Editor, the Messenger

I listened today to Representative Adam Schiff discuss the grounds for impeachment contained in our US Constitution. The Constitution limits the grounds for impeachment to “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Admittedly, the precise meaning of the phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined in the Constitution itself.

Schiff, and four of the other House Impeachment managers, have had the benefit of a legal education. This is important since they would know how the phase “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” should be construed pursuant to the ejusdem generis rule of construction. That rule predates our Constitution and has been endorsed by our US Supreme Court as appropriate to interpreting the meaning of language such as the language contained in the Impeachment Clause. The Latin expression, “ejusdem generis,” means “of the same kind or nature.” It is a principle of construction, meaning thereby when general words in a text are flanked by restricted words, the meaning of the general words are taken to be restricted by implication with the meaning of restricted words. This is a principle which arises “from the linguistic implication by which words having literally a wide meaning (when taken in isolation) are treated as reduced in scope by the verbal context.

I find it disconcerting that trained lawyers would totally ignore such a well-accepted principle of construction that would clearly limited the Impeachment Clause to criminal behavior. It is clear that the House tried desperately to find a crime in the Ukraine matter but failed to find one. It was only then that they came up with the abuse of power claim, which could quickly turn into a can of worms going forward. We know, for instance, that Nancy Pelosi deliberately held off having the House prove the USMAC legislation until her first term members first voted on for Impeachment so they could show their constituents that they could walk and chew gum at the same time. In other words, she used her power for political gain and did so at the expense of the public good.

Senate Democrats changed the rule when it came to approve federal judicial nominees over Mitch McConnell’s warning that they would come rue the day that that change was made and so they have. Assuming Biden is elected, don’t be surprised if a Republican controlled House initiated an impeachment inquiry investigation into the his “corrupt” practiced detailed in Peter Schweizer’s books “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, “ and “Profiles In Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.” Not just Biden, but other progressive candidates as well could face such an investigation give the information detailed in Schweizer’s two books.

John Keifer

Athens

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