Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Impeach Rove, so that he can never be pardoned"

There is a very FUnnie scene in the movie, Stalag 17. Stosh the Animal is drinking some rotgut moonshine in the barracks. Suddenly he thinks the low grade booze has made him go blind, not realizing that his own cap is pulled over his eyes. "Blind! Harry! Harry!" he screams in desperation. "Harry -- I'm blind!" His friend Harry then pushes up the animal's cap. "Blind? How stupid can you get, Animal?" What was really interesting about this scene is the utter amazement in Harry's voice and face at how incredibly stupid the Animal was. Yes, the Animal did some stupid things before but this event went way beyond all others and both shocked and worried Harry for the beyond belief stupidity of the Animal. Likewise I had the same reaction by just reading the title of this KOmmie THREAD, "Impeach Rove, so that he can never be pardoned." The "genius" who authored this thread is KOmmie Major Danby who has proved himself every bit as stupid as Stosh the Animal. He has also proved that KOmmies can be every bit as DUmb as the DUmmies. So let us now descend to the depths of KOmmie stupidity in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, wondering if the KOmmies will next try to impeach Rush Limbaugh, is in the [brackets]:

Impeach Rove, so that he can never be pardoned

[Posted KOmmie Major Danby with a cap pulled down over his brain.]

I have recently become enamored of the last subclause of the first clause in Section 2 of Article 2 of the Constitution, especially the last five words:

[Oh-uh. This is probably the first time this KOmmie has even read any part of the constitution and, of course, he gets it completely WRONG.]

"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

[Looky me! LOOKY MEEEEE!!! I can quote portions of the constitution and come off as a real legal scholar even though I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.]

We are now entering a period where the most pressing question regarding investigations of Bush Administration scandals will be whether "loyal Bushies" will invoke their version of omerta and refuse to divulge the truth about what has happened. It becomes easier to clam up if one believes that, down the line, one will be pardoned.

[Oh, you're soooo smart KOmmie Major Danby. You think you have found a way to close the pardon loophole.]

Impeachment takes away the prospect of a pardon. It's time to impose that limitation on Karl Rove.

[BRILLIANT!!! It would be an honor to get down on my knees and kiss your tush for finding this incredible legal discovery.]

Article II, section 4, describes the impeachment power thusly:

[Oooooh! You used "thusly." I'm impressed!]

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.

Does this apply to Karl Rove? The short answer is that so far as I can tell (without all of my legal research tools available) it might, and that in any event it's reasonable to press the case to find out. (I'll happily defer to anyone who has definitive evidence to the contrary.) Here's the long answer.

[How about if you just pull that cap away from your brain so you can find out if Karl Rove is impeachable.]

Rove holds a high position in the federal government, as Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. For fans of the West Wing, he is George W. Bush's Josh Lyman. True, he is a political appointee, not a cabinet appointee. Does he qualify as a "civil Officer of the Unites States"?

[What do you think, numnuts?]

The term "Civil Officer" -- as distinct from a "military officer" -- is not defined as such in the Constitution, but its content is implied in Article 2, section 2:

[Uh-oh, KOmmie Major Danby is quoting from text that he can't understand at all in order to impress us.]

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

[Hey! Maybe you can impeach the pizza delivery boy for arriving late to your basement.]

The position of Deputy White House Chief of Staff is provided for by law; Congress allows the President alone to make this appointment. The distinction to be made is apparently between a civil officer versus an employee (see Burnap v. United States, 252 U.S. 512) or contractor (see State v. Boone, 132 N.C. 1108, 44 S.E. 595 (1903)) on the one hand, and an elected official on the other. You can treat the next blockquote as a footnote and skip it unless you're interested.

[How stupid can you get, Animal?]

We infer the latter from the case of the first person ever impeached by the U.S. Government, Senator William Blount. Blount, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, allegedly became embroiled in a conspiracy to wrest Florida and the Louisiana Territory from Spain on behalf of Great Britain, an act violating several federal laws. Blount was impeached in 1797 and formally expelled from the Senate for "having been guilty of high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public trust and duty as a senator." In a somewhat backwards exercise, formal articles of impeachment were adopted in 1798; a year later, the Senate decided that it had not jurisdiction to try him, on two grounds: (1) he was not then a member of the Senate and, even as a member, he had not been a civil officer of the United States within the meaning of the constitution and therefore.

[So maybe you can impeach Karl Rove for attempting to wrest Florida and the Louisiana Territory from Spain. It makes about as much sense as even attempting to impeach Rove for anything at all.]

