Weaponizing Impeachment against Political Opponents

  
Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  2 weeks ago  •  69 comments

By:   Alan M. Dershowitz

Weaponizing Impeachment against Political Opponents
Most important, misusing the impeachment power in a partisan manner would pose, in the words of [Alexander] Hamilton, "the greatest danger" to our Constitution.

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S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Weaponizing Impeachment against Political Opponents

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The constitutional power to impeach a duly elected president was intended by the Framers of the Constitution as a neutral, non-partisan tool of last resort to be used against only criminal incumbents in extreme cases. Pictured:  Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States,  oil on canvas, by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. (Image source: The Indian Reporter/Wikimedia Commons)

The constitutional power to impeach a duly elected president was intended by the Framers of the Constitution as a neutral, non-partisan tool of last resort to be used against only criminal incumbents in extreme cases. It is now being deployed as a partisan weapon that can be used routinely against presidents of a different party from those who control the House of Representatives.

Under the views of some members of Congress, any time the House is controlled by one party, a simple majority can properly vote to impeach. As Congresswoman   Maxine Waters put it : "Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law." She is wrong. The Constitution is the law and she is not above it.

The recent partisan misuse of this emergency power began with the impeachment of former President William Jefferson Clinton by the Republican-controlled House in 1998. Clinton did not commit an impeachable offense, even if he feloniously lied under oath about his sex life. Such perjury, if it occurred, would satisfy the definition of a "crime," but not meet the required Constitutional criteria of a "high crime and misdemeanor." If President Clinton committed a crime, it would be a low crime related to his sex life and comparable to the low felonies — adultery and paying off an extortionist — committed by Alexander Hamilton when he was Secretary of the Treasury. Had Hamilton payed the extortionist from Treasury funds, as he was falsely accused of doing, he would have been guilty of an impeachable high crime.

To be impeached, a president must commit a crime (misdemeanor is a species of crime) and the commission of that crime must also constitute an abuse of office. An abuse of office without an underlying crime is a political sin, but not an impeachable offense.

This very issue was debated at the Constitutional Convention, where one delegate proposed "maladministration" as the criteria for impeachment and removal of a president. James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, strongly objected on the ground that so vague and open-ended a criterion would have the president serve at the will of Congress and turn us from a Republic with a strong president into a parliamentary democracy in which the chief executive can be removed by a simple vote of no confidence. Instead, the Convention adopted strict prerequisites for impeachment: treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The House is no more empowered to substitute its own criteria for those enumerated in the Constitution than the Senate would be to change the 2/3 vote requirement for removal to a simple majority or a 3/5 super majority. Congress is not above the law. It is bound by what the Framers accepted and cannot now apply the criterion the framers explicitly rejected.

Those who characterize the impeachment and removal process as completely political are wrong as a matter of constitutional law, even if they are right in describing the reality of how it is being currently misused. Advocates of this view misquote Hamilton in Federalist #65.

Hamilton did characterize the criteria for impeachment as "political," but only in the sense that they relate to "injuries done immediately to the society itself." He then immediately rejected the view that the process should be partisan, based on "the comparative strength of parties," rather than on "the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt." He called that the "greatest danger" and demanded "neutrality toward those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny." Those who misquote and misunderstand Hamilton wrongly conflate the words "political," by which he meant governmental, and "partisan, " by which he meant related to the comparative strength of parties and factions.

It is difficult to imagine a greater breach of Hamilton's principles than the recent House vote along party lines (with two exceptions, both opposing impeachment) to open a formal impeachment investigation against President Trump. The vote was determined exclusively by the "comparative strength of parties," as was the vote to impeach President Bill Clinton two decades ago.

A partisan House vote to impeach President Trump, followed by a partisan Senate vote to acquit him, would not only hurt the Democratic Party — as the votes in the Clinton case hurt the Republican Party — it would damage our constitution and further polarize our already divided nation.

Most important, misusing the impeachment power in a partisan manner would pose, in the words of Hamilton, "the greatest danger" to our Constitution.


Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of   The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump,   Skyhorse Publishing, 2019.

