POSC 101 Palomar College Trumps Impeachment Discussion – Assignment Help

I’m studying and need help with a Political Science question to help me learn.

One important and currently relevant example of constitutional checks and balances is the congressional power of impeachment. Some details: Under Article I, section II of the Constitution, the House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach – that is, to accuse/indict , NOT remove – any executive branch official and any federal judge/Supreme Court justice from the judicial branch. Executive branch officials obviously include the president. The House needs a simple majority (51% or more) to impeach/accuse the official. The House power to impeach is for treason, bribery or other high crimes or misdemeanors. While scholars have debated the interpretation of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” (some believe that is has to be a legal constitutional or statutory criminal act – as written in federal code statutes), most believe that it is largely political acts that can cause great harm and damage to the integrity of the Constitution and political system. The question is what types of political actions can be considered serious, significant and damaging enough to rise to the level of impeachable offenses. Article I gives the House of Reps. sole power to decide that question and sole power to determine how it shall proceed in its inquiry and decision.

In the recent case (from 2019, which now seems like an eternity) of President Trump’s impeachment, the House voted to have the House Judiciary Committee hold an inquiry and hearings with various witnesses, vote on two articles of impeachment and then have the full House vote on each of the articles – Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Once the House, by simple majority, voted to impeach Trump on each of these articles, the impeachment articles were then sent to the Senate for an impeachment trial. Under Article I of the Constitution, the Senate then establishes its own rules and procedures for the trial (will there be witnesses, who shall be subpoenaed to be a witness, what evidence can be introduced, how the arguments on each side shall be organized, etc.). Members of the House, as chosen by the Speaker of the House, serve as the House managers – the prosecutors who will argue for the removal of the president. The president gets to choose his own legal defense team (including White House legal counsel) to argue against conviction and removal. A 2/3 super majority is required by the Senate to convict and remove the president. Given that the Republicans controlled the Senate with a 53-47 majority, the chances of 20 Republican senators joining the 47 Senate Democrats to convict was always seen as highly remote and unlikely. Again, impeachment is mostly a political action more than it is a legal one – which is why the majority of the House (made of a Democratic majority) were able to impeach Trump, whereas the Republican House majority of the previous two years never came close to considering impeaching Trump.

On January 13 of 2021, Trump became the first president to be impeached twice, when the Democratic-majority House (including 10 House Republicans) voted to impeach Trump under a single article, Incitement of Insurrection, for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection on the Capitol in the attempt to stop the Congressional certification of the Electoral College votes for the 2020 presidential election. During the Senate trial, a bi-partisan majority of Senators, by a 57-43 count, voted to convict Trump. Of course, that still fell 10 votes shy of the 2/3 super majority threshold needed to convict, and Trump was acquitted.

Below are two videos. One presented by the House managers and the other presented by Trump’s lawyers. View each video. Then please give the arguments and support points for the arguments of each side. Finally, give your take. Which side convinced you, and why? (Note: The impeachment managers’ video warns of possibly inappropriate and explicit images; these are the video images and audio of the rioters on January 6 as an FYI.)

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