In anticipation of the arguments against impeachment, that are sure to be put forward at every level and every step of the process, I believe it is essential to frame what is about to happen, so we don’t get lost in quasi-legal arguments, over something that is a political exercise in Constitutional control of the Executive Branch.
It is also important to revisit the resumes of those who will be arguing the case for and against impeachment, an example of which I provide in the last paragraph of this post. That said, here is what I feel is essential background, ahead of the inevitable vote on impeachment.
Impeachment is the first, of a two-step political process, the second step being a Senate Trial. While impeachment has some aspects of a criminal investigation and indictment in common, it is not a criminal process. It is the equivalent of a Grand Jury Investigation and Indictment, that is conducted by the House of Representatives, outside of the Judicial System.
The criteria for impeachment are vague in the Constitution, but not without guidelines. Interpretation of those guidelines is a matter for the House, used during the investigative portion of its process to search for evidence of malfeasance and abuse of power, and during the indictment portion, to draw up the Articles of Impeachment. Those Articles of Impeachment are then tested against those guidelines, by a vote of the House.
While the validity of those Articles can be debated and challenged by politicians and legal scholars alike, once they are voted on by The House, the results of that vote determine their validity. Again, merits may be argued from any perspective, including legal precedence, but the Constitution leaves determination of the merits, solely to The House of Representatives.
A Likely GOP Expert Witness
The other thing I would say is that opinions, no matter how scholarly founded, are frequently proved fickle, if not absurd over time. To wit, Jonathon Turley’s statement during the confirmation of William Barr:
“As I have stated publicly, I can think of no person better suited to lead the Justice Department at this critical period in history. Bill Barr is a brilliant and honorable lawyer who can ensure stability and integrity in these turbulent times.”