Michael J. Matheron, November 3, 2016
Yesterday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the 2nd ranked Senate Republican, urged House and Senate legislators to hold off on impeachment hearings and related preparations until certain constitutional requirements ensue. GOP House and Senate legislators are actively preparing themselves for Hillary Clinton’s quick impeachment. Senator Cornyn urged them to forestall:
“Well, I think that’s premature myself, to be talking about that, because of course she hasn’t been elected or sworn into office.”
This reporter believes Senator Cornyn’s bespeaks a welcome adjustment in Capitol Hill philosophy. In urging patience from Members, Cornyn demonstrated a detailed understanding of our founding document’s meaning And his grasp reaches of constitutional minutiae extends deep encompassing the congressional role in certification of the electoral votes necessary for Secretary Clinton be victorious. Also, another little noticed constitutional provision for an “oath of office” ceremony prior to which a President may not carry out the duties of President and this cannot occur until 12 Noon, January 20, 2017.
Before Senator Cornyn’s comments, some Republican elected officials generally dismissed the the twin issues mentioned in the previous paragraph as merely unenforceable constitutional “suggestions,” or worse, “a steaming pile of fiddle faddle,” according to Alabama
Congressman Mo Brooks. As recently as September 6th Mr. Brooks went on record:
“[Secretary Clinton] will be a unique president if she is elected by the public next November, because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.“
He and his close-knit colleagues in the House requested a memorandum from the Congressional Research Service, the legislative branch “think tank” answerable to Members. Mr. Brooks believes Senator Cornyn’s caution advising that legislators wait until completion of the swearing-in ceremony reflects a “tight assed’ constitutional interpretation “that’s just plain unfair and hurtful, and suitable only for bald law school professors to argue about in their pearl-lined offices.” He hopes that the Congressional Research Service (CRS) memo will reach him by January 19, but doubts it, “CRS is a bee hive of liberal pot-heads who only want is to legalize marriage between cats and dogs. All alt-leftists.”
Senator Cornyn responded today when asked about Mr. Brooks’ position. He asserted sympathy, noting he “is not averse to impeachment as a governing tactic,” but reveres the Constitution.
“Why,” Cornyn asked, “the hurry? Can we not begin impeachment immediately following her pronouncing the words ‘so help me God’? Even a moment before that time would bring about a constitutional crisis.”
Finally, on this point of constitutional law the Senator concluded,
“Waiting until early afternoon on January 20th next year does not foreclose Mr. Brooks and others from holding practice sessions where impeachment procedures can be rehearsed.”
Unfortunately, Cornyn riled many GOP legislators anew by suggesting that empirical evidence of wrongdoing be sought prior to impeaching and quickly ending a Hillary Clinton’s presidency:
“. . . unless there is some additional evidence that the FBI director and the DOJ would take to a grand jury, then she is not likely to be convicted of a crime.”
Although candidate Clinton often differs with Senator Cornyn, his caution regarding pre-inauguration impeachment does show some long-needed bipartisanship. Rarely do Clinton and Cornyn agree, but on the issue of pre-oath-of-office impeachment, they’re like two peas in a pod. If cooperation continues until her impeachment late in the afternoon of January 20th, can we not conclude that a welcome and pleasant breeze through the corridors of Capitol Hill shall blow?
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