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Member since: Mon Apr 22, 2019, 02:26 PM
Number of posts: 18,486

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Let's define our impeachment terminology

Impeachment = a determination by a simple majority vote of House of Representatives that a federal official has committed a high crime or misdemeanor. An impeachment does not remove the official from office. Only the Senate can remove and only after a trial and vote of 2/3 of the body

Impeachment Inquiry = an official process used to determine whether an official has committed a high crime or misdemeanor.

Impeachment Investigation = a part of the inquiry that gathers evidence to be used as part of the determination of whether an official has committed an impeachable offense.

Impeachment Hearings = proceedings in which the committee conducting the impeachment inquiry takes testimony from witnesses. The witness can be fact witnesses, legal and constitutional experts, special interest representatives (civil rights groups, etc.), and others with information or advice relevant to the inquiry. Hearings can be conducted in public or in private.

Although the terms are often (and inaccurately) used interchangeably, impeachment, impeachment inquiries, impeachment investigations, and impeachment hearings are not synonymous. Hearings can be part of an investigation, but investigations do not require hearings. Investigations and hearings can be components of the inquiry but an inquiry can be conducted without them. In other words, investigations and hearings are specific subsets of an inquiry.

Impeachment is the actual vote that finds the official has committed high crimes or misdemeanors.

There is no such thing as "starting impeachment." Congress is considering whether to open an impeachment inquiry that will likely include an investigation and hearings and could lead to impeachment.

The process for opening an inquiry begins with a majority vote in committee - usually the Judiciary Committee. If the recommendation passes the committee, it is referred to the floor for a full House vote. The House then votes to approve the initiation of an inquiry. Usually the vote is to authorize the Judiciary Committee to open the inquiry, prescribes the scope and depth of the inquiry, and details the powers and authorities the committee shall have to conduct its investigation.

Impeachment inquiries can take different forms. For example, in the Clinton impeachment inquiry, the Judiciary Committee conducted no investigation, but merely accepted the Starr Report and its deliberations concerned only whether the information in the Starr Report was sufficient to justify impeachment. The Nixon impeachment inquiry was broader, however it, too, relied heavily on evidence and findings elicited in previous investigations and hearings.

At the conclusion of the inquiry, the committee votes on Articles of Impeachment. The approved articles are then recommended to the full house for a vote. If the full house votes to approve one or more of the articles, immediately upon and by operation of the vote, the official is impeached.

It will then be up to the Senate to decide whether the official is removed from office.

I hope this is helpful!

NOTE: I reposted this OP with clarifications, updates and corrections here: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212150822

If we're going to talk about the OLC memo on indicting a president, let's read the memo

From the Introduction:
A Sitting President's Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution

The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions

October 16, 2000

In 1973, the Department concluded that the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. We have been asked to summarize and review the analysis provided in support of that conclusion, and to consider whether any subsequent developments in the law lead us today to reconsider and modify or disavow that determination.1 We believe that the conclusion reached by the Department in 1973 still represents the best interpretation of the Constitution.

The Department’s consideration of this issue in 1973 arose in two distinct legal contexts. First, the Office of Legal Counsel (“ OLC” ) prepared a comprehensive memorandum in the fall of 1973 that analyzed whether all federal civil officers are immune from indictment or criminal prosecution while in office, and, if not, whether the President and Vice President in particular are immune from indictment or criminal prosecution while in office. The OLC memorandum concluded that all federal civil officers except the President are subject to indictment and criminal prosecution while still in office; the President is uniquely immune from such process. Second, the Department addressed the question later that same year in connection with the grand jury investigation of then-Vice President Spiro Agnew. In response to a motion by the Vice President to enjoin grand jury proceedings against him, then-Solicitor General Robert Bork filed a brief arguing that, consistent with the Constitution, the Vice President could be subject to indictment and criminal prosecution. In so arguing, however, Solicitor General Bork was careful to explain that the President, unlike the Vice President, could not constitutionally be subject to such criminal process while in office.

In this memorandum, we conclude that the determinations made by the Department in 1973, both in the OLC memorandum and in the Solicitor General’s brief, remain sound and that subsequent developments in the law validate both the analytical framework applied and the conclusions reached at that time. In Part I, we describe in some detail the Department’s 1973 analysis and conclusions. In Part II, we examine more recent Supreme Court case law and conclude that it comports with the Department’s 1973 conclusions.

