Impeachment is simply politics

I read with interest the letter from Kim Stapleton “Take a seat, Lindsey Graham.” Stapleton made the statement, “If there was nothing to investigate, then there would be no call for impeachment. Again, refer to our history. The causes for impeachment and the processes have been carried out before. Why is this situation any different?”

It’s not. It’s a political ploy, just like the others.

In the history of our country, there have been two impeachment trials. When President Lincoln was killed, Andrew Johnson became president. He was a stubborn man and would not get along with Congress. He established his own program for reconstruction. He vetoed 29 bills. Congress finally realized it had enough votes to override his vetoes; so in 1867 Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act as a political ploy to trap Johnson. This law required that Congress approve the dismissal of appointed officials. President Johnson vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode him. When Johnson attempted to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, the House wrote articles of impeachment for violation of the Tenure of Office Act. At the trial, however, the Senate lacked one vote of removing Johnson from office. Stanton then resigned.

In 1998 when Paula Jones filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton, Monica Lewinski was called upon to testify, and the affair began to unfold. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the dedicated foe of President Clinton. The House passed the articles of impeachment on a straight party line vote; but, at the trial, the Senate determined that Clinton’s actions did not rise to the level of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” specified in Article II Section 4 of our Constitution.

President Nixon probably would have been removed from office at trial. His actions, in my opinion, met all requirements for impeachment; illegal wire taps, obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair, the attempt to overthrow the government of Chile, etc. However, when the House wrote the articles of impeachment, Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became president.

The censure of President Jackson is worth noting. In 1832, the Senate, influenced by Henry Clay, attempted to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States even though the charter would not expire until 1836. Jackson vetoed the bill. In 1833, while Congress was in recess, Jackson, who considered the bank to be a monopoly, directed the Secretary of the Treasury to redirect federal deposits from the Bank of the United States to various state banks. Jackson had to fire two Treasury Secretaries before he got one who would agree to this. When Congress reconvened, it censured Jackson. But when the Democrats regained control of Congress, they expunged the censure. It is worth noting that during Jackson’s presidency, the United States became totally debt free for the only time in our history. Look at us 182 years and $20 trillion later.

The Democratic leaders have been looking for impeachable offenses for nearly three years but have written no articles of impeachment. Why is the House investigating President Trump but not Joe Biden? Because the House has a Democratic majority.

LAWRENCE D. WEBER

Quinby

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