Friday, January 15, 2021

The Senate's Coming Impeachment Fiasco

A great piece, from Byron York, "Byron York's Daily Memo":

Remember that the primary purpose of an impeachment trial is to remove the convicted official from office. Here is the description of impeachment from Article II of the Constitution: "The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The Constitution gives the Senate "the sole power to try all impeachments" and says that "no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present." If the official is convicted, the punishment "shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States."

But the removal part will be off the table. The Senate trial will not begin until January 20 at the earliest, after President Trump leaves office. So Democrats propose to use impeachment to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal office again, which they say requires only a majority vote in the Senate. But the Constitution clearly requires a conviction before punishment, so two thirds of the Senate would have to convict former President Trump before he could be disqualified.


There are two new polls on the impeachment question. An NBC survey shows the public narrowly divided on the issue, with 50 percent for and 48 percent against. An ABC-Washington Post poll shows a wider spread, with 56 for and 42 percent against. But both polls asked respondents whether they supported removing Trump from office without mentioning that in real life Trump will already be out of office when the impeachment verdict is rendered. This is just a guess, but it seems opinion might change when the public realizes that Democrats are using impeachment against a president who has already left office...

Still more.

And read those polls, especially the one from ABC News. Americans of all partisan persuasions repudiate the violence of the Capitol Hill riot, including 76 percent of Trump supporters.  

And as usual, don't forget all the caveats about media polling, perhaps the biggest one is that their samples are always biased toward the Democrats, and often questions are rigged (push-polling) to get the desired results of making Trump, Republicans, and conservatives look bad.