Sunday, February 09, 2020

No more punting to impeachment!

Unfortunately, the Justice Department punts to impeachment as a reason why a President can't be indicted. Given the partisan nature of the last two impeachments, I think this punt is a mistake. A free and independent Justice Department is our best defense against a truly rogue President (had Spiro Agnew become President, that would be an example we could all agree on). If there's a case to be made against a President, he should be indicted and go through the court system like any other citizen. It would be hard even for partisans in the House and Senate to avoid removing an indicted and convicted President.

6 comments:

bmiller said...

It's not like the founders of our nation did not consider this and decided that the impeachment process was the best solution. They trusted "we the people" to make these types of decisions through our elected representatives.

Legion of Logic said...

The policy appears to stem from the Nixon era, when they claimed that indicting a sitting president would prevent them from carrying out duties that no one else can constitutionally perform.

I'm not sure how true that would be, considering there is a vice president, but I don't know of anything in the Constitution that prevents it.

bmiller said...

but I don't know of anything in the Constitution that prevents it.

It would raise all sorts of issues though.
Since the President is the Chief Executive officer, it would mean that he would be in charge of his own indictment and prosecution. That doesn't seem like it would fly.

bmiller said...

But in this most recent case, as Dershowitz pointed out, the President was not accused of any actual crimes.

Starhopper said...

"the founders of our nation"...

... who were most definitely not infallible. We're not Mormons, who believe the Constitution to have been divinely inspired. Far from it; the thing is riddled with errors and "could have been betters".

There is no good reason why the president cannot be charged, tried, and either convicted or acquitted in the criminal courts, just like any other citizen (which he/she is). This idea that a sitting president cannot be indicted is utter nonsense.

bmiller said...

The prevailing view is that a sitting president can't be indicted. But it's never been an argument that's reached the Supreme Court.

I don't think anyone here thinks the Constitution is divinely inspired. But it does contain the rules by which the government should operate as well as the rules by which the Constitution itself can be changed.