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Senate discussed on Bill Cunningham


The the goings on in the Senate on the trial and the reason I'm doing this is because so many of the so called news outlets have cut out so here's Alan Dershowitz go it's clear in this issue and not surprisingly because he was writing in federalist number sixty five he was writing not to define what the criteria for impeachment war he was writing primarily in defense of the constitution is written and less to define its provisions but he certainly cannot be cited in favor of criteria such as abuse of power obstruction of Congress nor of impeachment vote along party lines he warned that the greatest danger these were his words the greatest danger is that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength the party's been by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt in a douche in addition to using the criminal terms innocence or guilt Hamilton also referred to quote prosecution and sentence he cited the constitutional provisions that states that the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to a criminal trial as a reason for not having the president tried before the Supreme Court he feared a double prosecution variation of double jeopardy before the same judiciary these points all sound criminal terms but advocates of a broad open ended non criminal interpretation of high crimes and misdemeanors insist that Hamilton is on their side and they cite the following words regarding the court of impeachment I think I've heard these words quoted more than any other words in support of a broad view of impeachment and there miss understood here's what he said when describing the court of impeachment he said the subjects of its jurisdiction those report were is the subject of its jurisdiction by which he meant treason bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors the subjects of his jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men or another words from the abuse or violation of some public trust they are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself those are Hamilton's words they're often misunderstood is suggesting that the criteria authorizing impeachment include the misconduct of public men or the abuse or violation of some public trust that is a mis reading these words were used to characterize the constitutional criteria that are the subject of the jurisdiction of the court of impeachment namely treason bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors those specified crimes are political in nature they are the crimes that involve misconduct of public men and the abuse of violation of some public trust Hamilton was not expanding the specified criteria to include as independent grounds for impeachment misconduct abuse or violation if anything he was contracting them to require in addition to proof of the specified crimes also proof that the crime must be of a political nature this would exclude president Clinton's private non political crime in fact and this is interesting Hamilton's view was cited by Clinton's advocates as contracting not expanding the meaning of high crimes today some of these same advocates you look at the same words and cite them as expanding its meaning Britain was accused of a crime perjury and so the issue in his case was not whether the constitution required a crime for impeachment instead the issue is whether Clinton's alleged crime could be classified as a high crime in light of its personal nature during the Clinton impeachment I stated in an interview that I did not think that a technical crime was required but then I did think that abusing trust could be considered I said that at that time I had not done the extensive research on that issue because it was a relevant to the Clinton case and I was not fully aware of the compelling counter arguments so I simply accepted the academic consensus on an issue that was not on the front burner at the time but because this impeachment directly raises the issue of whether criminal behavior is required I have gone back and read all the relevant historical material as non partisan academics should always do and have now concluded that the framers did intend to limit the criteria for impeachment to criminal type acts akin to treason bribery and they certainly did not intend to extended the vague open ended and non criminal accusations such as abuse of power and obstruction of Congress I publish this academic conclusion well before I was asked to present the arguments to the Senate in this case might switch in attitude surely academic you know.

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