Preliminary impeachment papers have been filed against President Trump.
A source speaking to Opposing Views, revealed that the second-ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee had filed a “resolution of inquiry,” against the President. The last time a “resolution of inquiry” was filed on the House floor was against former President Bill Clinton in 1995. The former governor of Arkansas was prepped against the obstruction of justice and perjury after Paula Jones initiated a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York cited the refusal of the President failing to separate his business interests from the office of the White House as one of the reasons behind the inquiry.
“Donald Trump has refused to step away from his business interests in any meaningful way. His foreign entanglements are likely unconstitutional, he has repeatedly refused to disclose his financial assets, and he is clouded by the specter of Russian intervention in the election and his Administration.”
The “resolution of inquiry” is the first step when it comes to impeaching a federal official. The Judiciary Committee is expected to respond within 14 legislative days and could reject it, revise it, or report the resolution favorably. If there is no response within that time, Congressman Nadler would ask for the resolution to be waived and push the matter to the House of Representatives floor.
The “resolution of inquiry” only solicits information from the executive branch of government. Depending on the information unearthed, stronger calls are then made for an impeachment. The Congressman is basically asking for information connected to President Trump, his foreign business interests, as well as his associates to be made available. For impeachment proceedings to go ahead, a government official must have committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The indictment is initiated from the House and if a majority of lawmakers reach a consensus and support the impeachment, the case heads over to the Senate. The Senate then commences a trial with witnesses who are cross-examined. A two-thirds majority is required to convict a federal official. If this succeeds, the official is immediately removed and could face criminal prosecution or be prohibited from holding office in future.
Many observers do not see this happening because it means Democrats would have to get four Republicans on their side on the House floor. Only two presidential impeachments ever made it past the House floor. There was Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky saga in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. If the Trump case even makes it to the Senate, an additional 19 Republicans must cross party lines for the President to be impeached.
This was the hurdle where the cases against Johnson and Clinton crumbled. Johnson escaped impeachment with one vote short. Senate Republicans, on the other hand, could not even muster a majority against Clinton. In 1974, Richard Nixon had inevitable impeachment proceedings filed against him, but resigned before he could be bundled out of office.
There might be some strains between the White House and Members of Congress. However Republican defections are a remote possibility after Mr. Trump has proved to be a cat with many lives. He has survived an avalanche of scandals that should have obliterated his political aspirations a long time ago. Republicans know that going against him would be committing political suicide. His critics are well aware it would take something unbelievably massive to topple President Trump.
In an interview given to CNN on Monday, Rep. Maxine Waters pointed out that judging by the President’s action in less than a month in office, he was “leading himself” to possible impeachment. A White House spokesperson slammed the California Democrat’s comments as a perfect example of “extreme rhetoric from a completely out-of touch party.” House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, revealed that the 45th President of the United States would only have to worry about impeachment only, “when and if he breaks the law.”
Jordan Libowitz, a communications director at ethics watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics speaking to NY Daily News revealed the tweet-storms, insults, mistruths, and other scandals were not enough to boot Trump out of the White House. Libowitz believes the likely path to impeachment would be the President’s conflict of interests.
The anti-bribery clause states that a President cannot “accept any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatsoever from any king, prince or foreign state.” Experts say that Mr. Trump has been pushing the envelope ever since he won the election.
According to them, he has refused to cut ties with his worldwide business interests. He has refused to reveal his tax returns. In addition, his family members continue to sit in on diplomatic meetings and his new hotel in Washington D.C. is already a hub for foreign officials visiting the capital. Critics have also pointed out that Muslim-majority countries where Trump has business interests are unaffected by the travel ban.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]