Thursday 23 January 2020

‘Dangerous Historical Precedent’: 21 State AGs Send Letter Asking Senate To Reject Impeachment

The attorneys general of 21 states — predictably all Republicans — have sent a letter to the Senate opposing the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Fox News exclusively reported on the letter, which was submitted to the Senate on Wednesday morning and called the impeachment “a dangerous historical precedent.”
“If not expressly repudiated by the Senate, the theories animating both Articles will set a precedent that is entirely contrary to the Framers’ design and ruinous to the most important governmental structure protections contained in our Constitution: the separation of powers,” the attorneys general wrote.
“Impeachment should never be a partisan response to one party losing a presidential election. If successful, an impeachment proceeding nullifies the votes of millions of citizens. The Democrat-controlled House passing of these constitutionally-deficient articles of impeachment amounts, at bottom, to a partisan political effort that undermines the democratic process itself. Even an unsuccessful effort to impeach the President undermines the integrity of the 2020 presidential election because it weaponizes a process that should only be initiated in exceedingly rare circumstances and should never be used for partisan purposes,” they continued.
The attorneys general added: “This body should never permit impeachment proceedings to proceed where they are permeated with the clearly partisan objective of energizing a political party’s base to, ultimately, influence a presidential election. Such a raw political and unconstitutional use of the impeachment power should not be countenanced by the Senate.”
The attorneys general suggest that the Democrats’ claim that Trump abused his power of the presidency is constitutionally flaw and suggests Trump “can be impeached for exercising concededly lawful constitutional authority ‘motivated’ by thoughts a House majority unilaterally deems ‘corrupt.’” They point out the Democrats first article of impeachment does not identify any high crimes or misdemeanors committed by Trump but instead repeats the phrase “abuse of power” for effect.
As to Democrats’ second article of impeachment, claiming Trump obstructed Congress, the attorneys general wrote that, under “the House’s ‘unilateral control’ theory of obstruction, the President could be impeached anytime he vigorously invokes and seeks to protect executive privilege in response to the House’s demand for Executive Branch information.”
The attorneys general suggested that if House Democrats seriously believed Trump was unjustified to invoke executive privilege, it should have taken the traditional route of going to court to challenge the assertion. Instead, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) withdrew the subpoena and plowed ahead with impeachment.
The attorneys general later in their letter take Democrats to task for delaying the Impeachment trial by refusing to hand over the articles of impeachment for nearly a month.
“A delayed impeachment trial also harms the nation because it cripples the office holder’s ability to govern effectively and attempts to cast a pall over his legitimacy, a pall which is lifted only by conviction or acquittal. When the officeholder is the President of the United States, a delayed impeachment is particularly harmful, because undermining a President’s constitutional authority, even temporarily, creates serious risks to national security and the separation of powers,” they wrote.

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