Time: Sat Nov 29 07:26:08 1997
	by primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id HAA21948
	for <pmitch@smtp-local.primenet.com>; Sat, 29 Nov 1997 07:17:27 -0700 (MST)
	by smtp03.primenet.com (8.8.8/8.8.8) id HAA14937;
	Sat, 29 Nov 1997 07:05:10 -0700 (MST)
 via SMTP by smtp03.primenet.com, id smtpd014913; Sat Nov 29 07:05:00 1997
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 1997 07:01:13 -0800
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Precedent for Impeachment (fwd)

> http://www.house.gov/barr/i_ltrhill.htm 
>"Mrs. Clinton's Defense of Impeachment,"
>by Bob Barr
>Wall Street Journal
>April 25, 1997
>Dear Mrs. Clinton:
>In February 1974 the staff of the Nixon impeachment inquiry issued
>a report produced by a group of lawyers and researchers assigned
>with developing a scholar memorandum setting forth the "constitutional
>grounds for presidential impeachment."
>You were a member of that group of lawyers and researchers, barely,
>I am sure, able to conceal your dislike for President Nixon.  Within the
>year, Nixon would leave office disgraced, having witnessed articles of
>impeachment voted against him by the House Judiciary Committee,
>based in part on your report.
>Relevant Today
>I must give you and your colleagues credit.  You did not appear to have
>let personal animus influence your work product, at least not the final,
>published report.  In fact, the report you and your colleagues produced
>appears objective, fair, well researched and consistent with other
>materials reflecting and commenting on impeachment.  And it is every
>bit as relevant today as it was 23 years ago.
>I presume -- but I must ask whether -- you stand by your research and
>analysis today.
>You said in 1974 that impeachment, as understood by the framers of
>our constitution, reflected the long history of the term used at least
>since late-14th-century England: "one of the tools used by the
>English" to make government "more responsive and responsible"
>(page 4 of your report).
>You also noted then -- clearly in response to those who mistakenly
>claimed impeachment as a tool to correct "corruption in office" that
>"alleged damage to the state," and was "not necessarily limited to
>common law or statutory . . . Crimes" (page 7).
>You quoted James Wilson, who at the Pennsylvania ratification
>convention described the executive (that is, the president) as not
>being above the law, but rather "in his public character" subject to
>it "by impeachment" (page 9).
>You also -- quite correctly -- noted then that the constitutional
>draftsmen chose the terms describing the circumstances under
>which a president could be impeached very carefully and deliberately.
>You noted that "high crimes and misdemeanors" did not denote
>criminal offenses in the sense that prosecutors employ such terms
>in modern trials.  Rather, in your well-researched memorandum, you
>correctly noted that the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" as
>substituted for George Mason's less precise term in an earlier draft
>of the Constitution: "Maladministration" (page 12 of your report). 
>Not only that, but your further research led you to quote Blackstone's
>"Commentaries o the Laws of England" in support of your conclusion
>that "high crimes and misdemeanors" meant not a criminal offense but
>an injury to the state or system of government (page 12).  I applaud the
>extent and clarity of your research.
>You even note that the U.S. Supreme Court, in deciding questions of
>intent, must construe phrases such as "high crimes and misdemeanors"
>not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers
>meant when they adopted them (page 12 once again).  Magnificent
>Even Alexander Hamilton finds a place in your research.  You quote
>from his Federalist No. 65 that impeachment relates to "misconduct
>of public men, or in other words, from the abuse or violation of public
>trust" that is "of a nature . . . political [emphasis in original]" (page 13
>of your report).
>Finally, in bringing your research forward from the constitutional
>drafting documents themselves, you find support for your properly
>broad interpretation of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in no less
>a legal scholar than Justice Joseph Story.  I was in awe of your use
>of Justice Story's "Commentaries on the Constitution" (1833)
>supporting your proposition that "impeachment . . . applies to
>offenses of a political character' . . . [that] must be examined upon
>very broad and comprehensive principles of public policy and duty"
>(pages 16 and 17 of your report).  I could not have said it better.
>You even note that the specific instances on which impeachment has
>been employed in our country's history "placed little emphasis on
>criminal conduct" and were used to remove public officials who had
>"seriously undermined public confidence" through their "course of
>conduct" (page 21).
>Clear Basis
>Mrs. Clinton, when I first raised the notion last month that the House
>should take but the first step in determining whether impeachment
>might lie against President Clinton for a pattern of abuse of office and
>improper administration of his duties, little did I realize your scholarly
>work 23 years ago would provide clear historical and legal basis and
>precedent for my proposition.
>Amazingly, the words you used in your report are virtually identical to
>those I use today.  For example, you said in 1974, much as I did in
>my March 11, 1997, letter to Judiciary Chairman Hyde, that
>"[i]mpeachment is the first step in a remedial process" (page 24 of
>your report) to correct "serious offenses" that "subvert"our government
>and "undermine the integrity of office" (page 26).
>Thank you, Mrs. Clinton, for giving Congress a road map for beginning
>our inquiry.
>Bob Barr (R., GA.)
>Member of Congress

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night 03
email:   [address in tool bar]       : using Eudora Pro 3.0.3 on 586 CPU 04
website: http://supremelaw.com       : visit the Supreme Law Library now 05
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best 06
             Tucson, Arizona state   : state zone,  not the federal zone 07
             Postal Zone 85719/tdc   : USPS delays first class  w/o this 08
_____________________________________: Law is authority in written words 09
As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall 10
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal. 11
======================================================================== 12
[This text formatted on-screen in Courier 11, non-proportional spacing.] 13


Return to Table of Contents for

Supreme Law School:   E-mail