Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ignited the chattering class this week by stating: “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.” Trump and his supporters were quick to read full exoneration into her comments. In reality, the statement should have no effect on the work of the House of Representatives. It means that impeachment makes no sense before we’ve seen what emerges from Mueller and the oversight work of the committees. At some point down the investigative road, the House will decide whether to begin formal impeachment proceedings.
Since President Trump’s election, it has been painfully obvious that the means prescribed by the Constitution for removing an unfit president – impeachment and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment – are inadequate.
It should be difficult to oust a chief executive, but in our toxic political climate it has become virtually impossible. That was not the original intent.
Alexander Hamilton stated in Federalist Paper 65 that impeachment was a political remedy that could be used to remove a president for a violation of the “public trust.” Impeachment, however, was entrusted to Congress on the assumption that the nation would have a functional Congress composed of serious people who would put country before partisan interest. Plainly, Trump has crossed into impeachable territory, but the Constitution’s original enforcement mechanism – requiring a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate – has failed. Read more