No. I’m not talking about the phone call to the Ukrainian president.
I’m talking about his call this past Sunday to impeach Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their inability to handle the impeachment inquiry. Actually, what he’s upset about is that they’ve both been lying about the impeachment process, and the facts surrounding it.
But he’s wrong.
First off, let’s understand, sitting members of Congress are not subject to impeachment. And, sorry to say to the more conservative voters in LaLa Land that are embarrassed to have either Schiff or Pelosi as their representatives, there is no way to recall them. There are basically only one way a member of Congress can be removed from office, and that’s through expulsion.
Only 20 members have ever been expelled in our history…15 from the US Senate, and 5 from the US House, and 17 of those 20 were expelled because they sided with the South during the Civil War. It’s about as rare an episode as impeachment of a president. It requires an investigation from the Committee on Ethics, who’s chaired by Florida Democrat Ted Deutch. If found that the member has indeed violated “any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member … in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities”, they can continue down the expulsion road.
Assuming Deutch and his committee agree that either Pelosi or Schiff has violated a law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct, they could recommend the action of expulsion to the whole House. It would require a 2/3 vote in order to have them expelled (much like the Senate needs to do to convict Trump should he be impeached).
So, there won’t be an impeachment of either Schiff or Pelosi. However, a member CAN be arrested and charged with a crime. If, let’s say, the Department of Justice decided to investigate Schiff for fraud and treason, something that the president has accused him of, and they find there is enough evidence to charge him with that, he can indeed be tried and convicted of that crime. Just because you’re a sitting member of Congress doesn’t mean that you can break the law! And the minimum price to pay for committing treason in this country is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Of course, the maximum penalty is death. Somehow I think Schiff would escape that!
So, while Donald Trump may actually want to get rid of Pelosi and Schiff, there really isn’t any way he can do it unless Attorney General William Barr decides to charge them with a crime, like treason. Fraud is something else that isn’t so much fun either. You can actually get up to 10 years in federal prison for being found guilty on federal fraud charges. And while, either of those would probably be pleasing to Donald Trump, and most Republicans, I somehow doubt Schiff or Pelosi would be serving much jail time.
Ah…but we can dream, can’t we?
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!