Giuliani: Supreme Court Should Rule Impeachment Unconstitutional
In an op-ed for the Daily Caller on Friday, President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said that the Supreme Court should step in and throw out Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment of the president as wholly unconstitutional. Writing at a time that Mitch McConnell has endorsed a resolution to dismiss the articles of impeachment out of hand if they are not sent to the Senate within 25 days, Giuliani wrote that the Democrats’ plot to “rewrite the carefully crafted separation of powers” is an illegal effort that has put “our constitutional government in grave danger.”
“While the Constitution does give the House broad discretion in impeachments, there are limits,” Giuliani wrote. “The most explicit of these is that impeachment can only be for, ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ (Art. II, Sec. 4, U.S. Constitution) However, the articles for impeachment voted on by this entirely partisan Democratic Congress, which are currently being unconstitutionally withheld from the Senate, charge no such offenses. In fact, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are not crimes of any kind, high or low. Therein lies the real reason why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.”
Giuliani hits on an excellent point here, and it brings to mind the millions of times over the last three months that we’ve heard pundits say, “Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one.” While there is some basic truth to that notion, we can’t help but get the feeling that the people saying it have ulterior motives. Among Democrats and their supporters, it seems an attempt to turn impeachment into an anything-goes process in which it is not necessary to actually find the president guilty of any crime. The absurdity of this theory is self-evident: It opens the door to a House of Representatives-led impeachment of any president in the opposing party. For any reason whatsoever!
And to be sure, impeaching Trump over this Ukraine scandal comes damn close to “any reason whatsoever” territory.
Giuliani expounds on this very problem: “If this impeachment is not declared illegal it would remove the constitutional limitation of crimes on the power to impeach. It would allow the House to impeach for policy differences or political leverage. It would prevent a future president to raise any challenge to the most illegal, overbroad subpoena from any of the multitude of congressional committees and sub-committees. Congress would also create for itself a veto over a president’s conduct of foreign policy. Anytime it disagrees, it could charge abuse of power.”
In many ways, Rudy Giuliani is exactly right. While it is a foregone conclusion that the Senate will acquit Trump of these ridiculous charges, what might have happened in an alternate universe where the Senate was under supermajority Democratic Party control? Is there any doubt that the result would be different?
These are the treacherous waters we are not just traversing but actively creating by allowing this sham to go forward.