The case for impeachment

In the past half-century, two presidents have been impeached, and one resigned on the verge of impeachment.  It may now be Joe Biden's turn.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to take an oath to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" and "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."  The vice president takes a similar oath, promising to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Article II also obligates the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."  These include immigration laws.  Article IV requires the federal government to protect every state against invasion.  Clearly, by opening the southern border, President Biden has failed to faithfully execute the immigration laws, to fulfill his constitutional duty to protect the states against invasion, and to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

The political rationale for opening the border to Central Americans is to change the demographics of the country to bolster the rolls of Democrat voters.  Many states do not require citizenship for voter registration, and several automatically register people to vote when they are issued a driver's license.  Cubans, however, are unwelcome, presumably because they tend to vote Republican.

More than a million aliens have entered illegally since Biden took office.  Many who cross illegally carry COVID, or are members of criminal gangs, bringing fentanyl, heroin, meth, or children trafficked into sexual slavery.  It is outrageous that a president would sacrifice the health and safety of his citizens to solidify his party's grip on power.

The Supreme Court held that Joe Biden's moratorium on eviction effectively confiscates the private property of landlords without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment.  Biden reimposed the moratorium in contemptuous defiance of the Supreme Court.

Biden's calamitous withdrawal delivered Afghanistan to the Taliban, along with a generous arsenal of modern weaponry, while exposing those left behind to torture and carnage, and unleashing ISIS and al-Qaeda to exact revenge against America.  Terrorists know that our southern border is open.  Psychologically, the perceived weakness of American leadership may embolden America's adversaries, including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.  As a consequence, America and its allies may be faced with the dilemma of either sending soldiers to repel foreign aggression or standing aside while tyrants invade their neighbors.

If Jill Biden loved her husband, she would never have let him wander into the public spotlight.  If Hunter loved his father, he would have sobered up and abstained from influence-peddling.  If President Biden is ousted via the 25th Amendment because of declining mental acuity "to discharge or perform the duties of his office" or is impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate under Article I because of dereliction of duty, Vice President Harris becomes president.

If Harris is ousted because of dereliction of duty (particularly for her failure to meaningfully address the border crisis, for which President Biden gave her primary responsibility), Speaker Pelosi becomes president.  Pelosi began to tee up the 25th Amendment in the final weeks of Trump's presidency, perhaps anticipating that an elderly Joe Biden would be unable to fill his full term.

If words spoken on a telephone call can be deemed "high crimes and misdemeanors" sufficient to trigger impeachment, then certainly any of the errant actions described above would qualify.  However, although it takes only a House majority to impeach, it takes two thirds of the Senate to convict.

If history is any indication, impeachment rarely results in removal from office.  Andrew Johnson was impeached, Bill Clinton was impeached, and Donald Trump was impeached twice.  No impeached president has been convicted by the Senate.  However, the threat of impeachment for obstruction of justice during the Watergate scandal did persuade Richard Nixon to resign.  New York governor Andrew Cuomo also resigned on the precipice of impeachment.

The threat of impeachment may also be enough to inspire President Biden to resign.  Politically, however, the prospect of having Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi as president may be sufficiently unpleasant (and no, not because of their sex) to dissuade the House or Senate from proceeding down that path, at least until the 2022 midterm election determines which party controls Congress.  If the Republicans retake the House, the new speaker (Kevin McCarthy, perhaps) will be third in line.

Conversely, the threat of impeachment might inspire President Biden to fulfill his Constitutional obligations...if he is still capable.

Dr. Dempsey taught law at universities in the United States and Canada for nearly four decades.

Image: Biden in a fetal position.  YouTube screen grab.

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