Thursday, September 25, 2008


FEIN: Impeachable offenses? Bruce Fein Tuesday, September 23, 2008 EXCERPT: "Under the law of impeachment, Mr. Bush is responsible for the misdeeds of his agents in the executive branch, including the vice president. James Madison, father of the Constitution, amplified in the House of Representatives that the president would be subject to impeachment, "if he suffers [his subordinates] to perpetrate with impunity high crimes and misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses." Vice President Cheney, in contrast to other executive branch officials, does not serve at the pleasure of the president." "Article II, section 4 of the Constitution declares the, "president [and] vice president ... shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of ... high crimes and misdemeanors." Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 65 that impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors are "political" offenses because "they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself." James Iredell, later appointed to the Supreme Court by President George Washington, made explicit at the North Carolina ratification convention that presidential duplicity with Congress over war or comparable matters of great national moment would be an impeachable offense."