STATEMENT OF HOWARD PHILLIPS
In his "History of the Senate", former Senate Democrat Majority Leader Robert W. Byrd asserted that "Early American states found impeachment and trial to be a practical means of dealing with mismanagement of public funds, fiscal misconduct, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of the public trust and other forms of unethical activity engaged in by officeholders."
The Constitution of the United States includes the following provisions with respect to impeachment:
Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 -- "The House of Representatives...shall have the sole Power of Impeachment."
Article I, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7 -- "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
"Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United Sates: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law."
Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 -- "The President...shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."
Article II, Section 4, Clause 1 -- 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."
Article III, Section 2, Clause 3 -- "The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury."
On November 5, 1997 Georgia Congressman Robert Barr introduced House Resolution 304: "Directing the Committee on the Judiciary to undertake an inquiry into whether grounds exist to impeach William Jefferson Clinton, the President of the United States.
"Whereas considerable evidence has been developed from a broad array of credible sources that William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, has engaged in a systematic effort to obstruct, undermine, and compromise the legitimate and proper functions and processes of the executive branch: Now, therefore, be it
"Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary is directed to investigate and report to the House whether grounds exist to impeach William Jefferson Clinton, President of the Untied States. Upon completion of such investigation, that Committee shall report to the House its recommendations with respect thereto, including, if the Committee so determines, a resolution of impeachment."
Co-sponsors of H. Res. 304 include:
Bob Stump (Ariz.), Barbara Cubin (Wy.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Sam Johnson (Tex.), Linda Smith (Wash.), Todd Tiahrt (Kans.), Jack Metcalf (Wash.), Mark E. Souder (Ind.), Ron Paul (Tex.), Helen Chenoweth (Idaho), Pete Sessions (Tex.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), John Doolittle (Calif.), John Mica (Fla.), Jack Kingston (Ga.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Ron Lewis, (Ky.), and Cass Ballenger (N.C.).
The Coalition for a Congressional Impeachment Inquiry includes more than 100,000 Americans who have signed petitions urging House action on impeachment.
Impeachment is a political process with applicability to treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors.
The bringing of impeachment charges does not require any prior criminal proceeding. It is a political procedure by which the Representatives of the American people in Congress assembled can recommend a President's removal from office.
Removal is achieved only if after trial in the Senate, two-thirds of the members present and voting decide to convict on one or more of the charges.
The responsibilities of Congress with respect to impeachment can in no way be delegated to an independent counsel or special prosecutor, for which alternative procedure there is no Constitutional provision or authority.
The Republican leadership in Congress, particularly House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, must be held accountable for their unwise effort, on partisan grounds, to block action with respect to impeachment.
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