Non-indictable Does Not Mean Unimpeachable - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Non-indictable Does Not Mean Unimpeachable

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 5:49 pm

To indict means to formally, in front of a judge in a court of law, legally charge. After indictment, a trial leads to a guilty or not-guilty decision.

Impeach means the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. It does not require a guilty or not guilty plea or verdict. It does not mean removal from office. After due consideration, the person impeached may be determined to be justly charged and subsequently removed from office. Removal is not impeachment. It is a result of impeachment.

The Justice Department, as controlled by the President, does not control this process.

Most elected officials are indictable. The President is the exception. All elected officials are impeachable. The President is not an exception. This is how the saying “No one is above the law” is applied. He can be investigated. He can be impeached.

The Justice Department is headed by the Attorney General. The Justice Department is tasked with bringing indictments. The Attorney General is appointed by and thus, under the control of the President of the United States. As far as the Attorney General is concerned, he or she can be fired by the President. So, it follows that the person ultimately in charge, (the President) can choose not to indict himself or herself.

The “innocent until proven guilty” loses meaning when the agency tasked with indicting is under the control of the person being indicted. The President claiming “not Guilty” is not a plea, but a decision by the ultimate authority to not charge.

According to the Constitution, the Congress, House of Representatives, has the responsibility and the duty to consider and, if appropriate, file impeachment charges. The charges can be based on either “high crimes” or “misdemeanors.”

The other branch of Congress, the Senate, has the responsibility to review and determine, after reviewing the evidence, if the person is guilty of either high crimes or misdemeanors and is to be removed from office.

This was not designed to be a political function. It was designed to be a function of fact.

The President’s latest ploy is to have his attorneys claim that not only is he not indictable, he also cannot even be investigated. That amounts to a claim that he is, indeed, above the law. In this country we waged a revolutionary war to get away from a king who claimed to be above the law.

The control of the House by the Democrats should not enter in to the decision to impeach. The control of the Senate by Republicans should not enter into the decision to remove, or not remove from office.

We can do better. We must do better.

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