Constitutional Requirements for Impeachment
According to the Congressional Research Service in a 2015 report
, "the purposes underlying the impeachment process also indicate that non-criminal activity may constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment". This means that the President doesn't have to match the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, but could be held to the lesser standard of if he is likely to have committed an act that falls under the description of the constitution.
Background to Ukraine Situation
Case for Impeachment
Charge 1: 52 §30121
The Chair of the Federal Elections Commission Ellen Weintraub has made it clear that "the law is pretty clear. ... It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States.”
By publically asking China and Ukraine to investigate a major political opponent and his son, President Trump has clearly violated this law. Case law backs this up with United States v. Danielczyk being the key precedent on the definitions of the specific requirements of the offence.
Charge 2: 18 §1505 / 2 §192
"Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law [...] under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress"
President Trump ordered
Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. George Kent not to testify to a Congressional impeachment inquiry.
According to Adam Schiff,
President Trump has ordered the Defense Department to not comply with a subpoena for documents related to an impeachment inquiry
"ordered top diplomat Gordon Sondland not to appear" in front of the Congressional impeachment inquiry
Charge 3: 18 §872
The law states “Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion." In this circumstance, extortion is defined as “the extraction of anything of value from another person by threatening or placing that person in fear of injury to any person or kidnapping of any person.”
Therefore the tests, to have committed this offence, Trump must have:
A) Threatened President Zelensky
B) Attempted to gain something of value
C) Put Zelensky in "fear of injury".
In relation to "A", Trump demanded a quid pro quo, threatening to withhold massive amounts of aid if he did not comply with the President's request.
In relation to "B", an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden has political value.
In relation to "C", Zelensky feared political injury if he failed to secure the financial aid from the USA - particularly as he has only just bee elected to his position.
Charge 4: 18 §607
"It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President … to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the United States, from any person.”
I have laid out several offences that the President has committed, only one of which need be true for impeachment. I look forward to your response.