{citations omitted}

Read the full memo here: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/olc/opinions/2000/10/31/op-olc-v024-p0222_0.pdf
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu May 30, 2019, 08:34 PM (6 replies)

I've noticed something

When people say that Congress "shouldn't worry about public opinion when making their decisions but should just do what they think is right," I think what they really mean is: "Congress should ignore public opinion if I don't agree with it. But Congress should listen to me and do what I want them to do - and if they don't, they're out of touch and ignoring the will of the people, which is wrong."
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu May 30, 2019, 02:58 PM (19 replies)

If you think impeachment isn't a political act, why does Mueller need to testify in public?

Congress doesn't need Mueller's testimony to proceed with impeachment - all of the evidence they need with respect to his report is contained in the report. But many people feel strongly that he should testify in public anyway in order for the American people to see and hear him.

This makes sense if the goal is to educate the public and build public support. But if impeachment is a purely non-political act that should be pursued immediately regardless whether the public is fully behind it, why should it be necessary for Mueller to testify?

I'm not arguing that Mueller shouldn't testify in public. Just wondering how that reconciles with the view that impeachment isn't, at least in part, a political act, and therefore, public support shouldn't be a factor.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu May 30, 2019, 09:25 AM (22 replies)

If you really want impeachment to start now, here's my humble advice for helping to make that happen

1. Stop yelling at Nancy Pelosi, calling House Democrats "weak" or "cowards" and accusing them of "doing nothing"

First, they're not doing "nothing" - they're doing plenty. They're neither being weak nor cowardly. They're trying to get this right - and, if they don't, the people who are fussing at them will be the first to pile on because "they did it wrong."

And beating up on Nancy Pelosi gets you nowhere. She's not the problem. If she had the numbers and support, she'd probably be all over impeachment now. But she knows the landscape she's operating on and knows that she doesn't yet have the votes needed to move this. So, she's probably taking the hits in order to give time and space some members of her caucus need to get where you want them to be. Most members who don't publicly support impeachment aren't there yet because their constituents don't support it. Going after Pelosi won't change that and doesn't help anything.

2. Call your senators and representative and urge them to support impeachment. If they already support them, thank them and ask what you can do to help them convince their colleagues. But don't call Nancy Pelosi. It's a waste of time since she's not the one you need to convince.

3. Urge other people you know who want impeachment to also call THEIR senators and representatives.

4. Read the Mueller Report. The whole thing, footnotes and all, so you actually know firsthand what it says - not just what you HEARD it says.

5. Take that knowledge and share it with your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. Educate them so they know what's actually in it (not just what they heard), answer their questions, and correct their misimpressions.

6. Work on educating people beyond your friends and acquaintances. Write letters to the editor, call in to radio shows, organize community forums, etc.

We can all take the constructive steps to move toward impeachment sooner than later. Ranting and venting is fine and we all need to do it at times, but unless you're going the next step and actually helping to work the problem, you're simply exacerbating it.

Please - do something positive if you want to help make this happen!

Wouldn't it be nice

if the media spent as much time demanding to know why Trump and Barr aren't addressing Mueller's findings about ongoing Russian interference in our elections as they're devoting to babadgering speaker pelosi and the Democrats in Congress (but not the Republicans) to take up impeachment on the obstruction that Mueller found?

The Mueller report had two parts, but you wouldn't know it from the media coverage. Apparently only structured needs to do dealt with - and only by the Democrats - while Russian interference into our elections is no big deal...
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 29, 2019, 01:35 PM (0 replies)

I think Mueller was talking to the American public, not Congress

It will be difficult for Congress to move forward on impeachment without the support of a critical mass of the public. Today's statement will surely help build that support.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 29, 2019, 11:01 AM (0 replies)

Michael Wolff: Mueller drafted a 3-count obstruction indictment against Trump


A spokesperson denies that, but uses very interesting parsed language that leaves a mile-wide opening: “The documents that you’ve described do not exist,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue May 28, 2019, 10:30 AM (35 replies)

Supreme Court blocks key portion of anti-abortion measure Pence signed into law

Court compromise on Indiana abortion law keeps issue off its docket

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to a compromise on a restrictive Indiana abortion law that keeps the issue off its docket for now.

The court said a part of the law dealing with disposal of the “remains” of an abortion could go into effect. But it did not take up a part of the law stricken by lower courts that prohibited abortions because tests revealed an abnormality.

The court indicated it would wait for other courts to weigh in before taking up that issue.

Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue May 28, 2019, 09:14 AM (0 replies)

Dear Democratic Presidential Candidates

Posted by StarfishSaver | Mon May 27, 2019, 09:29 PM (15 replies)
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