Hello, this is Darrell Castle with today’s Castle Report. Today I will be talking about the process for involuntarily removing a President from office before his elected term is finished. The United States Constitution describes the requirements for impeachment in three different places. Despite the fact that it is constitutionally permitted and that it is constantly talked about, the involuntary removal of a sitting President of the United States has never occurred in our history.
Impeachment, per the Constitution
The only way to accomplish it would be through the impeachment process, as described in the Constitution. Article 1, section 2 gives the sole power to impeach, which means make charges against, to the House of Representatives, by majority vote. Article 1, section 3 gives the sole power to try the president of the United States for the charges brought against him to the Senate, which it must accomplish that by a two-thirds vote to convict. The 25thAmendment ratified in 1968 in response to President Kennedy’s assassination, allows for removal “if he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Article 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.” The men who wrote those words and ratified them in the Constitution knew all too well the English maxims, “the king can do no wrong” and “the law is in the king’s mouth”. They meant to hold public officials from the highest to the lowest to a standard of strict accountability.
All of them, but especially Washington and Jefferson, were determined to take away any pretense of regal immunity from prosecution. The President, it was decided, would be personally liable to the representatives of the people for his conduct. When the President is tried on impeachment charges the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court presides, thus bringing all three branches into play.
Impeachment as a political act
Although no sitting President has been forcibly removed from office, that doesn’t stop people from trying. Impeachment has become a purely political act. It is just another threat, another weapon, in the hands of something the founders did not anticipate—political parties. Congress is free to set its own standard of impeachment and therefore, a sitting president is untouchable no matter what he does until Congress decides that impeachment is in its best interest. Like so many other things in our government, impeachment is only as good as the will of congress.
Yesterday I received in the mail a fund raising letter from a Republican Congressional candidate which said, “If I am not elected my opponent will lead the fight to impeach the President, so help me defend the President from impeachment and bring this win home”. Both sides are currently using the threat of impeachment for political gains against the other. There are expensive billboards across the country, including one right outside the President’s golf resort in Florida, calling for impeachment.
About 63 million voters or about half of Americans, polls show, sense that their country has been taken from them. In response, back in 2016, they voted for Donald Trump, despite many obvious reasons not to do so. Evangelicals voted for him despite his lack of Christianity. Women voted for him despite his very public womanizing. Small business people voted for him despite his big business identity. These people voted for protection because they are starting to believe Reagan’s quip that “government is not the solution it’s the problem. They voted against big government, big media, big business, big education, and big religion which have all been waging war against them in an effort to push them and their lifestyles to the margins of society.
The people v. the Deep State
The 2016 election is proof that voting alone cannot re-establish traditional America. The oligarchs, the Deep State, or whatever you choose to call them, have not let up for one second their pressure on us for how we live our lives. Avoiding separation due to these differences may now be impossible because one side believes that it has the right, and certainly the power to force universal adherence to its positions. Surrender, called “apology”, is an admission of guilt and for that reason will not work. The job is still lost, the university education still ruined, the life still ruined and the victor is then able to parade around the public square of television and social media with the defeated foe’s head. Thus the message goes out to other would be dissidents; you better watch what you say and what you do.
What does all this have to do with impeachment of the President? I argue that it has everything to do with it because even if the Democrats retake control of the House this fall they probably won’t control the Senate. Even if the Democrats control both Houses, the Senate would need a two-thirds vote to convict. Two-thirds means 66 votes, not 51 votes and, absent clear and convincing evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the President, that is never going to happen. The point is that impeachment is just another political act, which allows the conditions I just mentioned to continue unabated.
Silence no longer an option
So then it is just a political power play to gain or hold power and to inspire the base to give money to campaigns. For those who seek the President’s impeachment, or at least say they do, money would not seem to be the problem. The richest people in the world are on the side of the Deep State oligarchs. From Silicon Valley to Washington D.C., to George Soros, wherever he is living since he was kicked out of Hungary, almost all their votes go left.
This is all combining to divide us more and more each day. Rarely can marriages, or even live-in relationships, exist between people on opposite sides of the political divide. Thus conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, are separating themselves more and more from Deep State control and influence but at the same time are shut out more and more from the positions of power in education, in the corporate world, on Wall Street and the Halls of Power itself.
Silence and maintaining a low profile are starting to lose their effectiveness as tactics. Voting has proven to have its limits in overcoming the obstacles that confront us. We can withdraw and rely on the traditional good sense of the American people but I suspect that most of them are just as dismayed by what’s happening as we are.
The American people will not take kindly to such spite
All this talk of impeachment is usually born of political spite. It is causing great harm to the Republic now just as it did in Bill Clinton’s day since it has zero chance of succeeding. If the political spite fails and the President remains in office heads will roll, just as Newt Gingrich’s head rolled after the Clinton impeachment. Nobody in Congress wants to end up as the headless one.
But as I said it’s harming the Republic because the impeachment power is in the Constitution to protect us from tyranny and corruption, but in order to fulfill that role it has to be taken seriously. When calls of impeachment are started before the election for both candidates and then repeated endlessly, they lose their effectiveness. It becomes less of a very solemn event and more of the sky is falling or the boy who cried wolf. All the political maneuvering is met with a giant yawn by most people. This is where we are today with our senses dulled to it all. People are tired of hearing from their representatives that every skirmish, no matter how small, is a fight to the death to depose a tyrant.
Finally folks, Americans want to choose their presidents through the process of elections rather than having presidents chosen for them. When impeachment is used to defy and nullify the will of the voter the results will not be pretty to look at, especially when the real reason for it is that they just don’t like him.
At least that’s the way I see it.
Until next time folks,
This is Darrell Castle.
Darrell Castle is an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, a former USMC Combat Officer and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee. Darrell gives his unique analysis of current national and international events from a historical and constitutional perspective. You can subscribe to Darrell's weekly podcast at castlereport.us
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