Republicans Lay the Groundwork for the Baseless Impeachment of President Obama


We have come to expect nothing less than crazy from Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FLA), and he has delivered today.

Yoho has authored a resolution in high hopes of using it to begin impeachment proceedings against President Obama for acting like a President. It is allegedly supposed to take aim at the President for his immigration actions.

Obviously, Yoho’s resolution is fraught with peril seeing as it seeks to criminalize the president for acting on presidential power. But it also managed to take a big old (unintentional, I presume since Republicans are still refusing to admit any responsibility for the fact that they lied in the lead up to the Iraq War) swipe at former President George W. Bush, with part of his resolution reading: “(5) intentionally lying to Congress to obtain an authorization for war”.

Yoho’s resolution seeks to (for starters):

To establish standards defining impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” within the meaning of Article II, section 4 as applied to the President of the United States.

Whereas Article II, section 4 of the Constitution provides that, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”;

What is this high crime?

Acting like a President. Ironically, it seems, a recent Republican president:

The House of Representatives declares the following Presidential actions shall constitute impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” within the meaning of Article II, section 4, which will cause the House to vote an article or articles of impeachment to send to the Senate for trial—

(1) initiating war without express congressional authorization;

(2) killing American citizens in the United States or abroad who are not then engaged in active hostilities against the United States without due process (unless the killing was necessary to prevent imminent serious physical danger to third parties);

(3) failing to superintend subordinates guilty of chronic constitutional abuses;

(4) spending appropriated funds in violation of conditions imposed for expenditure;

(5) intentionally lying to Congress to obtain an authorization for war;

(6) failing to take care that the laws be faithfully executed through signing statements or systematic policies of nonenforcement;

(7) substituting executive agreements for treaties;

(8) intentionally lying under oath to a Federal judge or grand jury;

(9) misusing Federal agencies to advance a partisan political agenda;

(10) refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents or testimony issued for a legitimate legislative purpose; and

(11) issuing Executive orders or Presidential memoranda that infringe upon or circumvent the constitutional powers of Congress.

Cristina Marcos of the Hill noted, “The Yoho resolution defines impeachable ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ in a way that is clearly aimed at Obama’s actions to unilaterally delay deportations…”

And later, Marcos observed dryly, “Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) insisted last summer that impeachment is a “scam” perpetuated by Democrats.”

Yoho denies that it is aimed at President Obama. Now go re-read Speaker Boehner’s claim that Republicans are not going to try to impeach President Obama like they did with the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton.

Yes, plenty of Yoho’s resolution applies to things that Bush did while in office. But Republicans are not known for dealing in reality right now, and so their idea of using a federal agency for partisan activities is the President telling the agency how to implement a law. This is not the same thing as what Bush did when he used the Department of Justice to carry out partisan activities. The latter actually happened.

This is not a matter of which side of the fence you are standing on, although plenty of the complaints can be applied to most presidents, including President Obama. But Obama is nowhere near Bush in abuse of presidential power. He has, at times, even sought to limit it.

Yoho wants you to believe he just so happens to be setting the stage for impeachment of any old president, while a Democrat is in office. It shouldn’t escape notice that Republicans are seeking to limit the power of the one office they can’t seem to get back, and face an uphill battle winning in the near future until they join the rest of the population in the current century.

Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here. Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump. Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Connect with Sarah on Post,  Mastodon @PoliticusSarah@Journa.Host, & Twitter.

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