No, Donald, impeachment is not lynching
By Laurie Baron
SAN DIEGO — Before I became a political satirist for a great metropolitan Jewish newspaper, I was a history professor for 37 years. Consequently, I can’t remain silent when Donald Trump compares the current House impeachment investigations to lynching. So here’s a lecture in lieu of laughter.
According to Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution: “The trial of all crimes shall be by jury and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes have been committed.”
Between 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States. Among those victims, 3,446 were black. The statistics are probably too low because not all lynchings were recorded. The murdered blacks had not been officially charged with crimes or found guilty by courts.
According to Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution: “The House of Representatives…shall have the sole Power of Impeachment; and according to Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitute: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
From George Washington’s inauguration as President of the United States in 1789 until today, only two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached. Neither was removed from office by the Senate. Richard Nixon resigned before the House impeached him.
Although President Trump appears to have provided enough rope to metaphorically hang himself, he is not being lynched but rather investigated by the relevant committees in the House fulfilling their constitutional duty of oversight of the Executive Branch. If the evidence warrants, they will bring an impeachment resolution for the House of Representatives to vote on. If a majority of its members approve, the Senate will conduct a trial to ascertain if Trump should be removed from office.
Warning: I plan to hand out a quiz based on this article to American citizens wherever they are responding to polls or voting on whether Trump merits impeachment or removal. Last Question: True or False-Donald Trump is being lynched. Answer: False. Constitutionally false!
Baron is professor emeritus of history at San Diego State University. He may be contacted via [email protected] This article is reprinted from San Diego Jewish World which, along with The Moderate Voice, is a member of the San Diego Online News Association.