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Stuck in a hard place

Melvin B. Miller

Many citizens who are irate with the performance of Donald Trump as president have been calling for impeachment. However, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, Trump would have to be convicted of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Since the U.S. is not technically at war, the charge of treason cannot apply, so the case would have to be made against bribery and high crimes.

Unlike in the English parliamentary system, the U.S. president cannot be removed from office, like the prime minister in England, by a vote of “no confidence.” The U.S. president is the head of the executive branch, which runs the government. In the parliamentary system, the legislature also runs the government.

If the president is believed to be guilty of conduct not a “high crime” serious enough for impeachment, he can be indicted, but his case will not be tried until he is out of office. However, any statute of limitations applying to the charges will be frozen in time until the trial.

Unfortunately, bad manners, bad judgment and stupidity short of intellectual incompetency are not eligible bases for impeachment. Voters will just have to be more careful about how they cast their vote.