KEY VOTE “NO” on the Articles of Impeachment Against President Trump

KEY VOTE: House · Dec 17, 2019

Heritage Action opposes the articles of impeachment against President Trump (H. Res. 755) and will include them as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

This week, the House will vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump. According to Heritage Action Executive Director Tim Chapman, “the entire impeachment process has been purely motivated by politics, with little grounding in evidence, fairness, or due process.” Congress should not support a partisan impeachment process — not a single Republican has voiced support for this impeachment process, while even some Democratic members have opposed the process.

Impeachment is a radical step that overturns the vote of the American people. It is intended to be a safeguard against rank corruption and unlawful behavior, and must be approached cautiously and without bias. It should be a fair process with reliable and conclusive evidence. These articles of impeachment are instead based off of a politically motivated process, speculative testimony, but no accusation of criminal action. Instead of searching for the truth, many representatives have been searching for a way to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

The House’s chosen process is further evidence of this impeachment’s partisan nature. House Democrats have continually sought to move away from the precedents set by previous impeachment proceedings. They have authorized six different committees to investigate whether grounds for impeachment exist, limited the minority’s subpoena power, and have only called for public hearings in two of the six investigating committees.

Thomas Jipping, The Heritage Foundation’s Deputy Director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, explained just how far Democrats have diverged from precedence in order to suppress the minority:

On Oct. 8, 1998, the House adopted House Resolution 581, granting subpoena authority to “the chairman and ranking member acting jointly.” If “either declines to act,” the other may act alone after bringing the matter to the committee to decide “whether such authority shall be so exercised.” House Resolution 803, adopted on Feb. 6, 1974, included the same provision for the Nixon impeachment.

The structure for subpoena authority in House Resolution 660, however, is the opposite. It is not directed at both the majority and minority; in fact it does not use the word “jointly” at all. Instead, the ranking minority member must have “the concurrence of the chair” to exercise subpoena authority, but not vice versa. If “the chair declines to concur,” the ranking minority member must bring the matter to the committee for decision. In other words, the chairman can act unilaterally, while the minority always needs the majority’s permission.

Democrats have long called for the President’s impeachment. In fact, Democrats have introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump on at least five other occasions (H.Res. 438, H.Res. 621, H.Res. 705, H.Res. 13, H.Res. 498), and introduced numerous other resolutions calling for impeachment inquiries.

Now, after nearly three years, Democrats have finally arrived at their original goal of impeachment by redefining the grounds for impeachment to be little more than political disagreement. Weakening the standards for impeachment, as Democrats are set on doing, not only disenfranchises the millions of Americans who voted for the President, but also creates a dangerous precedent for future impeachment proceedings.

The impeachment hearings have made the left’s real motivation for impeachment clear: hatred for President Trump and his policies. The Democrats have stood up for Washington bureaucrats making foreign policy decisions and for foreign aid untethered from conditions set by the United States. While this is perplexing given Americans’ views, particularly on foreign aid, the Democrats are entitled to make their case. However, a policy disagreement is not grounds for impeachment.

These proceedings have exposed the extreme measures the left is willing to employ to defeat conservative policies. No amount of false constitutional concerns will obscure the dangerous partisanship of these articles of impeachment. Congress cannot allow this nakedly political impeachment process to set the precedent for future impeachments.


Heritage Action opposes the articles of impeachment against President Trump (H. Res. 755) and will include them as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.