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Buzz of the Orient
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

Personally, I will take the word of a brilliant jurist who has declared himself to be a liberal Democrat, rather than that of those who just blindly believe biased commentary and refuse to even look at the other side of a story, and I know that my words here are bound to be criticized for saying that, as is Dershowitz for betraying the Democrats' modus operandi. 

In fact, I expect that both Dershowitz and I are bound to be called "Trumpsters" for thinking that following the law is more important than party loyalty.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    2 weeks ago
the other side of a story,

The idea that Trump has a legitimate "side of the story" is what is ruining America today. 

Dershowitz turned himself into a Trump apologist almost from the beginning. It is a shame that will cling to him for the rest of his life. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    2 weeks ago

So anyone who points out the law that is correct in the circumstance is called an apologist?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

Buzz, have you ever posted a seed that is critical of Trump? 

By the record, you are an apologist for Trump on this forum. From a foreign country. 

Why is Dershowitz correct?  Because you like him? There are countless legal experts who believe that Trump is CORRECTLY subject to impeachment. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

An interesting legal question.  If one does not say something bad about a person, then does that automatically mean they approve of that person?  Doesn't sound logical to me, but then after all it's coming from someone who calls any such person a Trumpster,

Yeah, I DO like Dershowitz, and I DO think he's a brilliant Jurist.  Just because people disagree with what he says is not something I would consider a reason to think he isn't a brilliant jurist.  Of course being a law professor at Harvard should earn him a point or two, I think.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
1.1.4  Dean Moriarty  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

Would you place a higher value on his opinion if his job title was editor at a leftist media outlet?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.5  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

I have never posted a seed that is critical of Trump.  I didn't know it was a requirement in order to not be called a "Trumpster" or an "apologist for Trump".   However, I have made comments about the fact that he has caused me harm by bullying my Prime Minister into giving up some of the advantage for Canada in NAFTA, and for his trade war with China.  As well I criticized him for betraying the Kurds.  Don't those things count?  If anything, at least I'm unbiased, which is more than your seeds/articles and comments indicate.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.6  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.5    one week ago

For someone to be biased against Trump there would have to be a legitimate argument to be made for him which the "biased" person refuses to consider. 

That is not the case. There is no good argument for Trump and thus there is no "bias" against him. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.7  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.6    one week ago

Well, as you well know, I appreciate what he has done for Israel, which although promised by other presidents they didn't have the guts to carry out.  That is the ONLY thing he has done that I am thankful for.  I really don't give a damn what he has done or not done or done wrong or right for you and America, because it simply doesn't concern me.  I am not an American and he is not my POTUS.  Unfortunately for you, you are stuck with those circumstances. 

 
 
 
Goodtime Charlie
1.1.8  Goodtime Charlie  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    one week ago
Why is Dershowitz correct?  Because you like him?

Why is Dershowitz wrong? Because you hate him and Trump, that was a statement, not a question.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.9  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.7    one week ago
That is the ONLY thing he has done that I am thankful for.  I really don't give a damn what he has done or not done or done wrong or right for you and America, because it simply doesn't concern me. 

You really should stop posting about Trump. It is obvious that you rarely know what you are talking about on the subject, and as you say you don't care. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.10  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.9    one week ago
"You really should stop posting about Trump."

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As you have admitted yourself, a day doesn't go by that you are told you are exhibiting the mental illness of obsessive compulsive disorder due to your daily posting of hateful articles about Trump.  So maybe you should practise what you're preaching to me.

Oh, and by the way, the seeded article is not specifically about Trump.  It is specific about impeachment proceedings, the history of it, and refers to a number of other presidents as well..  Maybe you shouldn't criticize others because your comments indicate that I don't know what I'm talking about while your criticisms of me are focused only on Trump, and not the actual meaning of the seeded article.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.1.11  Freedom Warrior  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.6    one week ago

Oh that’s so easy to refute every day goes by the Trump pisses off some left wing fukwads is a good reason to have him as president

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.12  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.10    one week ago
As you have admitted yourself, a day doesn't go by that you are told you are exhibiting the mental illness of obsessive compulsive disorder due to your daily posting of hateful articles about Trump.

