Well, That’s One Phony Impeachment Theory Down For Good…

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The Supreme Court today threw out lawsuits claiming that Donald Trump violated the obscure Emoluments Clause, and thus profited from his Presidency. The issue, it concluded, was moot because Trump is no longer in office.

The specious accusation President Trump is violating the Constitution by owning businesses while he is President (Plan C on the list) claimed an ethical breach never anticipated by the Founders and an issue that was barely discussed by the news media during the campaign. Once the President was elected, his haters and saboteurs demanded that he surrender his interests in a vast business empire, something that was both logically and practically impossible. The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8), a true Constitutional dead letter, stipulates that no federal officeholders “shall receive gifts or payments from foreign state or rulers without the consent of Congress.” But payments obviously means pay-offs, and payment for services isn’t a gift. Nor are Trump hotel and other organization receipts payments to the President.

Ironically, President Trump is probably the first President who lost substantial wealth because he was President. The slur that he was in the job for the money is a particularly deep and odoriferous form of hate, contradicting history, financial realities and human nature. Here is a discussion about the Emoluments Clause showing just how vague and useless the provision is, and you can check my earlier post about the unethical use of it by journalists, and one reference nicely skewered by law professor Ann Althouse.

Hate and stupidity still runs deep with the Trump Deranged. One comment to the AOL article (AOL is a nest of Trump hate, for some reason) about the SCOTUS ruling said,

“Their lawsuits are moot just because he’s no longer in office? Does that mean all future presidents can commit crimes without consequences as long as they draw the legal process out long enough to outlast their presidency? Remember – this applies to Republicans and Democrats so don’t think of this as a political statement.”

No, it’s a moronic and ignorant statement. Violating the Emoluments Clause would not be a crime, and the kinds of violations Trump’s Furies are alleging are particularly non-criminal as well as specious.

Here’s another:

“Amazing isn’t it that a president can commit whatever crime he wants while in office, if he’s republican, and get away with it. In office, no big deal. Out of office, doesn’t count any more. Seems to me a crime is a crime. Perhaps all of us should go rob a bank, walk out the door and say they can’t arrest me because I am no longer in the bank no longer robbing it and I’m leaving. Wonder how That would play out. ? Trump is guilty of many things and I am confident that in the private sector they do not let him off with a slap on his wrist a smile, and an afterthought of go do it again.”

This, my friends, is what comes of non-existent civic education, historical ignorance, four years of legally sanctioned libel and slander, lazy reading, and the increasing conviction that not having a clue what one is opining about shouldn’t stop that individual from opining.

29 thoughts on “Well, That’s One Phony Impeachment Theory Down For Good…

  1. Best statement of fact I have seen in a long time:
    “This, my friends, is what comes of non-existent civic education, historical ignorance, four years of legally sanctioned libel and slander, lazy reading, and the increasing conviction that not having a clue what one is opining about shouldn’t stop that individual from opining. “

  2. “Hate and stupidity still runs deep with the Trump Deranged”
    As the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, private citizen, lumbers on, and as I still read daily the repeated litany of Big Lies about Trump, I’m beginning to think that hate and stupidity are the only arrows in their quiver. I recently told one of the Trump Deranged (who called me after the election to gloat), “You Democrats are going to eventually realize that it takes more than Trump hate and bad ideas to govern the United States.” Increasingly, I’m unsure they will realize it before the republic is irreparably divided.

    • I can’t remember which House Democrat member said it but the current impeachment is intended to declare Trump ineligible for future political office. I can’t follow that reasoning. The text of the Constitutional provision states,

      Article II, Section 4:

      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.

      I don’t read it in the text, and I know the Constitution is a living, breathing document, but the remedy is “removal on impeachment”. He is out of office; therefore, there is no office from which to remove him. Where is the authority to declare that, because he can’t be removed, he can’t serve again?

      jvb

      • Aricle 1, section 3: “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.”

        There’s some dispute whether the presidency qualifies as an Office of honor, Trust or Profit.

        • Article I, Section 3, applies to Congress not the Executive Branch. Article II applies to the Executive Branch. Article II, Section 4 does not have that text regarding disqualification from future office. Trump was President, not a member of Congress. So, I still don’t see that disqualification applies to his ambitions for future executive office.

          jvb

          • Oh come on, John. The Constitution reads however Nancy Pelosi and her nine prosecutors (nine?) want it to. Get a grip, man.

          • Because impeachment is a power of congress, how the process works is laid out there.. The section under article 2 makes it clear that the executive branch is subject to that process and must be removed from office if convicted. Without it being there someone would argue that the executive branch is immune to it, although it otherwise seems redundant.

            Alcee Hastings was removed from office but explicitly not blocked from future office. There was some dispute whether being blocked was implicit in being removed from office, but decision seems.

            Serious question though: wouldn’t impeachment of a non-office holder amount to a bill of attainder?

            • You never reach that issue, because the Senate has no jurisdiction over a private citizen. I suspect this is why Justice Roberts refuses to preside as required. That’s a big hint that one way or the other, the trial is a bust.

    • I think the United States is already irreparably divided. I used to think the left were mostly decent people with good intentions but mostly incompetent policy ideas. I thought I should listen to them because even if their policies were incompetent, they were observing problems that were important and needed to be considered. I thought that while they tended to be almost childlike in their approach to developing policy, with little to no consideration of the actual consequences to policies, sometimes some of their core ideas had merit.

