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.
Granted Article II refers to the Executive Branch, but notice the Founders use of the word civil Officers. In the broadest sense, these Officers would include federally elected or appointed members of the government and possibly everyone down to, but not including your local post man or woman. But really, who knows?
Article II cabinet members, heads of the various federal administrative bodies, think ATI, any three initials, FBI, CIA, FCC, FAA, and OMG (kidding there isn’t one but maybe there should be) are included. But here’s where the Article II train starts to jump the tracks. All Article III federal justices and judges are impeachable as well. From the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS all the way down the line (life appointments are let’s say negotiable) are fair game. Logically, if the directives of Article II can be applied to and include (they do) civil Officers under Article III, why not Article I (Legislature) as well?
You might argue Article I has a remedy for wayward members of the Congress and you would be right. Article I Section 5 Clause 2 provides:
“Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”
This is in addition to the alternate but lesser penalties of reprimand and censure. And while it is crystal clear upon a 2/3rd vote of the Senate Leader and all around bag man McConnell can be expelled, what if he isn’t? Is this where the buck stops? Were the Founders willing to let a rogue presidency continue on-account-of a self-interested, Leader of the Senate of low moral character? intent on conspiring (openly I might add) with the President to defeat the process of impeachment? Leaving in place a conspiracy to continue the actions of a president who in no way, shape or form even tries to act in the best interests of the Country? Unwilling and possibly unable to uphold the oath he swore to the office and invariably the people who elected him to faithfully serve? Perhaps we need to step back and look at the big picture.
If the Constitution stands for any single proposition, it is a document much like Magna Carta that limits the power of a monarchy and works to defeat the rise and/or, if necessary, reality of tyranny generally, and if applied to the presidency, a tyrant. Just so we are clear, in America we REJECT the idea of rule by divine intervention, in favor of a nation ruled by law, and that no one person is above the laws of our land. This is the glue that keeps us together and for the last coming up on 250 years made it possible to have a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. We often seem to forget that no one above the laws means no one, not just the president, but the Senate Leader as well. But here’s more.
Did I mention the very first impeachment and trial was for a no longer sitting US Senator? Beginning in 1797, William Blount, Senator from the newly-minted state of Tennessee, Signor of the Declaration of Independence, and now, almost bankrupt land speculator of dubious moral character was expelled from the Senate for his involvement in a plot to put Spanish controlled lands under the control of the British. If nothing else, Blount’s saga provides proof that corrupt land speculators and builders are not new to American politics.
This is where Blount’s tale gets interesting. After he was expelled, he was impeached by the House of Representatives with his indictment sent to the Senate for trial. Eventually, the Senate did not convict, dismissing the case for one of two reasons. 1. You can’t impeach a US Senator or, 2. It was an unnecessary function because the Defendant was already expelled from office. Here’s the catch. We don’t know the actual reason. It could have been number one, or two, or both. We simply don’t know.
In conclusion, should we leave a despotic, tyrannical murdering psychopath in office because the Senate won’t remove an obviously compromised, aider and abettor, traitorous (you fill in the blank) in office way too long after his expiration date Senator unwilling to fulfill the commands of his office and for some insane reason like being called the “Grim Reaper” but not “Moscow Mitch”? Thereby allowing We the People to further suffer the ill effects of a poorly informed (if at all) man-child’s lack of impulse control and overall unfitness for the job? Or should the House of Representatives, the People’s House have the exigency power, if not responsibility to remove that which allows an individual completely and utterly incapable of leading this nation in place to wreak further damage upon our democracy?
The Founders were pretty-smart guys. I, not nearly as smart or clever as even the least of them, think the answer is rather obvious. How about you?
Did you get your fill of Phil?