Donald Trump is completely unfit, by character (utter lack of) and by his intellect (woefully insufficient) to be president of the United States. People who oppose him are the most normal and in touch with reality of anyone. 

There is no such thing as Trump obsession or Trump derangement. 

You have admitted you dont care what Trump does to America, because it is not your concern, so why don't you just stay the hell out of it. 

 
 
 
dennis smith
1.1.13  dennis smith  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    one week ago

Have you ever posted a seed that is not critical of Trump?

 
 
 
dennis smith
1.1.14  dennis smith  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.10    one week ago

Oh, and by the way, the seeded article is not specifically about Trump.  It is specific about impeachment proceedings, the history of it, and refers to a number of other presidents as well..  Maybe you shouldn't criticize others because your comments indicate that I don't know what I'm talking about while your criticisms of me are focused only on Trump, and not the actual meaning of the seeded article

[deleted]

 
 
 
CB
1.1.15  CB   replied to  Freedom Warrior @1.1.11    one week ago

That sounds 'ignard' coming from anybody. Any single day of my, your, or whomsoever's life wasted on stupid for stupid-sake is a bad reason to act.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1.16  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    one week ago
he idea that Trump has a legitimate "side of the story" is what is ruining America today.

Of course Trump has his side since he is the sitting president and protected by the Constitutional rights of presumption of innocence and due process.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1.17  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    one week ago
There are countless legal experts who believe that Trump is CORRECTLY subject to impeachment. 

Of course Trump is SUBJECT to impeachment, but no high crime orr misdemeanor has occurred

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.18  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.12    one week ago

"You have admitted you dont care what Trump does to America, because it is not your concern, so why don't you just stay the hell out of it."

So you want to shut me up?  I thought the First Amendment was important in America. Do you criticize everyone who follows your laws and Constitution, or just me? 

Really, John, once you've made your point, and you've made it hundreds of times, why repeat it daily without ever stopping?  Doing that is why you have been criticized by many, as you have admitted yourself, of suffering from a mental illness. 

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2  NV-Robin6    2 weeks ago

Alan Dershowitz? The same law professor who said, "The defendant wants to hide the truth because he's generally guilty. The defense attorney's job is to make sure the jury never arrives at that truth."

The same Alan Dershowitz willing to make sure Jeffrey Epstein's jury never arrived at the truth? 

I'll take Professor Lawrence Tribe over Dershowitz any day. 

As far as Dershowitz splitting Hamilton hairs, I totally disagree with his premise. The Framers would have never written or given power to the House if it wasn't the only way to keep check on a corrupt president who openly admits it daily. Obstruction is a high crime and must be prosecuted as such. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2    2 weeks ago

Oh, it's all such a game - a show for the public. The House will decide impeachment and the Senate will block it.  Ho hum.  At least I can correctly say he's not my President so I really don't give a shit.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2    2 weeks ago

I didn't think of this until after I locked the seed, but would you please post your sources for Dershowitz's comment that you have quoted and your proof that he is "willing to make sure Jeffrey Epstein's jury never arrived at the truth."

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.2.1  NV-Robin6  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2    one week ago

One is a quote and I will find it for you tomorrow. It's easier to do from my laptop.  I'm off line myself the rest of the night. Dinner out, then to bed. We just went off daylight savings time and my internal clock is way off.  Been awake since 2:30AM PST. I'm usually up between 4:30 and 5AM. 

PS.  I didn't  realize you have to lock if you're not moderating 24/7.  As you can see, I don't have time to seed and don't really even want to get into that. I didn't at NV either. This time of year, I can spend time here, but it's usually only for a few months, depending on my work schedule. 

 
 
 
Goodtime Charlie
2.2.2  Goodtime Charlie  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.2.1    one week ago
One is a quote and I will find it for you tomorrow

In other words " I'm out of here, I can't back up my words"

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.2.1    one week ago

We don't HAVE to lock, but if a seed/article is controversial it can lead to some pretty nasty CoC-offending comments - some, as I have experienced, aimed at me, so it is the PRUDENT thing to do.  I never bother to lock non-controversial seeds/articles.