      My willingness to listen and consider their opinions and ideas all hinged on the idea that they had good intentions. I no longer think that their intentions are good. To be perfectly honest, I now think the entirety of the left is a bunch of petty, cruel, greedy, unscrupulous, nasty, hate mongering, despotic, hypocritical, lying, bullies. I despise them. I loathe them. I don’t care about their complaints, I resent it every time they open their mouths, and I think they pose an imminent threat to my rights, my safety, my livelihood and my life. The intellectual part of me wants to be more fair than that, but the emotional part is not willing to entertain any sense of open mindedness or charity.

      The media and politicians want to blame Trump for this, but Trump has nothing to do with it. Trump talks in hyperbole and exaggeration, and I take nothing he says seriously. It is the actions and words of the left themselves that have made me feel this way. I will never forgive nor forget the hatred, lies, demonization, hypocrisy and persecution fantasies that the left wallowed in for the last 4 years. There is really nothing they can do to repair the rift they created. I cannot take anything they say or do on good faith after what they have done, and without good faith there is nothing to build on.

      On top of that, they are still throwing a giant, toddleresque temper tantrum, engaging in totalitarian rhetoric and behavior, and gleefully threatening and persecuting anyone who disagrees with them, even after they have won.

      In my opinion, based on what I have observed, the left are evil. There is no working with evil. There is no compromising with evil. There is no trusting evil. You can only fight it.

      • Agreed. I used to think Bernie Sanders was a good-natured, misguided but committed socialist. After watching him allow himself to be used by the Democrats in two presidential nelection cycles, I have concluded that he is just as ambitious as anyone else and does not have the commitments to his causes he so lovingly declares. He is a fraud, just like the rest of them.

        jvb

        • Lazy and selfish were left out of your list, NP. They combine well with greedy to yield nice policies such as, oh, say, forgiveness of student debt. What recent college graduate wouldn’t trade their vote for that brilliant policy? I bet AOC and others in the squad still have unpaid student loans!

      • So there is a ‘basket of deplorables’ after all? Or should we call them ‘despicables’? Hilary just got the wrong basket? And you can only ‘fight them’? Where does this lead? Is there a Plan B?

        • At the moment, things seem to be leading to some sort of fascist or totalitarian oligarchy, with strong overtones of nazi Germany pre-WW2. I don’t know exactly where this goes, but it isn’t anywhere good. The left-wing elites are already justifying and endorsing left-wing violence against innocent people, even while they decry it in the right. In one breath they call the Capitol riot an insurrection, and in the next they call the Portland and Seattle riots social justice. Once the one side of a political opposition has endorsed political violence, where does history say things usually go?

  3. Article I, Section 3 says: “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.”

    So impeachment could result in Trump being disqualified from holding the office of President, which is an office of honor under the United States. I’ve never understood why Alcee Hastings, who was impeached and removed from office as a Judge, is permitted to be a Representative in Congress. I can only assume that the judgment in his impeachment case extended only to removal from office and not to future disqualification, but I can’t imagine why not. An oversight, perhaps?

    • Very much undetermined judicially, and like the impeachment itself, just more calculated disrespect, contempt and insults. Disqualification is a separate vote from impeachment guilt. Unfortunately, one comes before the other, and while Republicans would love to be rid of Trump, voting to convict is political suicide for the whole party.

      • I agree but where does Congress get the right to disqualify him? It’s not in the Constitution. Separate vote deriving from what legal authority? “Trump is mean, evil, and a poopyhead so the rules don’t apply to him” is not Constitutional authority.

        jvb

      • To me, this impeachment is just a circus and thus an insult to the Constitution. If impeachment is appropriate for an ex-president, then the chief presiding officer of the trial should be an ex-Chief Justice (in this case, an impartial corpse rather than a biased member of Congress).
        The question of who is and who isn’t a civil officer seems pertinent, given the argument that civil officers retain their title after leaving office. For example, it seems common practice to refer to a former Secretary of State as “Madam Secretary”. Thus, civil officers may be considered for impeachment after leaving office. (Yes, I do have one in mind, but that’s going nowhere.)
        The argument that the President and Vice President are subject to impeachment after leaving office would seem to hinge on the belief that they are civil officers. Yet, the Constitution does not provide for impeachment of any elected officials other than the President and Vice President, and, the impeachment wording distinguishes them from civil officials: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States … .” Were they civil officers, the wording would be redundant.
        Thus, the appropriate course of action to pursue past criminal behavior by an elected official who now is out of office would be through the Justice Department, not the Congress.
        I now yield to the fine legal minds that are revealed here from time to time to either bolster my argument or show me where my reasoning has gone wrong.

    • I was curious and looked at the Wikipedia article on Hastings. It describes the impeachment and his trial — the vote to convict was overwhelmingly in favor. The article specifically says that the Senate chose not to vote on disqualifying him from holding future office. I cannot imagine why not from what I remember of the article, but there it is. I am also assuming — always a dangerous hobby — that that statement was not added to the article since January 7th, 2021. If I were more motivated, I could probably dig into the edit history of the Wikipedia page — but I have a pressing appointment with my sock drawer.

  4. Can’t we keep the Emoluments Clause thing warm until after 2022, when the House will take up the Hunter/China/Joe deal?

  5. Washington lost a lot of money as President. His hired managers did not do a good job of managing his farmland. He couldn’t afford to be president for another term. A politician that loses money in office is either honest or really bad at graft.

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