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The Mechanics
« Questions I Would Like the House to Ask Roland Burris Tomorrow That Efficient "City Manager" Mayor »

Illinois Thu Jan 08 2009

Impeach-y Keen

The House impeachment committee has released its report, and, yikes. I think the Hunka Hunka Burnin' Gov has not long for the office.

In the Committee's opinion, the unsworn information the Governor's counsel introduced does not refute the notion that the Governor was scheming to obtain a personal beneift for the Senate appointment or that he was dispatching individuals to negotiate on his behalf. Whether those subordinates succeeded in their endeavor, or whether they even carried out their directives, does not change the fact that the Governor asked them to negotiate on his behalf.

(h/t to Rich Miller for his furious typing -- the document is not copy-and-paste-able. Thanks, House.)

The report does a good job of explaining why they CAN impeach Blagojevich despite the (temporary) absence of criminal-trial caliber evidence. (Also, they quote the Federalist papers.)

Then-Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gerald Ford, once famously said that an impeachable offense is "whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers [it] to be at a given moment in history." Supreme Court Justice Story remarked that impeachment applies to offenses of a "political character" and are "so various in their character, and so indefinable in their actual solutions, that it is almost impossible to provide systematically for them by positive law." Alexander Hamilton, in an essay known as Federalist No. 65, wrote that impeachable offenses "are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they related chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself."

For those out there who caught vapors when I mentioned that impeachment was about votes, not criminal standards of evidence.

Keep up with the hearings, as Senator-Designate Roland Burris is testifying.

 
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