The impeachment agenda of Democrats is a political coup
The impeachment narrative pushed by House Democrats needs to be called exactly what it is, which is a political coup. Contrary to what Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Adam Schiff, and progressive left wingers would have you believe, the United States still does have an objective rule of law, and the Constitution is not merely a guideline subject to interpretation and application at the whim of power grabs.
Regardless of whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, an independent, or anything else, it should concern all of us that the rule of law is being tossed out in favor of an open coup designed to undermine a free and fair election in the United States. Sheer partisan hatred toward an American president by the other party is not and has never been a sufficient legal or constitutional basis for impeachment. The Constitution specifically lays out “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Political leverage or the inability to win elections are not listed. Over the past few weeks, some commentators have suggested that the phrasing “high crimes and misdemeanors” is an intentionally vague term that has no specific articulable definition. Not only is that false, but a lack of brightline jurisprudence does not render a term in the Constitution so malleable that the Democrats can fashion a political weapon of it.
Indeed, the phrase “or other high crimes and misdemeanors” has a legal definition instead of a common parlance meaning. It comes from English common law that refers to offenses against the crown, from whence our founders borrowed much of our law, but they formed our government structure quite differently. The words “or other” are very important. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” does not stand alone, but is rather within the same category as treason and bribery, which are both federal crimes against the fiduciary interest of the United States.
This does not mean political differences that opposition party members might believe are bad for the country become impeachable offenses. We are not talking about good faith policy considerations or philosophical differences on the margins. Elections determine those who make public policy. Impeachment is designed for an offense so bad that it essentially is like defecting to another sovereign or taking action in the interest of another sovereign to the clear detriment of the United States.
The Constitution was never intended to serve as a political weapon by any means. On the contrary, the impeachment clause is designed only to provide the textual grant of power to remove government officials when necessary as a matter of law to protect the interests of the American people. The purpose is not to transfer power forcibly for political gain. One of the great hallmarks of our republic is the peaceful transition of power from one office holder to the next without any conflict.
The Democrats simply have no legal or constitutional basis to invoke impeachment. This is a purely partisan attack against President Trump because they are still sour over their loss in 2016 and are terrified of losing again in 2020. But their remedy is not to exercise impeachment. Their remedy is to get a better candidate nominated. Forming an impeachment “inquiry” is setting a new low bar for an unconstitutional and politically motivated government attack against an American president.
The law does and always should consider precedent, especially in matters where the Constitution is concerned. Even if the Democrats are satisfied in their power grab coup, do they really want to set the standard that future American presidents of either party could be impeached because the opposition gains a majority in the House of Representatives?
The American experiment was born out of the contention of the founders that governments should be fashioned differently than a kingship, and we the people possess all powers of government in order to protect our individual liberties endowed by the creator. Our American president should not feel the same disquiet as medieval sovereigns from whence came the phrase “uneasy is the head that wears the crown.” Impeachment cannot be a sword used to easily transfer power for political gain against the will of the American people exercised in a previous election.
However, make no mistake that is exactly what the Democrats in Congress are attempting with their agenda. President Trump is right to call for the resignations of Pelosi and Schiff and other Democrats in response. These officials are violating their oaths of office and attempting this coup in broad daylight, hoping we never notice they are setting the Constitution on fire. But of course we notice, and we will hold them accountable.
Jenna Ellis Rives is a member of the Donald Trump 2020 advisory board. She is a constitutional law attorney and the author of the book “The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution.” Follow her on Twitter @JennaEllisRives.
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