High Crimes and Misdemeanors

 

As the drip, drip, drip of scandals continue to plague the Obama Administration, I begin to wonder how long it will be before the Republican-controlled House of Representatives launches impeachment proceedings.

Before you laugh this off as unlikely, take a look at history.  It is doubtful that Barack Obama will continue without being impeached.

An admission of sorts.  I do not like this president.  In my opinion, he was elected for reasons having nothing to do with being qualified for the position.  He has served the nation badly in our hour of need.  He has deliberately and consistently lied to the American people to protect himself while vacationing and partying at our expense.  He is, at best, a sleazy thug from the wards of Chicago whose political career has been plagued by scandal since the beginning.

But let’s turn to the facts.

Every president who has been elected to a second term, at least in my lifetime, has had problems after their re-election.  Eisenhower had the Sherman Adams scandal, Nixon had his Watergate, Reagan had Iron-Contra,  Clinton had the Lewinski scandal, and George W. Bush had…well, okay, no real scandal.  But you can have one exception to any rule.

The truth is that Mr. Obama has been running from scandals almost since the day he entered office.  Here’s a brief and incomplete rundown:

*  The Birth scandal.  He refused to release his birth certificate or school records, which could have proven without a doubt his country of birth and religious preference.

* The ObamaCare debacle, in which he pushed a compliant Democratic Congress to pass a bill they had not even read – to the detriment of seniors and Americans in general.

* The Solyndra scandal, and dozens of other failures of companies he has touted as examples of the success of his economic policies.  Actually, you can count as scandalous nearly all of his economic policies.

* Fast and Furious, a program that put unregistered guns in the hands of Mexican drug lords and resulted in the deaths of dozens of Americans, including law enforcement agents.

* The Benghazi assault on a US embassy, culminating in the murders of four Americans that included a US ambassador.

* The IRS Scandal, in which that agency targeted Jewish, Conservative, anti-government and other groups for special and illegal treatment.

But do any of these things actually reach the President?  And do they meet the standards for impeachment for “High Crimes and misdemeanors?”  Interestingly enough, they do.  To understand why, it is helpful to understand what that term means.  There is a useful summary by Jon Roland of the Constitution Society at http://constitution.org/cmt/high_crimes.htm.

The danger lies in two major areas, the first of which was a statement from the White House that appears to release income tax information from the Koch brothers in their campaign to defeat the President for his re-election.

One need only read the impeachment indictment of Richard M. Nixon (found at http://watergate.info/impeachment/articles-of-impeachment ), and particularly the elements of article 2 of that indictment, to see where Mr. Obama is in danger:

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

The second was the decision to allow Americans to die in Benghazi in order to protect the campaign to re-elect President Obama.  By altering the talking points of the event, as outlined by ABC newsperson Jonathan Karl, the President is at risk.  If, as it appears, the White House denied aid to the Americans at Benghazi and then attempted to avoid responsibility for that decision, the president is at substantial risk.  Again, reference the definition of “High crimes and misdemeanors:”

“An official such as the president does not need to take a special oath to become subject to the penalties of perjury. He took an oath, by Art. II Sec. 1 Cl. 8, to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to the best of his ability. While he holds that office, he is always under oath, and lying at any time constitutes perjury if it is not justified for national security.”

Nor does the president gain any special consideration from prosecution, as a disbarred Bill Clinton can attest.  Lie under oath – which in the case of the president, includes every public statement he makes, directly or through his official utterances, and he can be impeached.

And as the pressure mounts under the growing scandals, he most likely will be.  Remember that the power to impeach lies strictly with the House of Representatives, the bastion of his fiercest opponents.

He might not be removed from power (neither of the first two presidents to be impeached, Andrew Johnson and William Clinton, were removed from office), because that would require the approval of the largely democratic Senate.  But he is likely to be impeached before his second term is up.

And it is not racism, it is not an argument over his liberal policies, it is not that he plays golf and fiddles while Rome burns.  It is because he has lied to the American people about who he is and what he has done.

If that turns out to be the case, then it is right that he should be impeached.

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