Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


The Democrats May Need Joe Biden Yet

By Rob Tenery, MD on September 6, 2016

Patrick Buchanan has twice been a Republican candidate for the Presidency. He was also a founding member of The McLaughlin Group, which began on NBC, and CNN's ‘Capital Gang’ and "Crossfire". So there is no question his loyalty lies on the conservative side. His August 26 posting, Scandals Will Lay Waste to Hillary's Presidency on Newsmax poses a dilemma for the Judicial system.*

Judge Jeanine Pirro has publically said “there are multiple crimes Clinton could be charged with, including keeping classified information on an unauthorized server, destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice and violating the Federal Records Act”. That doesn’t include any reported misdoings with the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State, such as ‘pay-for-play’ and favors in return.

If Hillary Clinton loses the election, there seems to be little doubt that the Republican President and his Republican appointed Attorney General will direct the Justice Department to fully investigate all the accusations that have been leveled against her. If even only some of these charges are judged to be true, at the very least, she will face some form of sanction. At the worst, she could face incarceration, although that is unlikely because of this country’s beneficence toward the Clintons.

It is if Hilly Clinton wins the Presidency, then there becomes a real problem. According to Buchanan, “If Hillary Clinton wins, within a year of her inauguration, she will be under investigation by a special prosecutor on charges of political corruption”. Even if she is elected and brings more Democrats with her into Congress, it is very unlikely that the House of Representatives will flip to a Democratic majority. Thus, Buchanan’s prediction of the appointment of a special prosecutor by the House seems very likely.

The special prosecutor would hold hearings and would make one of three recommendations--- no action, sanction or impeachment. There are no real downsides to the first two alternatives, but impeachment is problematic. Any recommendations by the House Judiciary Committee would begin a formal inquiry. Based on the inquiry, the Judiciary Committee would send a resolution to the full House for impeachment. The full House would then debate and vote on any recommended Articles of Impeachment. Should any one of the Articles of Impeachment be approved by a simple majority vote, the President will be ‘impeached’. Since impeachment is similar to being indicted of a crime, there would be a trial, which is conducted in the U.S. Senate, and presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It takes a 2/3 vote in the Senate to remove the President from office.

As farfetched as it might seem at this juncture of the campaign, Hillary Clinton stands a reasonably good chance of being tried for the charges that have been leveled against her. As Pat Buchanan has suggested, she will be investigated further and possibly put on trial, whether or not she wins the election. Whether she would be incarcerated or removed from office is unlikely, since from what can be projected at this time, there would not be enough Democrats in the Senate to pass a 2/3-majority decision to throw her out.

Another option would be a full pardon by President Obama for any actions that she could be charged with before he leaves office. This is similar to Gerald Ford pardoning the outgoing Nixon after he was forced out of office before he would have probably been impeached. If she loses the election, this could be a real possibility, because he could be somewhat culpable in her illicit activities while she served as his Secretary of State. If she were to win the election, and Obama pardons her before she takes office, then she will carry the same stigma as her husband that is of an impeached President, but with not enough votes to remove him from office. How successful a term would she have with that load to carry?

The Democratic leadership, as well as both Clintons, should look closely at the growing number of allegations that may well become charges in the months following the election. If, as she claims, she is innocent, there are no problems. But, if she is found guilty, under whatever due process system that awaits her, then it could be a real setback for the Democratic Party, not just Hillary.

Take notice, Joe Biden. The democrats may need you yet!

* For additional information on Pat Buchanan’s August, 26 article, Scandals Will Lay Waste to Hillary's Presidency on Newsmax. 





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