Hello everyone, Kevin here. Last year I did an episode all about impeachment. I told of the time Oklahoma impeached and removed two sitting Governors. I briefly went over what it took to impeach a President on a federal level. My how the news catches up with you at times. Let's talk about it.
Welcome to Blog Oklahoma.
So if you've been anywhere near a news source within the last few weeks you know that things are getting serious over in Washington DC. The U.S. House of Representatives have started a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
A quick review of impeachment.
First off impeachment by the House of Representatives is not the removal from office. It's similar to an indictment in criminal law, formal charges are brought forth. It does not mean the removal from office. It's the start of the process. The removal is by trial in the Senate.
Here's how Impeachment is defined by the U.S. Constitution
In Article I
"The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment."
"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."
Article II (2) Section 4 says
"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."
So what's going on now is just an inquiry. The various House committees are gathering evidence to bring to the full House to vote on Impeachment. It only takes a simple majority for Impeachment to pass.
When it gets to the Senate there will be a big ol trial. Evidence will be presented, a defence will be given, and a vote of two thirds must be reached to convict and remove from office. If every Senator is present that means 67 must vote to convict.
No sitting President has been removed from office by Impeachment.
So how did we get here?
It seems there have been calls for the impeachment of President Donald Trump almost from the moment he began his term. A lot of that was just talk and hyperbole. In my life time I've heard people say that about many Presidents or Presidential nominees. I can remember talk of impeachment for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Bill Clinton was the only one that it actually happened to and that was because he lied about getting a blow job. I'm not joking.
Impeachment is a political process. It takes a certain about of political will to make it happen. Of course there has to be evidence to back up Impeachment, but it's still all politics.
In the case of President Donald Trump, it's been a near constant stream of scandal after scandal. From political rivals and allies of the President, there have been accusations, I repeat accusations, of emoluments clause violations by profiting off his office, nepotism, racism, sexisim, paying off porn stars, repeatedly lying even about the little things, general incompetence, and obstruction of justice to actually working with Russia to swing a U.S. election. Again that's just the accusations. All of that would bring one's political rivals to bid for a case of impeachment.
So what was the actual the last straw? A phone call.
In August, a whistleblower filed a report with the inspector general for national intelligence regarding a call by President Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the handling of that call afterward.
In this call President Trump repeatedly tried to get the Ukrainian President to open an investigation into Former Vice President (and now presidential candidate) Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. All while keeping funds for Ukraine on hold in what appears to be a quid pro quo. Basically if you do this for me, I'll give you the funds.
After this call took place, the staff took the records of this call and placed them in a classified database in what appears to be a cover up.
After more information and news about this call came out, more and more people agreed it was time to begin impeachment.
So on September 24th, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of the President.
Since then it's just been a steady flow of discovery after discovery of who was involved and what did they know. Implicated so far has been the President himself, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, just recently the Vice President Mike Pence, and many more government officials.
Now I've just given you the broad strokes of what's going on. More news is dropping as I'm writing this. It's almost hard to keep up. I delayed this episode a week so I could get caught up with it. In the show notes I'll be providing links to as much information as I can find, and would encourage you to look through it.
Right now it's just an inquiry, an investigation. Impeachment might not even reach the House floor, but it likely will, and soon.
For the next few months political tensions will rise. Lines are being drawn and sides taken. If what I heard on the Sunday talk shows is any indication it's going to be a fun time in the land politics.
If impeachment happens I'll definitely be doing another episode about this. I again encourage everyone to read up on what's going on and make up your own mind about it.
Again I'll have links to this and more in the show notes.
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