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Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:20 PM

Hey Mitch, where does it say in the Constitution that a private citizen can't be impeached? ...

I started looking at little more closely at this... As near as I can tell, there is no language that prevents it. Here is all the cases where the word impeach shows up in the Constitution.

Article 1 - Section 2. The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers;and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment

So, from my reading of this, the House can Impeach anyone. I see no limitation of who can be Impeached. This makes sense, because how do you handle the case of people who were Impeachable but you only find out about the crimes after their term has ended?



Article 1 - Section 3. The Senate
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Again, there is no limit on who can be Impeached here. It does describe the process for what should occur when the sitting President is being tried. It describes the maximum punishment (we know it is the maximum from another section).



Article 2 - Section 2
and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment

President has no Pardon power for Impeachments.



Article 2 - Section 4
Section 4
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.

This just describes the minimum punishment for Impeachment of these officials when convicted of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. It doesn't say that they can't be Impeached for other things nor does it say that other people can't be Impeached.



Article 3 - Section 2
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed

I mention this for completeness, but it's the last time the word shows up in the Constitution






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Reply Hey Mitch, where does it say in the Constitution that a private citizen can't be impeached? ... (Original post)
986racer Feb 2021 OP
servermsh Feb 2021 #1
FBaggins Feb 2021 #2
TwilightZone Feb 2021 #3
986racer Feb 2021 #4
PufPuf23 Feb 2021 #5
FBaggins Feb 2021 #6
Mr.Bill Feb 2021 #7
PufPuf23 Feb 2021 #8
Mr.Bill Feb 2021 #9

Response to 986racer (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:23 PM

1. The Framers didn't invent impeachment. They would have understood it to be for Federal officials

Or former Federal officials.

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Response to 986racer (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:28 PM

2. That isn't how the constitution works

The question would be where does it say that they can?

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Response to 986racer (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:29 PM

3. Article 2 Section 4

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States"

Trump is currently none of those things. On that, McConnell is correct. The argument then becomes whether or not he can be convicted when he is no longer one of those things.

It wouldn't make any sense to impeach a private citizen. What are you going to remove them from?

I get what you're trying to say, but there's no logic to it. Impeachment is clearly about government officials.

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Response to TwilightZone (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:36 PM

4. How then do you impeach former officials?

From what I got out of the trial, this was a commonly understood power. I.e., if an official is discovered to have committed impeachable offenses after the term ends (or resigns too quickly), that person can still be impeached.

I get that you wouldn't want to be able to impeach a person before they became a federal official, but after they are an official, it seems like it would have to be allowed.

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Response to 986racer (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:43 PM

5. Related question but how is it that Chief Justice Roberts

can chose not to preside? Constitution says shall preside.

>>Article 1 - Section 3. The Senate
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:47 PM

6. He didn't really have a choice

Constitution says shall preside

The constitution says "shall" preside "When the President of the United States is tried"

He isn't the president.

I haven't seen any evidence that the Senate even sent a request for his services.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 08:47 PM

7. Because the President of the United States

wasn't on trial this week.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 10:57 PM

8. Thanks FBaggins and Mr. Bill

well duh on my part, sometimes too jumpy at shadows.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 10:59 PM

9. Somebody here has to 'splain it to me, too.

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