was not really an issue raised at the time of the Clinton impeachment, All agreed that Clinton had committed an actual crime, perjury.

As Professor Dershowitz explained before the Senate, his prior opinion was simply based on academic consensus, not independent investigation, because the abuse of power issue was not important to the Clinton impeachment.

Once he was confronted with this article, however, Dershowitz independently researched the historical documents and prior legal analyses of this issue. That is what led to his present opinion, which he published and also explained to the Senate.

With respect to the absurd "obstruction of Congress" article, it not only fails to allege a high crime or misdemeanor, but it could be used to impeach any president. President Obama obstructed Congress from obtaining evidence in the fast and furious scandal, where that administration allowed guns to be run to Mexican drug cartels. One of those guns was used to murder a Border Patrol agent. Attorney General Eric Holder was cited for contempt of Congress because of his stonewalling.

President Obama could also have been impeached for obstructing Congress with respect to the Benghazi investigation. Congress Trey Gowdy, who presided over that investigation, concluded at the end that the families of the dead would never know the full truth of what happened to their relatives because of obstruction by the Obama administration.

To call witnesses to testify as to whether the President did or did not commit non-crimes only compounds the error. Ending this inquiry into non-crimes is not a "cover up" but the only rational response to unconstitutional impeachment articles produced by an illegitimate process.

May repeats the articles of impeachment's bogus argument that the Republicans are saying that election interference came from the Ukraine and not Russia. In fact, the Republicans in the House issued a report recognizing Russian interference. But, they, the New York Times, Politico and reporting by John Solomon on The Hill also recognized the existence of Ukrainian interference with the election. It was entirely appropriate to look into this. Ukraine is not sacrosanct because their interference favored Democrats.

Their real fear is not that there will be interference in our elections by foreign powers, but that there will be interference in the election of a Democrat President by the American voter.

Alexander Hamilton feared partisan impeachments. Alexis DeTocquevile opined that "“A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office."

They were correct. It is time for this impeachment to be dismissed.

Michael R May

It is Mr. Bohlken’s column which should be dismissed from any substantive consideration because it is –at best – premature. Instead, it is our duty as Americans to pause and adopt a judicious mindset on issues vital to the survival of our great, exceptional Republic.

Mr. Bohlken’s column is premature because the legal arguments of the parties have not been completed, the procedures of the “trial” have not yet been settled– most notably -- whether witnesses will be called. Senators have not been able to ask questions.

Mr. Bohlken’s column should also be dismissed from any consideration as premature because he relies primarily on the gelatinous, untested character of the core Republican legal position. Specifically, Mr. Bohlken champions the legal position of Professor Dershowitz who defended O. J. Simpson. Professor Dershowitz claims there can be no impeachment without a crime.

However, Fox News exposed the gelatinous character of Professor Dershowitz’s legal views. Fox News reported: “As President Trump’s impeachment trial moves into the defense phases, attorney Alan Dershowitz on Sunday said that he has changed his mind on whether a crime is needed to remove a president from office -- a reversal of his stance during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999. Dershowitz, who recently joined Trump’s impeachment defense team, argued that a crime needs to be committed to impeach a president – a 180-degree shift from his previous thinking . . .” https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dershowitz-says-hes-changed-mind-on-impeachment-requirements-argues-crime-must-be-committed

Hmmmmm, Professor Dershowitz made “a 180-degree shift from his previous thinking . . .” Maybe all of us should adopt a judicious mindset to find out why Mr. Bohlken’s’ primary authority made “a 180-degree shift from his previous thinking.”

Dismissing Mr. Bohlken’s views from serious consideration as premature would prejudice nothing. Instead, it would give all a chance to pause to think and demonstrate allegiance to our exceptional Republic.

Dismissing Mr. Bohlken’s views now from serious consideration as being premature would prejudice nothing because it would allow all to consider the unproven claim that it was not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election, but the Ukraine. Serious consideration would serve the national security interest in testing the claim that it was the Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 Election instead of the massive evidence compiled in the Mueller Report of Russian interference.

It is self-evident that identifying the source, methods and intent of interference in the 2016 Election is a national security priority. It is a national security priority vital to the survival of our Republic. It is a national security priority that compels fidelity to fact instead of fidelity to pollical belief. Fidelity to fact is synonymous to fidelity to America.

Lastly, denying a full and fair trial of the Articles of Impeachment would justify the conclusion that the Senate engaged in a cover up of President Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 Election by extorting foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 Election. In the Ukraine’s case, the risk to our 2020 Election of the claim being false is compounded by the conduct of withholding Congressional approved, state-of-the-art military weaponry to weaken a brave nation fighting Russian insurgents threatening our own national security.

Hold the opinions. Complete the trial. It is the duty of all to show allegiance to the Republic by uniting around the Constitution. This impeachment trial is too important for the fate of our Republic to cover up. As the ancient Greek Heraclitus taught: “People must fight for their law as for their city wall.”

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