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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently urged the Democrats to focus on finding “the truth” before deciding whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. I think what Pelosi really meant is that they need to be sure they can make a convincing case for impeachment before they initiate proceedings.

I was a Judiciary Committee staffer during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, so I know from personal experience that the committee hearings in those proceedings were not intended to determine whether Clinton “should” be impeached. The Republicans had decided to impeach Clinton before they initiated the proceedings.

The Republican witnesses made the case for impeaching Clinton, and the Democratic witnesses defended him.

With one exception, the Republicans voted for the articles of impeachment. The Democrats unanimously voted against them.

Authority to remove a president from office

Articles I and II of the Constitution provide that Congress has the “sole Power” to impeach and remove the president from office “for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The members who conduct the proceedings decide what those terms mean.

The House conducts hearings and then votes on whether to impeach the president. This only requires a simple majority.

Read more at https://thehill.com/opinion/white-ho...lican-senators

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.