I'll give fair time to the other position: there's an argument that Rove can't be impeached because a member of the President's "personal staff" is not a Civil Officer; I'm not sure where that comes from (though I can certainly believe that some court somewhere has said so), but if it's so, I'd argue that Rove should be judged by his behavior and not his title. I can see this leading to a question of whether Rove's actions, if he is not actually a Civil Officer, as having been illegal; personally, I'm happy to see him put in that sort of a dilemma.

[So the qualifications for impeachment depends on the deed, not the office according to DUmb KOmmie logic.]

So, if Karl Rove is a Civil Officer, I think he can be impeached. Is there grounds for impeachment? Sure. Recently, Josh Marshall pointed us to fresh evidence of Rove's involvement in a meeting that looks a lot like obstruction of justice. I'm not going to belabor the point of whether there's a sufficient predicate for Rove's investigation, impeachment, or conviction. To me, that's not the interesting part.

[Hey if you THINK Karl Rove can be impeached then it MUST be true according to your complete misreading of the Constitution.]

But what, you may ask, if Rove resigns first? Can he still be impeached? Well, there's reason to think the answer is "yes." For one thing, the Constitution clearly assigns a separate disability to impeachment besides mere removal from office; to me, that implies that Congress can pursue it. (Kagro X gives some good background here and here and here and, hell, just read the comments in this search.) I think KX is right here.

[Aha! KOmmie Major Danby has all the angles covered. At least according to his Alternate Universe interpretation of the Constitution.]

So what happens if we impeach Rove and take away his right to a pardon? I think that Rove is more Oliver North -- rolling over to save his ass -- than Gordon Liddy offering to be assassinated on the corner of Nixon's choosing. That can get us to Bush. Even if it doesn't, the prospect of Rove's doing so would open up a lot of mouths, from people who have been taking orders from Rove.

[So we go from Step 1 in a false premise to the real target---Bush.]

So, let's see how it goes. (Or shoot me down -- but please have your evidence in hand if you argue that he can't be impeached. Remember, lots of things that we thought were true of our federal government are turning out not to necessarily be true.)

[Does the Constitution count as evidence? And now let us see his equally stupid fellow KOmmies hail this "brilliant" impeachment plan until some slightly more aware KOmmies pull the cap from KOmmie Major Danby's brain and tell him much more gently than Harry that he is stupid...]

I'm with ya Major!

[I'm just as DUmb as you are Major!]

I have to say though Major, I really like this idea! If there's one person in this admin that needs to be dealt with as a finality, it's Rove. He needs to be pure poison to anyone found associating with him. The idea of impeaching HIM, seems a good way to get that problem solved!

[I really like the idea of you and KOmmie Major Danby displaying your stupidity for all to see.]

Of course Rove should be impeached. We should -- Americans should -- use every mechanism possible against every single conservative, Bushist, PNACer, and each and every one of their anti-American anti-Constitutional war-loving, torture-supporting, money-grubbing, hypocritical, deceitful brethren.

[Of course Rove should be impeached even though it is constitutionally impossible to do so.]

But not because of who they are, but because of all the crimes they have committed. And they have committed many.

[Another moron who buys into the argument that impeachment qualification is defined by the crime, not the office or non-office.]

Impeach them all. Let the Senate sort it out.

[Impeach them all whether they are actually impeachable or not.]

Impeach -- it's the law.

[Impeach -- it's the law even if we have to make it up in the case of Karl Rove.]

How can a appointed rather than an elected official be impeached?

[Shhh! He's on a roll. And remember how the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.]

Rove has not been acting like a mere appointed official. That should cost him.

[Let's see. Rove can't be impeached due to his official position but due to the way he ACTS then that makes him impeachable.]

Whether he was appointed or elected isn't really the issue.

[Damn the facts! Full speed ahead on the Rove impeachment!]

Rove--as revealed by his witty repartee with Sheryl Crow, seems to consider himself as some sort of official. Besides, doesn't he have something to do with FEMA now? If he thinks of himself as an official sort of personage, let him accept the consequences of said ofice. Well worth looking at! Certainly can't hurt to try and if it gives him a sleepless night, then bring it on!

[Bring Sheryl Crow to testify at the Rove impeachment trial so she can explain about her one-wipe TP proposal.]

I do not have the case law in front of me but as I remember from my constitutional law classes, he can't, and here's why. Civil officers refer to presidential appointments that have to be confirmed by the Senate. For instance, that would mean any Cabinet and sub-cabinet positions, along with any federal judges, and although the issue has never come up to my knowledge, certain military positions, such as the Joint Chiefs of Staff or theatre commanders. Karl Rove, along with any other presidential aide, up to and including the Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor, are not impeachable officers because they do not go through the Senate confirmation process. I'm not even sure if they take any sort of oath of office.

