The House Judiciary Committee voted 23 to 17 along party lines on Friday to approve two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
1.) Abuse of power
2.) Obstructing Congress
But who set the rules for the impeachment process?
Well, that’s very interesting because the man who set the rules was impeached also.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., is among the 19 federal officials in American history who have been impeached by the House of Representatives.
Now, he wants to cast a vote to impeach No. 20: President Trump.
Three decades ago, Hastings was impeached and removed from the federal bench when he was a U.S. District judge in Miami. But then he rebooted his career by becoming a Florida congressman. Now in his 14th term, he serves as vice chairman of the House Rules Committee, which on Tuesday debated the parameters for Wednesday’s full House vote on impeachment.
In 1981, a federal grand jury indicted Judge Alcee L. Hastings, appointed to the federal district court in 1979, along with his friend William A. Borders, a Washington, D.C. lawyer. Hastings was charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice for soliciting a $150,000 bribe in return for reducing the sentences of two mob-connected felons convicted in Hastings’ court. A year after Borders was convicted of conspiracy, the result of an FBI sting effort, Hastings’s case came before the criminal court. Despite Borders’ conviction, and the fact that Hastings had indeed reduced the sentences of the two felons, he was acquitted in a criminal court in 1983 and returned to his judicial post.
Subsequently, suspicions arose that Hastings had lied and falsified evidence during the trial in order to obtain an acquittal. A special committee of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals began a new probe into the Hastings case. The resulting three-year investigation ended with the panel concluding that Hastings did indeed commit perjury, tamper with evidence, and conspire to gain financially by accepting bribes. The panel recommended further action to the U.S. Judicial Conference, which, in turn, informed the House of Representatives on March 17, 1987, that Judge Alcee Hastings should be impeached and removed from office.
On August 3, 1988, following an investigation by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, the House of Representatives voted 413 to 3 to adopt H. Res. 499, approving 17 articles of impeachment against Hastings, the greatest number of articles in any impeachment proceeding to date. Charges included conspiracy, bribery, perjury, falsifying documents, thwarting a criminal investigation, and undermining the public confidence “in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” The Senate received the articles on August 9, 1988.
Following the precedent set in the 1986 Claiborne impeachment case, the Senate again chose to refer the matter to a special committee as authorized by impeachment rule XI. On March 16, 1989, the Senate rejected a motion by Hastings to dismiss the case, and adopted S. Res. 38, creating a 12-member trial committee to hear evidence and then report to the full Senate on contested and uncontested facts. The committee was not tasked with making a recommendation on guilt or innocence. Committee hearings continued from July 10, to August 3, 1989. Consisting of six Republicans and six Democrats, the committee heard evidence for and against Hastings, and took testimony from 55 witnesses, including Borders. The House managers presented convincing evidence that Hastings had, indeed, conspired with Borders to solicit the bribe. Hastings, who appeared in his own defense, objected to the use of the committee, insisting that the full Senate should be required to hear evidence. His motion failed. Hastings also insisted that the Senate trial amounted, in legal terms, to “double jeopardy” since he had already been acquitted in a court of law.
The trial committee presented its report on October 2, 1989. Sixteen days later, the trial began in the U.S. Senate, with prosecution and defense given two hours to summarize their cases. The Senate deliberated in closed session on October 19, 1989. The following day, the Senate voted on 11 of the 17 articles of impeachment, convicting Hastings, by the necessary two-thirds vote, on 8 articles (1-5, 7-9). On two articles (6, 17) the vote fell short of the required majority to convict. On article 11, the Senate voted 95 not guilty to 0 guilty. Having achieved the necessary majority vote to convict on 8 articles, the Senate’s president pro tempore (Robert C. Byrd) ordered Hastings removed from office. The Senate did not vote to disqualify him from holding future office.
Four years later, Hastings was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the term beginning January 3, 1993. As a member of that body, on December 19, 1998, Hastings voted (on four articles of impeachment) against impeaching President William Jefferson Clinton.
The vice chairman of the House Rules Committee also delivered a bizarre, rambling line of questioning during Tuesday’s impeachment hearing.
Watch the moment below:
What are they thinking!? I swear sometimes it appears like they’re TRYING to anger enough Deplorables to cause an incident. They’re dying for a media report about right-wing attacks.
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Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Conservative US, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Supreme Insider. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!