Politico released a poll today that shows 43 percent of voters want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump that represents a 5 percent increase from last week. It is less, however than the 45 percent of voters who oppose impeachment.

Demonstrating the divide that exists since the election 76 percent of self-identified GOP voters don’t think Congress should begin impeachment proceedings, while 71 percent of Democratic voters do.

Impeach President Trump for what exactly?

Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states, “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 House of Representatives have impeached only two Presidents, President Andrew Johnson and President Bill Clinton, and the Senate convicted neither.

President Richard Nixon of Watergate infamy was deserving of impeachment, and I think could have been convicted by the Senate, but he resigned before that could happen.

Johnson’s impeachment is due in large part to a dispute with Congress over how to handle deal with the recently defeated Southern states. Clinton’s impeachment was a result of him perjuring himself giving testimony during a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones.

While I think impeaching Clinton was a political blunder there was actual evidence that he committed perjury. Whether that constitutes a “high crime or misdemeanor” is up for debate.

What evidence is there that President Trump committed any crime?

Nothing. It doesn’t matter to those who seek impeachment as 54 percent of those who want impeachment believe Trump has proven to be unfit to serve and Congress should remove him from office, and it doesn’t matter whether he has committed an impeachable offense or not.

43 percent believe he has committed an impeachable offense. What evidence they have for the supposed offense is anyone’s guess. Media reports based on anonymous sources don’t count, and those stories have not pegged him engaged in treason, bribery, or even a high crime and misdemeanor.

You can’t impeach a President because you don’t like him, don’t like his policies, or think he’s incompetent.  Voters who feel this way already have a remedy – the ballot box in 2020.

I admit some conservatives wanted to see President Barack Obama impeached as well. I would ask the same question – based on what?

At least President Obama didn’t have media outlets polling this question on a weekly basis or ever.

The Constitution gives Congress a tool to remove a President who commits severe offenses. If the special investigator or the FBI uncovered evidence that President Trump did commit an impeachable offense, then Congress should consider taking action. Until then, people just need to deal that he is the President of the United States and unpopular opinion of him does not change that fact one iota.

2 comments
  1. I believe Trump is a terrible President whose actions and deeds demean the office almost daily but I agree that calls for impeachment are not currently justified.

    What is interesting is how the move toward investigation of a President is affected by whether Congress and the Executive branches are held by the same party. During the Nixon debacle, Republicans who ran Congress were resistant to the progression of investigation. It took a great deal of evidence and testimony before GOP leaders in Congress finally confronted Nixon and indicated he would likely be impeached if he didn’t first resign.

    “I admit some conservatives wanted to see President Barack Obama impeached as well. I would ask the same question – based on what?”

    Agreed. Or consider Hillary Clinton during her campaign. Republican members of Congress considered how they could move toward impeachment even before the election. Now, many of these same people are studiously silent. To be sure, there is always political maneuvering and impeachments are very much political. If the GOP leaders determine that continuing to support Trump will severely imperil their majority in Congress and their chances for re-election, I think they will flip.

    “At least President Obama didn’t have media outlets polling this question on a weekly basis or ever.”

    I think this more a reflection on Trump’s administration and Trump’s actions than media bias. These are nearly all unforced errors by Trump plus some really weird and unexplained interactions with business partners, surrogates and political entities.

  2. You’re right that Impeachment is viewed as a way to get rid of a President you don’t like and it shouldn’t be and pretty much every President starts with a quarter of the people wanting therm Impeached before they’ve done anything. That said, High Crimes and Misdemeanors is a bit of vague term. The Comey stuff and Trump’s attempts to deflect the Russia Investigation MAY begin to constitute something serious. We don’t know the degree to which various rumors are true. We need to hear from people under Oath and get real facts.

    The poll is important because impeachment is a political act. The problem that Republicans ran into in 1998 wasn’t the quality of evidence as Clinton clearly committed perjury and encouraged others to lie under oath (a problem for the country’s top law enforcement official) but his popularity. You can’t impeach and remove a President with a 60% approval. One with a 30% rating is another matter. Today, House Republicans wouldn’t impeach Trump, but if his approval sinks below 35% and they get borderline grounds for impeachment, it will look a lot more attractive.

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