February 2, 2020

Looks Like Trump Will Be Acquitted But Nixon Had Something to do with It


 Donald Trump (left) Richard Nixon (right)
            Image result for nixon and Trump

By James Robenalt, the author of "January 1973: Watergate, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed American Forever"

When President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974, he successor, Gerald Ford, told the nation that “our long national nightmare is over.” But with Alan Dershowitz’s arguments during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Wednesday that a president can do almost anything “that he believes will help him get elected — in the public interest,” it is clear that Nixon’s resignation left a serious gap in the precedents of impeachments.
Indeed, Dershowitz may have some of the last words on the matter. On Friday, the Senate voted to not allow new witnessesincluding John Bolton. Indeed, it seems increasingly likely that the Senate will vote soon to acquit Trump. So what went wrong here, if you believed conviction was appropriate? The answer starts with the Nixon precedent, or better said, the lack of precedent. The precedents set by each impeachment are important. And what happened to Nixon can help explain what happened, however different, to Trump. 
The nation has only faced an official impeachment vote three times: President Andrew Johnson in 1868; President Bill Clinton in 1999; and now President Donald Trump. It is often incorrectly assumed that Nixon was impeached but resigned before the Senate could convict. Instead, the House Judiciary Committee sent the articles of impeachment to the full House, but the body never got the chance to vote on them. An intervening event, the Supreme Court order that Nixon turns over his tapes, started a chain reaction that led quickly to Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974
Nixon’s action, while saving the nation further agony in the short run, may be responsible for this trial’s mangling of the constitutional standards for impeachment. Trump’s lawyers have contended that “high crimes and misdemeanors” requires the showing of the commission of a crime. Dershowitz, contrary to his own statements during the Clinton impeachment, vehemently argued that a president cannot be impeached for “abuse of power” unless a crime is involved. 
Had Nixon fought his impeachment there may have been some clarity on these questions. The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of three articles: one on the cover-up of the Watergate investigation; a second on abusing the powers of his office; and a third on his willful disobedience of Congressional subpoenas.
The exact same arguments we see today broke out in 1974, also along party lines. The Democratic majority in the committee argued that a technical showing of the commission of a crime was not required. The question, rather, was what the English practice had been focused on: abuse of power. “The emphasis,” they wrote, “has been on the significant effects of the conduct—undermining the integrity of the office, disregard of constitutional duties and oath of office, arrogation of power, abuse of the governmental process, adverse impact on the system of government.” 
The Republicans in the minority, on the other hand, insisted that impeachments “can lie only for serious criminal offenses.” The Republicans could find no provable crime with Nixon, even though they had John Dean’s testimony and transcripts of tapes that disclosed Nixon agreeing to the payment of “hush money” to criminal defendants to keep them from talking, to say nothing of dangling pardons for at least E. Howard Hunt. The Republicans quibbled about whether Nixon was really authorizing the payments or if there was enough proof of his misuse of the pardon power.
Had Nixon’s impeachment reached fruition in the Senate, a precedent would have been set, almost certainly establishing the majority view that impeachment is all about abuse of power.
But the Supreme Court intervened. In late July 1974, the court decided United States v. Nixon and ordered the president to turn over certain tapes. One tape of a conversation between Nixon and his chief of staff on June 23, 1972, hit hard. In the conversation, Nixon agrees that the CIA should tell the FBI to end the Watergate investigation on the bogus premise that the FBI might be getting into CIA operations.
I don't agree entirely with the story I just posted above. The reason is that this impeachment and trial of Tump shows that any president can be impeached or set loose depending on how much he controls the senate. Most Americans know that Congress is full of people that are known for their mouths but not their courage. The only weapon they seem to have is their mouth a weapon they like to use with those who haven't been weaponized as well as them. The Republicans are as dirty as Trump. I'm sure they will soon be invited to the white house for cocktails. There is one way to bring justice and is less than a year away and is called elections.
ps: Watch Bolton book because this bird is not yet dead~~~

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