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Date: Sat, 29 Nov 1997 06:57:51 -0800
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Considering an Inquiry of Impeachment (fwd)

><< From http://www.house.gov/barr/i_nove.htm >>
>November 5, 1997
>Given the increasingly specific and damaging evidence surfacing
>on a regular basis now against the President and his Administration,
>I believe it is both responsible and essential that we very carefully
>consider the matter of impeachment at this time.
>I believe in several fundamental premises.  First, this is a rogue
>administration; consciously and systematically operating outside
>the bounds of  the laws of this land, and outside the common and
>historical norms of political conduct for our country.  Second, this
>President and his Administration must be held accountable for their
>misdeeds.  If we in the House of Representatives, as the body
>charged with oversight of the executive branch, do not hold him
>accountable, then we have no legitimate claim to governing this
>country.  Third, to a large extent, and as noted recently in the
>Wall Street Journal, President Clinton enjoys a relatively high
>approval rating because he has not yet been held accountable for
>his misdeeds.  Fourth, this is a most serious matter for consideration
>which must be approached knowingly, deliberatively, with an eye
>toward both past and future history, with each step weighed very
>I have concluded after very careful and exhaustive research and
>consideration of all these matters, that the appropriate step to be
>taken at this time is the filing of an Inquiry of Impeachment.
>An Inquiry of Impeachment, is not the same in substance or process
>as Articles of Impeachment or a Resolution of Impeachment.  This is
>an important distinction.
>For example, as noted in Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual, "[a]
>direct proposition to impeach is a question of high privilege in the
>House and at once supersedes business otherwise in order."  On
>the other hand, a "resolution simply proposing an investigation . . . is
>not privileged" (Section 604, Jefferson's Manual).  This latter directive
>refers to an Inquiry of Impeachment, which is one of the five specific
>"methods of setting an impeachment in motion" set forth in Section
>603, Jefferson's Manual.  The specific language in Section 603 is that
>an Impeachment may be set in motion "from facts developed and
>reported by an Investigating Committee of the House."
>A number of Inquiries of Impeachment were introduced in October
>1973, in the 93rd Congress, against President Nixon.  (Interestingly,
>a number of Members who signed one or more of those resolutions,
>several of which were introduced in late October  24 years ago --
>remain in the House today, including the ranking member of the
>Judiciary Committee, John Conyers.)  I have reviewed all of them.
>An Inquiry of Impeachment does not set forth specific grounds for
>the Impeachment of the President or such other person sought to
>be impeached.  However, an Inquiry of Impeachment, as a Resolution
>passed by the House, would have the very important and I believe
>necessary result of placing this issue squarely where it belongs, in
>the Committee tasked with Constitutional matters of high importance:
>the Committee on the Judiciary.
>When an Inquiry of Impeachment is filed, it is referred to the
>Committee on Rules (Section 605, Jefferson's Manual).  This is
>precisely what transpired in October 1973, when a number of
>Inquires of Impeachment resolutions were introduced against
>President Nixon.
>Following consideration of the Resolution, pursuant to such
>deliberations and after receiving such evidence or testimony as
>it deems necessary, the Rules Committee would vote out the
>Inquiry. It would then go to the Full House where it would be taken
>up, but not as a privileged matter.  The Inquiry of Impeachment
>would be voted on by the Full House, and if passed by majority of
>the Members thereof (and  this is the operative language), it would
>          "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 United States.
>Upon completion of such investigation, that committee shall report
>to the House its recommendations with respect thereto, including,
>if the Congress so determines, a resolution of impeachment."
>At the heart of this matter is "abuse of office," which is also at the
>heart of the notion of Impeachment in our Constitution, and which
>cannot, by any measure, be considered in any other form (e.g.,
>oversight hearings by the Judiciary, oversight or investigative hearings
>by the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, any action by
>the Department of Justice, or, perhaps most importantly, any action
>by an Independent Counsel).
>Not one of  these other mechanisms has the ability or mandate to
>address what Impeachment is explicitly designed to address, and
>for which it was expressly placed in our Constitution.  Impeachment
>alone, of all powers possessed by all three branches of our government,
>can protect us against abuse of power, by removing an official from
>office.  It is designed to deal with "misconduct of public men," or, in
>other words, from the  abuse or violation of some public trust that is
>"of a nature   . . . political." (See, Federalist Number 65, Alexander
>Hamilton; and Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,
>"Report by the Staff of the Impeachment Inquiry," Committee on the
>Judiciary, House of Representatives, 93rd Congress, Second Session,
>February 1974.)
>Prosecution of a President by a U.S. Attorney or an Independent
>Counsel cannot remove him from office.  Action by an Independent
>Counsel cannot remove a President from office.  The Judiciary
>Committee cannot, except through Impeachment (and conviction
>thereof by the Senate), remove a President from office.  The
>Government Reform and Oversight Committee cannot, through
>any action it takes, remove a President from office.  Impeachment
>alone, provided as a tool to do precisely this by our Founding Fathers
>220 years ago, is the only tool to remove a high civil officer from his
>position of trust for abuse of that office.
>Impeachment not only does not require conviction of any crime (felony
>or misdemeanor in modern terminology) in order to be sustained, the
>very notion of Impeachment explicitly was not intended to reach the
>same issues as conviction of a crime.
>However, notwithstanding this last point, clearly we are seeing
>evidence that federal laws have been violated by the Administration.
>A number of these were very eloquently set forth in a letter to the
>Attorney General dated September 3, 1997, by Henry Hyde and
>signed by all other Republican Members of the Judiciary Committee.
>Recent newspaper accounts support this conclusion; such as John
>Fund's article in the Wall Street Journal of October 22, 1997, Paul
>Gigot's article also in the Wall Street Journal of October 17, 1997,
>and Mark Helprin's eloquent editorial on Impeachment in the October
>10th edition of the Wall Street Journal.  Numerous other recent
>accounts also clearly set forth evidence of  specific laws that have
>been broken, such as 18 USC 607(a) (relating to the prohibition on
>fundraising from or in a federal office by a federal official); 18 USC 641
>(conversion of government property); 18 USC 1505 (obstruction); and
>More important, we see a clear pattern of activity that establishes an
>intent or scheme to defraud the citizens of the United States of the
>honest and faithful services of their President; converting the Office
>of the President and the attributes thereof to the personal (i.e.,
>campaign) use of the President; circumvention of our federal election
>laws; laundering of campaign and labor funds; violation of tax laws (the
>Buddhist temple incident, for example); bribery;  obstruction of justice
>in failing to respond to lawful congressional subpoenas and withholding
>evidence; and tampering with evidence.  This is but a partial list.
>In summary, I believe the vehicle of an Inquiry of Impeachment provides
>a measured, interim and fully responsible mechanism to place this
>matter squarely where it ought to be, and that is, in that Committee of
>the House tasked with addressing matters of a high constitutional
>nature: abuse of office by the highest constitutional officer in the land.
>This matter, thusly handled, would not necessarily preclude other
>specific oversight or investigative efforts by the House.  However, it
>provides a very necessary vehicle and direction for which and through
>which to consider these allegations, mounting evidence of which will
>be surfacing with increasing frequency.

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
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