I mentioned in an earlier post that President William Jefferson Clinton was impeached on unconstitutional grounds. In the past, on other blogs and among mixed ideological company, such a statement has drawn at least a few protests. The biggest one being that Clinton’s impeachment was justified based on his personal “malfeasance.” However, as I would always point out, personal malfeasance isn’t constitutional grounds for impeachment. Of course, most Republicans realized this when Clinton was acquitted of the perjury and obstruction of justice by the Senate. In other words, the Ken Starr investigation, which cost taxpayers more than $50 million, only revealed a consensual affair. Again, NOT constitutional grounds for impeachement.
I always commented to friends, foes, and family that the impeachment charade was revenge by the GOP over two legitimate impeachable scandals that the Republicans were caught in. The first being Watergate in which President Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment. The second being the Iran-Contra affair that almost brought down the Reagan administration. In fact, Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil once considered bringing impeachment charges against Reagan.
Francis Boyle, Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, said “our system of government was in jeopardy in the Reagan Iran-Contra scandal.” The White House had “basically set up an underground government. But no one really made an effort to impeach Reagan over that — though documents show that Reagan and his people were concerned about impeachment.” They grew concerned, it’s rumored, after O’Neil assured Reagan the grounds for impeachment were there.
Now, why the brief history lesson? Because, as the title of this post indicates, The Moderate Donkey was right. According to ABC News, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde made some surprising comments Thursday on the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton. He now says Republicans may have gone after Clinton to retaliate for the impeachment of Richard Nixon.
He said, among other things, he might not try to impeach President Clinton if he had it to do all over again.
When asked if he would go through with the Clinton impeachment process again, Hyde said he wasn’t sure. It turned into a personal and political embarrassment for Hyde when an extra-marital affair he had in the 1960’s became public amid accusations of hypocrisy. He called the affair a youthful indiscretion.
Of course, the Moderate Donkey must point out that Richard Nixon was never impeached. He resigned the night before the House vote on the Articles of Impeachment.