(TNS) Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz observed in a column earlier this week that a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower courts’ rulings regarding congressional subpoenas may have “ripped the rug out” from one of the Democrats’ impeachment articles against President Donald Trump.
The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines…
That second article of impeachment charges President Trump with obstruction of Congress for refusing to comply with the congressional subpoenas in the absence of a final court order. In so charging him, the House Judiciary Committee has arrogated to itself the power to decide the validity of subpoenas, and the power to determine whether claims of executive privilege must be recognized, both authorities that properly belong with the judicial branch of our government, not the legislative branch.
The House of Representatives will do likewise, when it votes to approve the articles, as the chamber is expected to do so Wednesday.
President Trump has asserted that the executive branch, of which he is the head, need not comply with congressional subpoenas requiring the production of privileged executive material, unless there is a final court order compelling such production.
He has argued, appropriately, that the judicial branch is the ultimate arbiter of conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. Therefore, the Supreme Court decision to review these three cases, in which lower courts ruled against President Trump, provides support for his constitutional arguments in the investigation.
Dershowitz noted further that, “Even if the high court were eventually to rule against the claims by President Trump, the fact that the justices decided to hear them, in effect, supports his constitutional contention that he had the right to challenge congressional subpoenas in court, or to demand that those issuing the subpoenas seek to enforce them through court.”
What’s become obvious is that a) Democrats couldn’t care less about the institution they control or the processes of constitutional government in their rush to impeach Trump for literally nothing at all; and b) The process they engaged in to get impeachment done was so blatantly political that it opens the door for future political impeachments, not those based on legitimate findings of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as the Constitution demands.
Constitutional expert and former Reagan Justice Department chief of staff Mark Levin notes that the process by which Nancy Pelosi decided to vote out articles of impeachment and then just sit on them until some future date is equally ludicrous.
And he prescribed a solution for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):
The Senate has the sole power under the Constitution to adjudicate an impeachment. Therefore, Pelosi is attempting to obstruct the Senate’s power to act on its constitutional authority.
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McConnell should immediately put an end to this and declare the impeachment null and void, as the speaker has failed to complete the impeachment process by timely sending it to the Senate for adjudication.
McConnell has no less authority to unilaterally make such a decision than Pelosi does to withhold the administrative notification of an impeachment to the Senate either indefinitely or with conditions. Her effort to cripple the presidency and blackmail the Senate must be defeated.
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