"The outcome of the 2020 US election will not depend on the impeachment of Donald Trump"

Nancy Pelosi, speaker (president) of the House of Representatives, December 10 in Washington.
Nancy Pelosi, speaker (president) of the House of Representatives, December 10 in Washington. SAUL LOEB / AFP

DBefore the Justice Commission of the House of Representatives, Noah Feldman, Harvard professor of constitutional law, imagined a posthumous meeting – in heaven or in hell – with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, two of the drafters of the first and only American Constitution from 1787. The latter asked him a fundamental question: "What have you done to prevent the corruption of our republican institutions? "

Read also Trump's impeachment: US media highlights political risk to Democrats

It is difficult to imagine a brilliant French jurist initiating a necromancer discussion of the same kind with some great actors of our republican tradition: Danton, Brissot, Robespierre, Condorcet or Sieyès… We undoubtedly lack deference to our founders, while the prestige and the respect due to the "Founding Fathers" of the American political system remains unmatched, as if they were republican deities.

Yet the text produced by the drafters of the United States' Federal Constitution remains a monument of ambiguity. Article II, section 4, thus specifies the sanctioning powers of the Congress: the president, the vice-president and all civil servants "Will be relieved of their charges in the event of indictment and conviction for treason, corruption or other major crimes and offenses". The meaning of this cryptic text was hardly clarified by Alexander Hamilton in his letter n ° 65 presented in The Federalist Papers (collection of comments published in the New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to promote the new Constitution) : an indictment could relate to "The misconduct of public officials" or, in other words, "The abuse or breach of public trust".

Read also Trump's dismissal: view the timeline and key figures to understand the case

It took the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives two months to identify the "Major crimes and delicts" committed in the exercise of his functions by President Trump. The latter thus, according to the first article of the impeachment project, abused the powers of the presidency by refusing to grant Ukraine military aid already voted by Congress and by imposing on the Ukrainian government a fraudulent counterpart: a investigation (or at least the announcement of an investigation) relating to the actions of the son Biden, intended to run up against the electoral chances of a potential rival (Joseph Biden) in the presidential election of 2020.

The unexpected intervention of a whistleblower


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here