ATTENTION: Republican Constitutional Lawyers!
(Please share widely and often to ensure this is seen by Donald Trump and his team.)
Should Donald Trump lose to Hillary Clinton, the fight for control of the government will not end on election day.
The House of Representatives will have ample reason to impeach Hillary.
Impeachment under the Constitution is brought by the House against a sitting president, who is then tried by the Senate. If convicted, the president is removed from office. The Constitutional standard for conviction is that the president be found guilty of committing high crimes and misdemeanors,
But impeaching Hillary under the Constitution would just result in Tim Kaine becoming president. Kaine is a pro-life, pro-TPP, Wall Street political hack.
There is, however, an action which could be brought that could result in Donald Trump gaining the White House even if he is defeated by Hillary on November 8th.
There is a common law action of impeachment (which has never been exercised in the US, but which is nonetheless part of the Common Law which the United States adopted upon declaring independence from Britain) which may be brought to prevent one from ever holding public office.
Were common law impeachment to lie against Hillary Clinton, it could be prosecuted in the lame duck session of this Congress immediately after the election. If convicted, she would be barred from assuming the presidency in January.
Such an action of impeachment is presently being entertained in the UK Parliament against former Prime Minister Tony Blair for his role in deceiving the British people and going to war against Iraq.
The present Congress consists of Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. Should they possess the political will to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president, she could be impeached and convicted before Barack Obama leaves office.
If Hillary Clinton were convicted under the common action of impeachment, the rules of presidential succession would not operate to hand the presidency to Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate. The decision would likely go to the House.
Such a development has never occurred in US history. If Hillary were convicted prior to the Electoral College vote, she would be removed from consideration. The Constitution is unclear on the effect of the Electoral College electing a person unqualified to assume the presidency. There would emerge views that the Electoral College should revisit its decision and others arguing that the decision would go to the House. The better view is that the House should exercise its Constitutional authority to determine the next president where the Electoral College has failed to do so.
Either process would be preferable to Hillary Clinton assuming office.
© Roland Windsor Vincent 2016
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