The House Judiciary Committee just released its report on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In the 169-page report, Democrats accused Trump of criminal bribery and honest services fraud.
However, neither criminal charge appeared in either of the articles of impeachment that Democrats proposed last week. Apparently, the Dems weren’t willing to back them up.
Vague impeachment articles
Instead, the articles accuse Trump of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” for choosing to fight congressional subpoenas.
Neither of those are criminal offenses, and although Democrats may think the charges are damning, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) wasn’t impressed. That can be seen from what he said in the report’s dissenting remarks.
“While individual articles of impeachment have been passed against prior presidents that do not allege criminality, no president has been impeached solely on non-criminal accusations,” the Georgia Republican noted.
“No basis in the Constitution”
What’s more, Collins is far from being the only one to express skepticism over the concept of impeaching a president for something other than crimes.
According to a recent opinion piece by liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz, “the two articles of impeachment had no basis in the Constitution.” What’s more, he argues that a recent Supreme Court decision effectively “pulls the rug out” from the second article.
“The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines last week,” Dershowitz wrote in an op-ed published Monday.
“Even if the high court were eventually to rule against the claims by President Trump,” he continued, “the fact that the justices decided to hear them, in effect, supports his constitutional contention that he had the right to challenge congressional subpoenas in court, or to demand that those issuing the subpoenas seek to enforce them through court.”
Dershowitz concludes by saying, “It would serve the national interest for thoughtful and independent-minded Democrats to join Republicans in voting against the second article of impeachment, even if they wrongly vote for the first.”
While most Democrats are participating in the party’s impeachment effort, voters don’t appear to have been particularly convinced by the Democrats’ portrayal of Trump’s alleged misdeeds.
In fact, Trump’s approval ratings have remained steady, and a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll taken Dec. 10-14 shows Trump leading all major 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.