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July 4, 2017

"Impeachable Offenses? The Case for Removal of the 45th President of the United States"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new blog created by former federal prosecutor and sentencing guru Professor Frank Bowman. Frank sent a note about the blog around a criminal law professor listserve yesterday, and I thought sharing that note today was, in a nerdy-law-professor way, kind of patriotic. So here is a bit of what Frank had to say about his new blog:

I propose to discuss, as dispassionately as possible, the case for impeachment of Mr. Trump. An actual impeachment is, as I’m sure you’d agree, a highly unlikely event.  But the prospect is talked about constantly, so I thought I’d try to create a resource for careful examination of all aspects of the question. I hope to make it a combination of (1) sources for those really interested in the subject, (2) quick-hit posts of links to other articles by other authors discussing impeachment, and (3) a growing series of essays by me, perhaps some of my students, and maybe other contributors on aspects of the impeachment problem.

Although it is a work in progress, I now have enough content on the site that I feel comfortable in telling people about it. I am in the midst of a series of posts analyzing the case for criminal obstruction of justice against Mr. Trump. See, e.g., this posting. In it, I discuss the views of Eric Posner, Daniel Hemel, Randall Eliason, Alan Dershowitz, and others. Professor Dershowitz has been kind enough to respond to my remarks on his position, and I’ve posted a rejoinder.

July 4, 2017 at 01:29 PM | Permalink


Professor Frank Bowman does not manifest any sign of a serious mental illness. However, he is immature and upset, albeit in a cold, lawyer reptile style.

He cannot accept the decision of the 63 million real Americans who put Trump in the Presidency, so Trump could tell members of the elite, such as Prof. Frank Bowman, "You're fired."

Almost forgot. Frank Bowman, Harvard Law grad asshole. Dismissed.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 4, 2017 1:49:39 PM

"a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes"

"it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"

"To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

Posted by: Joe | Jul 4, 2017 2:35:10 PM

You mean he cannot accept the decision because the winner got about 3,000,000 fewer votes than the loser?

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 4, 2017 3:32:04 PM

First, Trump won the presidency by the procedures established in the Constitution whether he had one vote or 40 million votes fewer than his opponent. There have been no facts indisputably presented that Russia had any direct involvement, except maybe selectively revealing the inner workings of only one particular party to the American people.

Two, if one is to define the word "corrupt", it is like the word pornography - hard to define but I know it when I see it. The whole of current (and also the recent and distant past) of our government is not merely corrupt, but is rotting from the inside out when it comes to speaking any truths. This is true of all three branches, including the USSC, much less any third-rate Harvard Law grad trying to establish credibility.

Posted by: albeed | Jul 4, 2017 4:21:37 PM

Daniel. Were you cutting class in Fifth Grade history? That subject was covered.

Big cities were the same as today, filled with freaks and parasites. John Adams described New Yorkers in a letter to his wife. They were identical to the New Yorkers of today.

They wanted the constitution approved by the small and rural states. They wanted the sound policy of diluting the power of freaks and parasites. They came up with, and agreed to the Electoral College. I support this mechanism, and see no reason to change it.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 4, 2017 6:57:39 PM

More silly talk.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 5, 2017 8:30:09 AM

I don't think a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard necessarily requires "indisputably" evidence be cited, but it surely would be deeply shocking -- and putting a thumb on the scales in weighing impeachment or other measures against the people involved -- if even clear and convincing evidence was present. And, "any direct" etc. sounds like spin to me. Already, without a lot of insider information, involvement has been shown.

The famous "I know it when I see it" quip from Justice Stewart involved a French film entitled "The Lovers." I watched it. It is a perfectly average art film that late on involves a montage where brief sexual content is contained, but even there, not even "R" rated nudity. Stewart in a later opinion cited more details on his standard.

But, yes, the details would determine if something that required "corrupt" behavior or some other adjective used in the criminal law to be found in a criminal sense was there. Impeachment does not even require that though -- it is a political solution and it has been generally understood that even if something might not be subject to criminal punishment (e.g., if the line for embezzlement was $25K and only $24K was involved) would be covered. Likewise, removal leaves open further criminal process, if necessary.

It is perfectly find for academic discussion of impeachment be out there and the idea something is unlikely to happen is by now surely not a reason not to even talk about it (see also some of the constitutional arguments against PPACA). As to the popular vote, I don't know how serious to take his remark, but I'm sure if Kerry won the electoral vote via a win in Ohio & lost the popular vote, many would find him illegitimate.

We know the rules in place. Sometimes, the rules are bad and even if we have to accept it, it influences the conversation.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 5, 2017 11:21:08 AM

but I'm sure if Kerry won the electoral vote via a win in Ohio & lost the popular vote, many would find him illegitimate.

Typical Joe. What is "many"--a million?

Posted by: federalist | Jul 5, 2017 12:48:03 PM


Doug, seems like Tom Cotton's commentary deserves a post.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 5, 2017 12:51:53 PM

Trump is the liar in chief, the groper in chief, the misogynist in chief, the birther in chief, the egomaniac in chief, the science-denyer in chief, the xenophobe in chief. To think that the Republican party that brought us Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt brought us this snake oil salesman, this scammer, this ignorant twit and pervert. And he has such small hands! Shame on those who voted for him. Shame on those who continue to support him.

Posted by: Sarah | Jul 5, 2017 4:15:07 PM

"Many" is a word. It means "a large number."

Thanks for noting that, like I typically do, I qualified my language since there are unknowns.

A million? Maybe so. Given the poll data on certain things involving recent presidents, however, I wouldn't be surprised if it was more.

There is a large number of people who find something wrong with the person with the least number of votes winning. This is something that doesn't just turn on the party of the individual. So, yes, if Kerry won, like many now feel, people would think it was illegitimate.

The rules would still be the rules, but people don't just accept them sometimes.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 5, 2017 6:02:09 PM

Sarah you forgot the most important of our dear leader's epithets: Russian mole in chief

Posted by: anon1 | Jul 5, 2017 10:08:11 PM

Found some more entitled white narcissists or in other words deplorables in this super awesome thread.

Posted by: CharlesThe3rd | Jul 6, 2017 4:29:46 PM

federalist, was there something Senator Cotton said that had any unique sentencing aspects to it? I saw that AG Sessions issued a similar statement, but both seem to be just about policing and importance of honoring and respecting the work that the police do. I generally do not do posts on policing issues unless I see a distinctive sentencing connection.

The fact that the now-dead murderer had a significant criminal history, and yet also seemed to have behaved okay on parole for 4 years before this horrible crime, provides a possible sentencing angle to this sad story. It seems also that the murderer may have had some (significant? unmedicated?) mental problem. But I did not notice the statement from Senator Cotton speaking to any parts of this story surrounding the now-dead murderer.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jul 6, 2017 5:02:28 PM

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