Impeachment Grounds: Part 6: Quotes from Sundry Commentators Page: 2 of 5
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some chances when they elect a man to the presidency, and I think this is one of them,"
BLACK, IMPEACHMENT: A HANDBOOK, 39-40 (1974).
"The 'President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed
from Office on Impeachment for and Convictions of, Treason, Bribery, or other high
Crimes and Misdemeanors.' The phrase 'high crimes and misdemeanors' was an English
term of art that denoted political crimes against the state, and the choice of this phrase was
a deliberate and considered action. By including that English phrase, our Founding
Fathers intended to expand the scope of impeachable offenses beyond the scope of
criminally indictable offenses. This language incorporates political offenses against the
state that injure the structure of government and tarnish the integrity of the political office.
As Alexander Hamilton observed, these political offenses include breaches of the public
trust that a president assumes once he has taken office. Hamilton made this point in the
Federalist, describing impeachable crimes as 'those offences which proceed from the
misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuses or violations of some
public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated
POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself",
BARR, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, 2 TEXAS REVIEW OF LAW AND POLICY 1, 9-10
"The concept of an impeachable offense guts an impeachment case of the very
factors - repetition, pattern, coherence - that tend to establish the requisite degree of
seriousness warranting the removal of a president from office....
"The most pertinent precedent in this nation's history for framing a case for the
removal of a chief executive may well be the earliest - the Declaration of Independence.
In expressing reasons for throwing off the government of George III, the Continental
Congress did not claim that there had been a single offense justifying revolution. Instead,
it pointed to a course of conduct; it 'pursu[ed] invariably the same Object' and evinced
a common design; it 'all [had] in direct object the establishment of absolute Tyranny over
these States.' It was this pattern of wrongdoing taken together, not each specification
considered alone, that showed the unfitness of George III to be the ruler of the American
people.... [T]he unfitness of a president to continue in office is to be judged in much the
same way: with reference to totality of his conduct and the common patterns that emerge,
not in terms of whether this or that act of wrongdoing, viewed in isolation, is an
impeachable offense," LABOVITZ, PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT, 129-31 (1978).
"It can therefore be concluded that impeachment is not a political tool for arbitrary
removal of officials; that the standard for what constitutes an impeachable offense is not
based on an inflexible historical precedent or on the judicial tenure clause; that
impeachment is not limited to crimes, whether indictable or otherwise; and that the
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Impeachment Grounds: Part 6: Quotes from Sundry Commentators, report, October 30, 1998; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810651/m1/2/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.