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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 30, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, May 30, 1973 THE LETHBRIOGE HERALD 39 A lot of talk, but will anything come of it? Speaking of impeachment... By TOM TIEDE WASHINGTON (NEA) Only the truly flint-hearted have ever relished the idea of impeaching government officers. When Constitution framers argued the matter of how to'throw rascals out of office, indeed how to prove that they deserved same, an honorable gentle- man of the time said it for many when he observed: "If (an official) is re- elected, tfaat-will be sufficient proof of his innocence." Yet, sentiment aside, what's there to do with an official who cannot be re- elected? If he's guilty of mis- conduct, Senator Goldwater has said it. So have a good many others in official Wash- ington these days. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has called either for President Nixon's resigna- tion or impeachment. Martha Mitchell is one of a line of lesser luminaries who've suggested he resign. Reps. John E. Moss, D- Calif., and Bella Abzug, D- N.Y., say they want the House of Representatives to become part" of the Water- gate investigations by setting up a select committee to de- termine whether impeach- ment is warranted "and then act accordingly if it is." Popular Not in modern memory has speaking the unspeakable been so popular. The Wash- Afro-American news- paper recently ran a lead story concerning what ef- fects an impeachment would have on the Black comtnun- Some area teachers have been asked by students to ex- plain what impeachment means. The Library of Congress has been so deluged with re- quests for impeachment ma- terial, its legislative branch has compiled an information- al kit to meet demand. It's all preliminary and no progress, however. Says a Republican aide: "Actually. I don't even think there's been an Impeach Nixon Committee formed yet. There was one in Lyndon John- son's time, you know. Per- sonally I think it's mostly garbage. People who've hated Nixon for years are getting the chance to drop hints of impeachment _with somber faces and political impunity. But I can't blame them. Giant titillations like this don't happen very often." Indeed not. Though most administrations, not to say most presidents, have suffer- ed occasional talk of im- peachment, the procedure has ccme around about as of- ten as Halley's Comet. Ac- cm-ding to one Library of Congress report, only 11 such trials only one of a presi- dent have taken place in U.S. history. Tapestry The procedure, which is i-oated in seven-century-old English law, is fraught with legislative movement and laden with tapestry. Constitutionally, any officer of the government may be impeached (a term from La- tin which means to investi- gate, not to remove) for conviction of "Treason, Brib- ery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." The procedure is initiated by charges made on the floor of the House by a member who, .traditionally, intones: "I do impeach such and such of the following high crime or misdemeanor. First Second Etc." The resolution Is then re- ferred to committee, which conducts hearings. If hear- ings indicate impeachment is necessary, that charges are indeed supported by facts, the resolution is sent back to the House for vote. A simple majority is sufficient. Both the Senate and the Impeachment subject are then notified. The Senate takes charge of the actual proceedings, with the chief justice of the United States presiding. The rest of the activity would be much like a court ti-ial attorneys, witnesses, etc. On completion of the trial, members of the Senate would vote on specific charges. A two-thirds vote against the defense (on any charge) would result in con- viction and removal from of- fice. In the 177 years since the first impeachment trial (against Sen. William Blount of Tennessee, for hanky- panky with an Indian only four officials have been convicted and removed from office all judges. president (Andrew and one cabinet member (secretary of War William Belknap, in 1876) were tried; Johnson, who has come to be known as a patriot who served reason- ably well in trying times, was acquitted by one vote; Belknap resigned before his acquittal. In practical terms, the cumbersome impeachment authority has been an inef- fective means of removing wrongdoers from federal of- fice. There are those who be- lieve the time of extreme is here again. But not neces- sarily for Richard Nixon. WILLIAM BLOUNT ANDREW JOHNSON 250sq.yd. Enjoy nylon fashion carpet that's trim-to-fit to let you save 3 ways! 49 sq. yd. Reg. sq. yd. Save dollars at this low sale price. Save cost of you do it on it's attached. With this trim-to-fit carpet, you get great savings, as well as great looks, and lots of wear for your money! 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