Even though China is the second largest country, quite broad on the map, the time for the whole country is the same (Beijing time) and never changes seasonally.  It certainly is less confusing.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.2.4  NV-Robin6  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.3    one week ago

Oops I left the citations on another one of your seeds as I didn't see this one was still up.

Here you go. 

https://www.inspiringquotes.us/author/2079-alan-dershowitz

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C2CHBF_enUS740US740&source=hp&ei=SoDDXaevAqeV0PEPs9-_oAg&q=Dershowitz+quotes&oq=Dershowitz+quotes&gs_l=psy-ab.12..0.543.6353..8405...0.0..0.85.1173.17....2..0....1..gws-wiz.......0i131j0i10j0i22i30.y6n2FI60kwc&ved=0ahUKEwin_KbihdflAhWnCjQIHbPvD4QQ4dUDCAg

Note to Charlie:  I don't have to answer to you but I will reply about your snarky comment. I can't live here (News Talkers) full time like so many here. I hate trying to link from my phone so have to use my laptop in my office. I didn't sit down to it till tonight.  Stop with your failed attempts at insulting me. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.5  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.2.4    one week ago

I'm unable to open your google link, but I did enjoy reading Dershowitz's quotations - they make me admire him even more than before.  You used this quote to disparage him:

“The defendant wants to hide the truth because he's generally guilty. The defense attorney's job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.”

But as Citizen Kane pointed out, that is what a defence attorney is obligated to do.  If you ever saw the Al Pacino movie "And Justice For All", you would see what happens to a lawyer who doesn't do it.  Why is it, Robin, that there is no obligation to put an accused on the stand in American/Canadian British-based law?  In fact the Jury or Judge alone must NOT to take that as an admission of guilt. 

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.2.6  NV-Robin6  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.5    one week ago

Tell yourself all this if a loved one in your family is murdered, raped or maimed by another's actions on just how fair you want to see the perp treated as innocent until proven guilty when they have the goods right on him/her up front. Like I said, it's a lie you want to tell yourself. It's a good sound bite but has no basis in reality. 

You have google, right? You can just type in Dershowitz quotes.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.7  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.2.6    one week ago
"...when they have the goods right on him/her up front."

If that's so, it shouldn't be a problem finding them guilty.

I told you I can't open google.  China has blocked it years ago.  I lost my gmail when they did.   However, to search anything, I use Bing or Ecosia.

 
 
 
Citizen Kane-473667
2.3  Citizen Kane-473667  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2    one week ago
"The defendant wants to hide the truth because he's generally guilty. The defense attorney's job is to make sure the jury never arrives at that truth."

Isn't that, in a nutshell, the job of a defense attorney? Matter of fact, and correct me if I'm wrong, but can't a defense attorney be barred from practicing law if they fail to do their utmost to absolve their client when possible--even if they believe them to be guilty of the crime of which they are being charged? 

Remember the old adage; "innocent until proven guilty"? Your defense attorneys job is to keep that from happening. Matter of fact, this is clearly stated throughout the entire legal system, and by every defense attorney EVER, and you now want to take umbrage for it being said for the Billionth time???

PUH--leeze....

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.3.1  Texan1211  replied to  Citizen Kane-473667 @2.3    one week ago

@2.3

Excellent points.

An attorney has a duty to work towards the best outcome for their client.

Remember when there was some flap about Hillary Clinton defending a man accused of rape? (Something about her laughing about it--which wasn't true).

She explained quite well about what her duties were.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.3.2  NV-Robin6  replied to  Citizen Kane-473667 @2.3    one week ago

Puhhhhleeeze this. He said it --which was the point. Whether its obvious or not to you, that's the point. 

Let's get real. In America, you're not innocent until you prove yourself innocent and is why felons are locked up and bail denied in many cases before they make it to court. Innocent until proven guilty is just one of those long list of lies you like to tell yourself. And now you want to really believe it because you know Don the Con is going down. Brace yourself. 

