Even before the results of the election are in, Republicans are hinting that Hillary Clinton could be subject to impeachment if she wins the presidency on November 8. With several FBI investigations looming over Clinton’s head – one into her use of a private server and another into her charity, the Clinton Foundation – GOP lawmakers say her election would put the country in uncharted waters moving forward.
In an interview with Fox News, top-ranking House Republican Michael McCaul spoke to the possibility of a very short Hillary Clinton presidency.
“If the investigation goes forward and it looks like an indictment is pending, at that point in time under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial. It would go to the Senate and impeachment proceedings and removal would take place,” McCaul said. “I would hate to see this country thrown into a constitutional crisis because of Hillary Clinton’s behavior.”
The last president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, of course, was none other than Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton. President Clinton’s impeachment resulted from a perjury conviction stemming from his Monica Lewinsky testimony. The charges surrounding Hillary are much more serious; if she is found to have engaged in a pay for play scandal at the State Department or to have leaked classified material to a foreign government, impeachment might be just the tip of the iceberg. At worst, she could be facing charges of treason.
“There’s been nothing like this where you can have potential criminal charges,” said Rep. Peter King. “You really could have a constitutional crisis here.”
To avoid such a crisis, some liberals have begun pressuring President Obama to offer Hillary a pardon before leaving office. That would take indictment off the table, but it wouldn’t necessarily save her from impeachment hearings. The president can ensure that his successor stays out of prison, but her can’t keep her safe from congressional action. And even if he does give her the pardon, it would do immeasurable damage to her presidency and undercut whatever “mandate” she might believe she has from her election.
Of course, we could just avoid all of this by electing Donald Trump.