[Thanks for playing the role of a polite Harry mentioning that the other KOmmies have a cap pulled down over their brains.]

I like this plan. I'm excited about it.

[Even though it is constitutionally IMPOSSIBLE to carry out.]

I suspect Mr. Rove is not an "Officer" though. He doesn't have administrative authority over and Department or Bureau, does he? He's more like the paid help, isn't he?

[Posted a KOmmie peaking out from under his Animal cap.]

I just love the way folks are thumbing through the Constitution around here. I'm doing it, too. Helluva beautiful document.

[I just love the way folks are thumbing through the Constitution around here. I'm doing it too and completely misinterpreting it as well as the rest of you.]

Rove must go down by all available means.

[Even if it means completely misinterpreting the Constitution as to who can actually be impeached.]

This might not work; the Constitution is slightly vague, but that clause could be interpreted to say that the power of pardons is only restricted from being applied to the actual impeachment itself, and not any prosecutions that may follow (remember, impeachment only extends to removal from office and criminal prosecutions are separate).

[This might not work because Karl Rove can't be impeached in the first place according to the Constitution. But why should that stop you? Go for it!]

impeachment from the bottom up isn't a bad idea. pick off the low hanging fruit, and use the information gained in those trials to move on to the next rung of the ladder. by the time you get to bush and cheney, you've have built increased levels of public disgust with this rotten lot, and probably split off a significant chunk of republican senators along the way.

[Even though that low hanging fruit can't be impeached in the first place.]

First off, I am not sure Congress can impeach Rove since he does not occupy a position subject to Congressional approval. But maybe I am wrong on that one.

[Unfortunately you're not.]

Something, anything to permanently wipe the greasy smirk off that porcine face of Rove is fair game to me.

[Even if it means completely misinterpreting the Constitution as to who can be impeached.]

What our government needs is a good old fashioned purge. We need to impeach any and all bad actors in this administration to ensure that they can never hold public office again.

[Impeach them all! From the pizza delivery boy to the President!]

In this and all the ancillary positions I say Democrats should just go after them if for no reason but to focus in a more formal way all the damage this administration has done.

[Go after them all. Actual charges are just a mere technical detail.]

If Karl Rove was appointed by the President, has a set time frame for service, and has a specific job to do mandated by the President, then he may qualify as a civil officer.

[Just wave the magic wand to make Karl Rove an impeachable civil officer.]

Teh Deputy CHief of Staff, and all staff members are not civil officers. These positions are not "provided for by law." It's not arguable. The term does not apply to White House staff.

[Another Harry in effect telling the Animal KOmmies just how stupid they are.]

Boy, That's a Loophole That Needs To Be Fixed!

[Fix it by completely misinterpreting the Constitution. Easy.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad the loony left doesn't realize that even if the senate tried to impeach Rove (something they couldn't do) President Bush could short circuit the whole process by issuing a pardon BEFORE the impeachment process begins. You can't impeach (or even bring charges against) someone for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" if that person has received a Presidential Pardon. Yet another strike against the insanity of the loony left.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope to God none of the idiots in that thread are actually law students or even naive, freshly-minted lawyers. Might make a good "What's wrong with this plan?" question for a Constitutional Law exam, except nobody would have time to list everything that's messed up with it.
Really pretty amazing. And not in a good way.

5:22 PM  
Blogger JorgXMcKie said...

Obviously none of this group of loons has ever seen "A Man for All Seasons."

So now you'd give the Devil benefit of the law?

Yes, what would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it--d'you think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"

These idiots don't even see (God, I hope they don't see) that what they're proposing is the very essence of tyranny.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The saddest part is that it's... politics.

No one dies, it's just a sort of game where one side will prevail today and the other just as soon as they come up with a better way/idea/person. Rove is the best, and therefore in power. Get over it.

Forget the fact that Rove isn't an elected official and therefore off the table as far as impeachment is concerned, the fact that he's such a bogeyman to this gaggle of gaggers is proof he can't be defeated by them!

Didn't it occur to these loons that their time would be far better spent coming up with popular plans that Americans could embrace?

Perhaps engaging in rational discourse with the goal of achieving something good?

Oops! I used the 'r' word.

I don't thing 'rational' gets much play around liberals any more.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet one more tsunami of fascism in Chimpy/Halliburton AmeriKKKa!

Hillary 2008 - I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up, TP. Dude...and the Far Left holds narcissistic idiots like him up as their heroes? No wonder they're in trouble with the average American. Yeesh.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary 2008 - I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!
Sorry Hillary, the U.S.S.R. is no longer around. Try China.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary 2008 - I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!

An awful lot of people will be saying exactly that in 2009, if she wins in 2008.

5:03 PM  

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