Can you say BLUE WAVE 2020! Can you say Kentucky and Virginia?! Can you say Canary in the coal mine? HAR! 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.3.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.3.2    one week ago
"Innocent until proven guilty is just one of those long list of lies you like to tell yourself."

Robin, that is one of the cornerstones of civilized Criminal Law.  The Americans who lynched blacks in the last century did not follow that rule, and that's okay with you?  Did you ever read or watch the movie To Kill a Mockingbird?

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.3.4  NV-Robin6  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.3.3    one week ago

Of course I read it and sure it's a hallmark of justice but it is still nothing more than platitude proven every day in our court system. 

The Americans who lynched blacks back then are still the same mentality we see in Trumper's today. The laws and Constitution are only on their side when they want it to work one way and to hell with honesty and process they themselves set in motion now that that process isn't to their advantage. Dershowitz even said so and why that quote was important. Self-revealing about the guilty defending asswipes like DT. 

 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.3.5  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.3.4    one week ago

Our discussion is going nowhere, so as far as I'm concerned I'm not going to continue it. 

 
 
 
Dulay
2.3.6  Dulay  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.3.3    one week ago

I don't know if you realize how many people TODAY in the US spend YEARS in prison waiting for trial because they can't afford to make bail. The only thing they are guilty of is being poor. 

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.3.7  NV-Robin6  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.3.5    one week ago

Good. I'm done here as well. I'll leave you with this quote coming right out of the same mind as "When Fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag carrying a cross."

In 1923 Lonnie Jackson, mayor of Central City, Kentucky and president of District No. 23 of the United Mine Workers of America described the Ku Klux Klan using a matching phrase

"The Ku Klux Klan comes wrapped in the American flag, as it were, advocating the American principles openly, with a Bible in its hand, and the very next day they are passing their neighbors with a mask over their faces. My conception of the fundamental principles of Americanism is that a man should have nothing to be ashamed of.”

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.3.8  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dulay @2.3.6    one week ago

This is starting to go off the seed topic.  If you feel strongly about the injustice of the American legal system, since you have some legal-related experience, why don't you post an article about it.?  We can discuss it there.

 
 
 
CB
2.4  CB   replied to  NV-Robin6 @2    one week ago

What we have here is people who think it is 'cute' to be whimsical about playing with political fire. It is a fhits and giggles and pulling smiles until somebody (or someones) are required to climb up on the 'spit' above the fire and suffer the horrendous act of burning.

I am not sure what Dershowitz's problem is these days. Is it a search for truth, relevancy, fame, or just wanting to be right. I mean, is it the letter of the law or the spirit of the law or both which could matter in the area of law and old-fashioned commonsense.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.4.1  NV-Robin6  replied to  CB @2.4    one week ago

I have a plaque on my wall in my tiki bar that says, "It's all shits and giggles, until someone giggles and shits!" 

I am looking forward the rightwing moonbats shitting their pants. It's very much coming to a theater near us! Don't we just love democracy and the Founding Father's protections from the abusers of power. Talk about emotional crybabies. They're here every day spouting how life is so unfair to their orange peon god. 

 
 
 
CB
2.4.2  CB   replied to  NV-Robin6 @2.4.1    one week ago

This nation is built on memorable people who try to get it right more so than get it all wrong. There is no one who want impeachment less that Nancy Pelosi, but even in this Donald Trump could not leave it alone. So the democrats as a party are not "weaponizing" impeachment against Donald Trump. He is figuratively blowing up his presidency on himself! Over:over:over:repeat.

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
2.4.3  NV-Robin6  replied to  CB @2.4.2    one week ago

Exactly, he brought it on himself. He thinks he's invincible and he's about to find out his narcissism just buried him.  He's the dumbest mother fucker to ever hold the office. 

