Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump plans to thwart Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton with a hard-hitting campaign. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange promises further revelations that will break Clinton or at the very least hurt her campaign. American voters are buying anti-Clinton merchandise at an all time high.
But it looks like the U.S. Constitution might be the weapon needed to derail Clinton’s candidacy.
It turns out that impeachment isn’t just for current officeholders.
Writing for National Review on Sept. 6, Andrew C. McCarthy argued that impeachment was not just about removal from office, but also about disqualification from future office.
Clinton, McCarthy said, could be impeached for abuses committed during her tenure as secretary of state.
“The Constitution does not say the impeached person must be a current officeholder,” McCarthy said. “The point of impeachment is to deny power to any person … whose high crimes and misdemeanors have demonstrated unfitness for a high public trust.”
The Constitution specifically states “Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as impeachment-worthy offenses. McCarthy pointed out that one need not be in office to commit such deeds, but that anyone who did would be unsuitable for public office in the future:
Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution stipulated that the punishment resulting from impeachment may include “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”
Citing Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 65, McCarthy explained that the Founders understood “high crimes and misdemeanors” to involve (in Hamilton’s words), “the abuse or violation of some public trust,” offenses that “relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”
Citing Clinton’s email scandal, destruction of government records after Congress demanded to see them, careless handling of classified documents, repeated lies to Congress and the shady actions of the Clinton Foundation, McCarthy argued for impeachment as a judgment on Clinton’s record as secretary of state and as a means of keeping her out of office permanently.
So it looks like the Constitution might give a way for the public to defend itself against Clinton who has been largely unchecked by any watchdog activity from the mainstream media.