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The Forum > Article Comments > Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler abuse of power rebounds on Democrats > Comments

Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler abuse of power rebounds on Democrats : Comments

By David Singer, published 10/2/2020

Their partisan political strategy has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars as the Democrats trashed long-established cardinal legal principles to pursue the President.

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Dear David,

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You ask :

« Which former Presidents would you say met these high and exacting standards? [of integrity and respect] »
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I must confess I know next to nothing, if not, nothing whatsoever, about most of the 45 presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump.

That being the case, my only resort is to apply the judicial principle of “innocent until proved guilty” which, though I don’t agree with its systematic application in respect of all types of crimes and misdemeanours, I find acceptable for the simple purpose of replying to your question.

Only three U.S. presidents have been formally impeached by Congress – Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. So far, no U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. Though Andrew Johnson came very close. He escaped a guilty verdict by just one vote in 1868.

In addition to Johnson, Clinton and Trump, only one other U.S. president has faced formal impeachment inquiries in the House of Representatives – Richard Nixon – but he resigned in order to avoid being impeached. Many other presidents have been threatened with impeachment by political foes without gaining any real traction in Congress.

So the best I can offer by way of reply to your question, is that apart from these four presidents – Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – I presume that all 41 of the remaining past presidents of the United States met the high standards of integrity and respect expected of them – otherwise, they too may have been impeached, or risked impeachment, and resigned as Nixon did in 1974.

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Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 13 February 2020 8:00:46 PM
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#Banjo

You state:
1. " my only resort is to apply the judicial principle of “innocent until proved guilty” which, though I don’t agree with its systematic application in respect of all types of crimes and misdemeanours, I find acceptable for the simple purpose of replying to your question"

2. "So the best I can offer by way of reply to your question, is that apart from these four presidents – Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – I presume that all 41 of the remaining past presidents of the United States met the high standards of integrity and respect expected of them – otherwise, they too may have been impeached, or risked impeachment, and resigned as Nixon did in 1974."

So Impeachment is your standard and innocence until proved guilty is the outcome.

Johnson, Nixon, Clinton and Trump were impeached but not found guilty. By your standards however each would therefore meet the high standards of integrity and respect expected of them. You obviously don't think that about Trump and I am sure you would not think that about Clinton.

I suggest you focus on Trump's policies and their success or otherwise - not his persona. Hopefully voters will do the same come election time.
Posted by david singer, Friday, 14 February 2020 11:53:56 AM
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BP,

Airing your list of being outraged at Trump is pointless. The Democrats poisoned the process with its blatantly partisan kangaroo court impeachment. By the time the democrats held their triumphal walk to the senate, they had already lost the moral high ground so when the Republican senate unceremoniously drop kicked the impeachment into the trash the fury of the Dems fell on the deaf ears of the voters.

The real loser from this would appear to be Biden, and the danger for the democrats is that an extremist like Sanders gets to face off against Trump.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 14 February 2020 1:04:09 PM
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Dear David,

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Three presidents – Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – have been impeached by majority vote in the House of Representatives. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace as the articles of his impeachment were being drafted. The other 41 presidents of the United States have never been indicted (impeached) by the House for any wrongdoings.

The fact that no president of the United States has ever been convicted by the senate after having been impeached by the House of Representatives cannot be construed as proof of innocence of wrongdoing by those presidents. It simply means that the senate considers that any such wrongdoings, if indeed they were any, were not sufficiently important to justify removal of the president from office.

Bill Clinton’s acquittal by the senate after having been indicted by the House of Representatives on the charge of perjury and obstruction of justice illustrates this. Clinton had sworn on oath that he had never had a sexual relationship with a White House female staff member. His declaration under oath was later proven to be false by a DNA test.

Despite this, the senate found Clinton innocent of the charge of perjury and obstruction of justice – in a bipartisan decision. He remained in office and served out his term as president of the United States of America.

[Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution states that 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”]

It is with this in mind that I formulated my reply to your question : « Which former Presidents would you say met these high and exacting standards? [of integrity and respect] ».

As my knowledge of the 45 presidents was insignificant, the best I could do was to rely on the sacrosanct principle of the “presumption of innocence” and consider that the other 41 presidents accomplished their mission with all the integrity and respect associated with such a high office.

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Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 15 February 2020 1:55:42 AM
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#Banjo

You state:
"The fact that no president of the United States has ever been convicted by the senate after having been impeached by the House of Representatives cannot be construed as proof of innocence of wrongdoing by those presidents. It simply means that the senate considers that any such wrongdoings, if indeed they were any, were not sufficiently important to justify removal of the president from office."

Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted him of both charges. Game set and match. Get on with life and accept the verdict. It might be galling to you that the President was acquitted but any legal system can only work successfully if the verdict of the court is accepted until it is overruled.

By your standards then - Trump is entitled to claim that he is meeting the high standards of integrity and respect expected of him - as demanded by you.

He is also entitled to hear you affirming that he enjoys the continuing presumption of innocence until proved guilty.
Posted by david singer, Saturday, 15 February 2020 5:55:39 AM
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Dear Shadow Minister,

.

You wrote :

« The Democrats poisoned the process with its blatantly partisan kangaroo court impeachment. »

You already wrote that on another thread, Shadow Minister, and I already replied to it … But as, apparently, you have forgotten my response, I submit it to you, hereunder, once more, for your consideration :

« The Republicans all voted against indictment – as one man. But not all Democrats voted in favour of indictment. Three voted against it. What does that signify ? That it was a partisan vote ? On the Republican side, perhaps. On the Democrat side, perhaps also – though there is no tangible evidence of a partisan vote by the Democrats.
How can we decide for sure if it was partisan or not ? Is it possible for a vote to be unanimous or quasi-unanimous without it being partisan ?

Yes, it can. Even in politics, votes can be unanimous without being partisan, e.g., in 2003, George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, passed with unanimous “bipartisan” support. So if it is not the unanimity or quasi-unanimity of the vote that distinguishes partisanship (“partisanism” in the US), then what does ?

For the OED, the adjective “partisan” means “prejudiced in favour of a particular cause”. The Merriam-Webster adds : “… if you're accused of being too partisan, or of practicing partisan politics, it means you're mainly interested in boosting your own party and attacking the other one”.

In other words, expression of “political prejudice” can reveal partisan behaviour – in this case, partisan voting.

This is clearly the case in the voting intentions of the Republicans in the up-coming Senate trial. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, declared that Trump will be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate: "We will have a largely partisan outcome", he said and added :

« I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision ».

.

(Continued …)

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Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 15 February 2020 9:04:39 AM
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