 
 
 
freepress
3  freepress    2 weeks ago

Getting the truth is not weaponizing anything. Nixon and his cohorts lied and covered up a break-in so crimes and misdemeanors, Clinton lied about a consensual affair so lying to the American people amounted to a misdemeanor, Trump has lied and his cohorts have lied about Congressional appropriations and their dealings with a foreign government. All of these reach the threshold of impeachment in every single case. End of the story. Americans either want honesty or they don't. This has nothing to do with just Trump, it is about American standards, morals and the Constitution.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  freepress @3    2 weeks ago

Thanks for an intelligent comment that did not include disparaging anyone.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

As I predicted in my first comment, both Dershowitz and I are being treated as targets, so since I'm obligated to be available to moderate a seed/article that I post,  and it's now after 10 pm where I am, I am going to lock this seed for the night, and will reopen in in about 9 hours from now.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

This seed is now unlocked and open for your expected negative and biased comments.

 
 
 
charger 383
5.1  charger 383  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    one week ago

Positive Comment because today was a good day and I got a few things accomplished  

 
 
 
Dulay
5.2  Dulay  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    one week ago

Then you'll be happy to know that I just have a sustantive comment about the posit put forward by Dershowitz. He said: 

To be impeached, a president must commit a crime (misdemeanor is a species of crime) and the commission of that crime must also constitute an abuse of office. An abuse of office without an underlying crime is a political sin, but not an impeachable offense. This very issue was debated at the Constitutional Convention, where one delegate proposed "maladministration" as the criteria for impeachment and removal of a president. James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, strongly objected on the ground that so vague and open-ended a criterion would have the president serve at the will of Congress and turn us from a Republic with a strong president into a parliamentary democracy in which the chief executive can be removed by a simple vote of no confidence. Instead, the Convention adopted strict prerequisites for impeachment: treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 

First of all, the debate minutes of the Constitutional Convention are online for everyone to see so I don't know why Dershowitz would misrepresent what Madison said. Here is what he said in total:

Mr Madison: So vague a term will be equivalent to a tenure during pleasure of the Senate.

Now saying Madison 'strongly objected' hasn't read much of Madison's monologues during the debates. 

Dershowitz's extra added commentary is misrepresentation of the worst kind. 

Secondly, during the ratification debates in Virginia, this exchange took place:

Mr. Mason:

Now, I conceive that the President ought not to have the power of pardoning, because he may  frequently pardon crimes which were advised by himself. It may happen, at some future day, that he will establish a monarchy, and destroy the republic. If he has the power of granting pardons before indictment, or conviction, may he not stop inquiry and prevent detection? The case of treason ought, at least, to be excepted. This is a weighty objection with me.

Mr. MADISON, adverting to Mr. Mason's objection to the President's power of pardoning...

There is one security in this case to which gentlemen may not have adverted: if the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty; they can suspend him when suspected, and the power will devolve on the Vice-President. 

So you see, Dershowitz is ignoring the fact that Madison himself cited an instance when a POTUS could be Impeached without having committed a crime himself. 

Dershowitz can't hold Madison up and then deny his own words. 

Dershowitz wants to ignore Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England' which the founders heavily relied on and from where their understanding of the legal 'term or art' high crimes and misdemeanors came. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dulay @5.2    one week ago

Thank you Dulay for your excellent comment that is not critical of any NT members.

 
 
 
Dulay
5.2.2  Dulay  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2.1    one week ago

You are more than welcome. 

 
 
 
NV-Robin6
5.2.3  NV-Robin6  replied to  Dulay @5.2    one week ago

You are one of my heroes here! You should be a constitutional lawyer yourself. 

Dershowitz came with a price and he's going to pay for his play. I hope it was well worth losing his own credibility over it at the end of this. 

 
 
 
Dulay
5.2.4  Dulay  replied to  NV-Robin6 @5.2.3    one week ago

Awe shucks, thanks Robin. 

No seriously, I really do spend an inordinate amount of time reading about this shit, which occasionally, even after all these years, pisses off my wife.

I've used it for my own benefit in court and professionally at times. Saved me some money and made me some money. 

