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IPFS News Link • Impeachment

How Should The Senate Deal With An Unconstitutional Impeachment By The House?

• by Alan Dershowitz

These two grounds - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - are not among the criteria specified for impeachment. Neither one is a high crime and misdemeanor. Neither is mentioned in the constitution.

Both are the sort of vague, open-ended criteria rejected by the framers.

They were rejected precisely to avoid the situation in which our nation currently finds itself.

Abuse of power can be charged against virtually every controversial president by the opposing party.

And obstruction of Congress - whatever else it may mean - cannot extend to a president invoking privileges and then leave it to the courts to referee conflicts between the legislative and executive branches.

Hamilton feared that vague criteria would allow a majority of the House to impeach a president from the opposing party just because they had more votes than the president's party. 

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