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House Judiciary Committee discusses impeachment of the president

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The House Judiciary Committee discussed a long list of potentially impeachable offenses committed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. They brought in various legal scholars to weigh in on the constitutionality of the presidential actions in question. According to a Dec. 4 report on TPM.com, the participants attempted to completely avoid the terminology of impeachment, although that was clearly the subject of the hearing.

Media coverage of the hearing was minimal with most media sources writing the whole thing off as a ridiculous attempt by House members to disassociate themselves from the unpopular president. There was, however, some impressive legal opinion expressed in the hearing that supported the premise that the House was within their rights and responsibilities to consider this scenario. The Columbus Dispatch has printed the House laundry list of potentially impeachable offenses.

Examples included bombing Libya without congressional authorization; delaying implementation of some provisions of Obamacare; waiving immigration restrictions to enable children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States; easing federal drug enforcement in states that have legalized the medicinal or recreational use of marijuana; ending mandatory-minimum prison sentences for some drug offenses; and permitting the Internal Revenue Service to scrutinize conservative organizations’ applications for non-profit, tax-exempt status.

In reality, the impeachment would never get through the Democratic-controlled Senate, although there may well be enough votes in the House to get it started.

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