I got interested in it as a kid and have always loved learning about government and the law. I read all to the founding documents and the Federalist papers before I was out of grade school. I also like the correspondence between Jefferson and Madison and now with the internet, it's all so much more assessable.  I know, weird.

It isn't an easy subject and that is why it's so easy for it to be used against those who just don't have the time to read and understand the legalese that lawyers and legislators spew. Starting when I volunteer as a paralegal gave me an ability to do quick  research. Lawyers are anything but patient and they demand facts that support the argument. 

So you shouldn't see me as a 'hero', just a demented bibliophile who is tenacious about the facts and insists on correcting those who refuse to acknowledge them. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
6  Tacos!    one week ago

The thing I love about Dershowitz is that he leaves his personal feelings out of his analysis and just applies the facts to the law. That way it is possible to seem to defend someone you don’t actually like.

I do this all the time with Trump and it drives the Trump haters around here crazy. I didn’t vote for Trump in the primary; I don’t like his lack of manners; and I don’t think he’s a particularly skilled president. None of that is grounds for impeachment.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
6.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @6    one week ago

Opinion – Alan Dershowitz: Why I defend people like Jeffrey Epstein

World-renowned lawyer explains why he argues for people accused of having done heinous crimes, and what the impact has been on his professional career

By  ALAN DERSHOWITZ - JTA, September 6, 2019

[BUZZ NOTE:  JTA is rated "Least biased" by Media Bias Fact Check]

I f I had not defended the late Jeffrey Epstein and got him a favourable plea deal, it is unlikely I would have been the subject of a hit piece in   The New Yorker , not to mention be accused of sexual misconduct by two of Epstein’s alleged victims. My first accuser told   The New Yorker   she accused me because “Jeffrey got away with it, basically. And Dershowitz was one of the people who enabled that to happen”.

So, because I did my job well – getting my client the best result – I have become a target of efforts to destroy my reputation and career.

This is not the first time in my long career as a defence attorney that this has happened. In my first major case, I defended a member of the Jewish Defense League for making a smoke bomb that killed a Jewish woman from a wealthy family. I won the case, but     the family refused to contribute further to Harvard law school unless I was fired. The law school refused, and all contributions ended.

When I helped successfully defend O.J. Simpson, my speaking engagements dried up. And when I defended films alleged to be obscene, there were protests and pickets.

The Epstein case was the worst of all. It reminded me of my college years, during which I defended the right of communists – whose views I despised – to speak at Brooklyn College and was called a communist.

There are several categories of defendants I will   not   represent: fugitives seeking to escape justice and career criminals. I also don’t generally defend anyone for a second alleged crime. But I will continue to represent the most despised, controversial and indefensible clients.

I get my inspiration from the biblical Abraham, who defended the sinners of Sodom; John Adams, who defended the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre; Abraham Lincoln, who defended numerous controversial clients, some guilty, some not guilty; and my friend and mentor Leonard Boudin, who represented communists during the McCarthy period.

I have participated in legal systems in which lawyers are punished for representing enemies of the state. When I defended Soviet Jewish refuseniks, our team had difficulty obtaining local counsel in the Soviet Union because they feared reprisal. The same is true in China today and in many other repressive regimes.

America is different – at least in theory. Our Sixth Amendment demands that every accused be afforded the right to counsel, but too many defendants are denied zealous representation because lawyers fear economic and political reprisal. Lawyers who were part of the Epstein defence team have had their contributions to political candidates returned. Others have been threatened with loss of business. This is a dangerous development.

Many poor people are denied effective counsel. That is why I have had a policy of defending half of my clients on a pro bono basis.

The Founding Fathers – and as a result, the US legal system – relied on jurist the Blackstone’s proclamation it is better for 10 guilty men to go free than for even one innocent person to suffer by being wrongly convicted (a similar sentiment to Abraham’s negotiation with God).

Most criminal defence lawyers defend mostly guilty defendants, because in the US most people accused of a crime are guilty. In order to keep it that way, we must vigorously defend every person accused of a crime. 

In other words, I defend the guilty to protect not only them, but to assure that innocent people are not brought to trial and put through the personal agony such a legal process entails. If criminal defence lawyers were to refuse to zealously defend the guilty, more and more innocent people would be brought to trial.

