Tom Reed on impeachment | New NY 23rd

Impeachment is taking up … the airwaves and taking up the oxygen in the room. As I have publicly stated, and I’ll state here again, I do not support the impeachment process. I do not support the inquiry.–Rep. Tom Reed

Tom doesn’t favor investigation because he already knows there is no wrongdoing to find. He explains:

High crime, when you look at the constitution, are crimes that are generally subject to things like penalty of death (and) bribery in regards to selling out state secrets for personal financial gain. Those are the types of impeachable offenses that are envisioned in the constitution.

Tom’s argument is this:

  1. Only certain crimes justify impeachment.
  2. Those crimes can’t be proved.

These points are weak. There is nothing in The Constitution to justify the first; The Constitution pointedly leaves the question of what justifies impeachment open. Tom does list bribery, but then must ignore the fact that bribery (making military aid dependent on a favor) did occur. This second point is also weak because Tom would not look for evidence even of the crimes he says would justify impeachment.

David Graham, writing for The Atlantic, gives three arguments Republicans use:

  1. The president did nothing wrong.
  2. The president did something wrong, but it’s not an impeachable offense.
  3. The president did nothing wrong, but his advisers did. 

Tom Reed has taken the second position. About this Graham writes: This is perhaps the simplest position to argue, since it allows members to concede that something is rotten without having to actually take the drastic step of backing impeachment. Tom does leave himself wiggle room–he allows that bribery might justify impeachment and might some day choose to see that bribery did occur. DAVID A. GRAHAM is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers U.S. politics and global news.

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