The short answer to the question “Why hasn’t an Obama impeachment process been started?” is: because no one seems to care. It’s a relevant answer, but hopefully not the most relevant answer.
In reality, American citizens and members of Congress have been calling for beginning the process since 2011, long before President Obama began his second term in office. Petitions have been created calling for the President’s arrest under suspicion of treason. Obviously, the “short answer” above doesn’t truly answer the question. People care. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the right people care.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors?
Article II, Section 4 of the Articles of the Constitution of the United States reads: 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. “High crimes and Misdemeanors” isn’t explicitly defined, and it has been argued comprehensively that the Founding Fathers meant to be purposefully vague in that sense. Anyone interested in the historical arguments regarding impeachment offenses and their definitions will find more information here.
With that in mind, FindLaw.com noted, “Practice over the years, however, insofar as the Senate deems itself bound by the actions of previous Senates, would appear to limit the grounds of conviction to indictable criminal offenses for all officers, with the possible exception of judges.”
The article also offers this reminder (boldface added for emphasis):
For the first time in over a hundred years and for only the second time in the Nation’s history, Congress moved to impeach the President of the United States, a move forestalled only by the resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974. In the course of the proceedings, there recurred strenuous argument with regard to the nature of an impeachable offense, whether only criminally- indictable actions qualify for that status or whether the definition is broader, and, of course, no resolution was reached.
What We Learned From Clinton Impeachment Trial
In 2005, Douglas O. Linder wrote a summary of the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton. The House of Representatives voted, very clearly along party lines, to bring impeachment charges against President Clinton, who was then very predictably acquitted in the Senate trial. Linder wisely noted:
We learned that politics are very likely to determine how one views evidence in impeachment case–not a surprising lesson to be sure, but the final votes in both the House and Senate turned out to be surprisingly partisan. Moreover, the analysis of academics–people trained to look objectively at evidence–who threw themselves into the impeachment fray was, if anything, even more partisan than that of the politicians.
Is the reason an Obama impeachment process hasn’t been started becoming more clear? It should be.
The Call Has Not Been Heard
In January of 2013, Infowars‘ Alex Jones published a call for Obama impeachment charges, beginning “For sedition against the Constitution”, and ending, “For these, and other offenses which constitute high crimes and misdemeanors, including perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming and refusal to obey a lawful order, we call for the immediate impeachment of Barack H. Obama.”
Alex Jones’ mighty roar was met with the chirping of crickets throughout the District of Columbia.
I have repeatedly been asked by a number of different people if I think that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has committed any offenses that subject him to being impeached by the Congress of the United States. The answer is without a doubt, yes because he has repeatedly breached his oath of office. The oath of office of the President of the United States is simple and concise. It reads:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Instead of living up to that oath, President Obama has actively attempted to subvert, ignore, and completely destroy large parts of the Constitution. I believe the President of the United States is well aware of what he is doing, and it is completely intentional. Based from my years as a constitutional attorney, listed below are what I believe are impeachable offenses, and the list continues to grow.
Michael Connelly’s “dirty dozen” impeachable crimes can be found in amazing detail here, and are regularly updated. Twenty-five million views later, and despite the stunning evidence Connelly presents, President Barack Obama remains unscrutinized by the Republican-held (by a small margin) House of Representatives.
What, pray tell, could the House be waiting for?
The Obvious Answer
Liberally-inclined Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast offered an answer by stating, “ I think the notion of impeachment is industrial-strength insane. There is utterly no proof that the President Obama even knew anything directly about the shifting Benghazi responses, let alone did something about them… And as for the Internal Revenue Service story, from what we now know, those transgressions were committed by IRS staffers in Cincinnati who have never been closer to Obama than their television sets.”
He continues with this rather pacifist statement, “Benghazi at the end of the day was a terrible tragedy in which mistakes, bad mistakes, were certainly made, and in which confusion and the CYA reflex led to some bad information going out to the public initially, but none of this remotely rises to the level of high crime. The IRS cock-up was just that, a mistake by a regional office.”
“Impeachment is crazy, the Daily Mail is crazy, and the idea that Obama has any direct culpability in either of these matters is, given what we know today, utter madness. Okay? But this is my point: utter madness is what today’s Republicans do.”
Aside from the fundamental mean-spiritedness of the article, and despite the difficulty of the admission, Michael Tomasky may have a point and the answer we’ve been looking for. Impeachment proceedings have invariably failed.
Before It’s News reported, “Fast and Furious and Benghazi are impeachable offenses with collateral criminal implications surrounding the deaths of Americans. Yet there is hardly coverage from the news media. Worse yet, there seems to be no one in Congress who has the inner strength to prosecute these horrors.”
Who is ultimately accountable for Fast and Furious? Who is ultimately accountable for the tragedy of Benghazi? Who is ultimately accountable for oversight of the Internal Revenue Service? Who is ultimately accountable for the unConstitutional implementation of Obamacare? The Office of the President may easily side-step accountability for these debacles, just as Mr. Tomasky noted. Though President Obama’s career may not survive the severe blow to his credibility represented by these questions, he likely cannot be held personally accountable as impeachment proceedings would demand. And the House of Representatives knows it.
Accountability Is A Bi-Partisan Concept
Mr. Tomasky, however, appears to have forgotten one thing: Executive Orders. Cabinet appointments without the consent of Congress, unilateral EPA regulations, orders limiting the United States Border Patrol and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement departments, orders changing FCC regulations, orders unConstitutionally limiting Second Amendment rights, and the National Defense Resources Preparation order (which appears to give Obama the authority to declare martial law in peacetime, and take over the allocation of everything from food and fuel to transportation and health care, according to Michael Connelly).
Certainly President Obama can be considered ultimately accountable – both publicly and criminally – for any Executive Order he has made? Michael Connelly noted, “I contend that among those high crimes and misdemeanors is the intentional violation of the oath of office administered to the President and all other federal officials. In fact, federal law at 5 U.S.C. 7311 specifically provides that violation of the oath of office includes advocating the overthrowing of our constitutional form of government. This is specifically declared a criminal offense in 18 U.S.C. 1918 and is punishable by both a fine and imprisonment.”
Perhaps, given the information herein, the “short answer” to the question, “Why hasn’t an Obama impeachment process been started?” remains relevant. However, those who do care, who believe that not only impeachable offenses but downright criminal offenses have been perpetrated by President Obama, are encouraged to ensure the right people know and the right people care. Locate and contact your Representative here.
Why Hasn’t Obama Impeachment Process Started?