Being a criminal defence lawyer, particularly a successful one, is not the way to popularity. But it is the way to a just system of law.

BUZZ NOTE:  Dershowitz has defended such persons as Clause Von Bulow, Patty Heast, Harry Reems, OJ Simpson, Julius Assange.  In my opinion he is a lawyer's lawyer, one who will carry out his sworn duties as a lawyer professionally, accurately, and as a defender of the true purpose of the legal system. He has been criticized by those who have limited understanding of the law when so clearly his personal feelings (and theirs) DO NOT INTERFERE with his DUTY as a lawyer. 

 
 
 
CB
6.1.1  CB   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.1    one week ago

th?id=AMMS_3e2eafa2a27330b872eb624617922

If ever there was a president suitable for the impeachment clause of the Constitution: This guy is it. Men or women presidents might qualify more so in the future, but for today its that guy. For he flagrantly flounts rules, regs, policies, customs, norms, and laws of this nation. And apparently he is a hopeless liar and abuser of other people in and out government and his administration.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
6.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  CB @6.1.1    one week ago

Thank you for your "unbiased" (LOL) opinion.

 
 
 
CB
6.1.3  CB   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.1.2    one week ago

ANYTIME! I have facts and my assessment of that guy to fall back on!

 
 
 
Dulay
6.2  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @6    one week ago

Unfortunately, in this instance, he didn't state the facts and he conveniently omitted others.

See my 5.2 post.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
6.2.1  Tacos!  replied to  Dulay @6.2    one week ago

Are you really claiming he didn’t state any facts? Or is it that he didn’t state all the facts? 

He made an argument. You’re free to disagree with it, of course. Anyone making an argument will stress certain facts. Observing that there are other facts he could have mentioned is a pretty incomplete rebuttal.

 
 
 
bbl-1
7  bbl-1    one week ago

Conservatives always whine about being targets. 

Expect the whines to increase as the 'old crow comes home to roost' with revised and redirected "Lock him up" chants. 

Ah yes, the fond, gossamer, pinkish feel goods of the old "Lock her up" has rescinded back into the hard sprayed hair like covered scalp from which it was bred and released into the maelstrom of 'post American society'.

Serve your country, be a patriot, tell the truth, earn a military medal and the 'Forever Trumpers' accuse you of being a 'Never Trumper'.

No offense folks, but not only is this absurd, it is also absurd.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
7.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @7    one week ago

Just a few months ago, the people chanting "lock him up" claimed the  chants were anti-American and an insult to everything good and decent in the world.  Now they engage in them every chance they can. 

As sure as death and taxes, we can be certain that whatever behavior prgrogessives are hyperventilating about today, they will engage it in tomorrow.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
7.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @7.1    one week ago

Mugly dittos to you too.  The 'Lock Her Ups' were initiated at the behest of the porn star and playboy model banger.  He sowed it.  Let him eat it.

Manafort is in prison.  H. Clinton is not. 

Your boy is anti-American.  Yesterday he deleted the last barriers for coal ash to be dumped into the streams and rivers of America.  MAGA.  This is what it always was.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @7.1.1    one week ago

My boy?  LOL.  He's YOUR President, not mine. The only thing he's done that I appreciate is his support for Israel.  He's done other things that have cost me money, such as bullying Trudeau to give up some Canadian benefits and his trade war with China. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
8  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

It's 10:30 pm now so I'm locking this seed for the night, and will unlock it in about 9 hours from now.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
9  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

This article is now unlocked again, now that it is morning where I am.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
10  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

It's 10:15 pm now so I'm locking this seed for the night, and will unlock it in about 9 hours from now.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
11  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

This seed is now unlocked, but will be locked permanently in about 14 hours from now.  Last chance to post comments.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
12  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

This seed has been up for three days, got almost 70 comments, so it's had an adequate run.  Nobody has commented on it for a while so I am now locking it permanently.  Old seeds never die, they just fade away.

 
 
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