Letter to the Editor

The oversight myth

To the editor: Almost every day, another Democratic representative in Congress states that they have sworn to uphold the Constitution and therefore must exercise their constitutional oversight of the duly elected president of the United States by impeaching him. While their zeal is commendable, it appears that they simply haven’t bothered to read the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution is very clear; unlike a parliamentary system, the U.S. has three separate but equal branches with separate powers apportioned to each. There is no oversight provision in the Constitution as exists in a parliamentary system. The primary power the Congress has with respect to the executive branch is the ability to impeach and remove by Senate vote a president guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors to be elucidated by the House of Representatives.

Speaker Pelosi’s assertion that President Trump betrayed his oath of office may or may not be true. But to many of us, petulant and childish as many of President Trump’s actions are, they do not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The willingness of the House Democrats to be stampeded into voting for impeachment by unelected members of the intelligence community demonstrates at a minimum a weakness of intellect and inability to engage in critical thinking. If they can elucidate precisely a high crime that couldn’t just as easily be ascribed to a President Hillary Clinton (facilitating the murder of Libya’s Gaddafi) or a President Elizabeth Warren (bankrupting the government a la Governor Dunleavy’s giveaways), then certainly so state. Indeed, President Obama ordered the investigation of the Trump campaign after the 2016 election.

If, for example, Trump starts a shooting war with Iran without first consulting Congress, then it would seem an impeachment is in order. That power is expressly reserved for Congress.

Perhaps before swearing an oath of office to the Constitution we should require newly elected congressional members to first read the Constitution.

William Hibler

Fairbanks

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