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Did You Ever Wonder?

How do you impeach
the President of the
United States?
By Charles T. DeTulleo, Esquire

Y

es, I too read the newspapers, listen to talk radio and
watch multiple news media on television. And yes, I
have heard the talk about impeaching the President.
So I decided that I would think about this topic before I did
something stupid, i.e. write an article about it.
After considerable thought, and having finished a brief
for court sooner than I anticipated, I decided I would look
into this magical and mysterious process. Trying not to use
too much history as I lived it, i.e. impeachment of President
Nixon and President Clinton, I decided I would just look at the
United States Constitution and only those pertinent decisions
from our Supreme Court to give the reader a short primer on
this important provision of our government.
Initially it is useful for the reader to know what our
Constitution says we can do. USCS Const. Art. II, § 4 is
quoted in total:
"ARTICLE II. EXECUTIVE POWER
Sec. 4. Removal from office.

32 | New Matter

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."
Wow, that was easy. Shouldn't there be more? You mean the
framers decided not to list all the crimes that could be used to
impeach the President? Plus, surprise, the framers included
the " Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States..."
in the same sentence as the President. One would initially
think that including the President in a rather large group of
targets might be unfair. But the words are as stated and, after
some minimal research, do not have a lot of cases addressing
the issues of this action. My observation is that there are
probably more treatises written about the subject than there
are cases that have cited the above article. There were only four
case notes listed in the Lexis entry.
"No one has ever supposed that the effect of Art II, § 4, was
to prevent removal of officers for other causes deemed
sufficient by President, and no such inference could be
reasonably drawn from its language. Shurtleff v United
States (1903) 189 US 311, 47 L Ed 828, 23 S Ct 535."
So seeing the 1903 date of decision I decided to look up
the case. The Prior History of the case reported by Lexis is as
follows:
"The facts, as they appear in the findings of the Court of
Claims, are that the appellant was nominated on July 17,
1890, to be one of the general appraisers of merchandise



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