Understanding Constitutional Law: Civic 101
UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
Disclaimer- I am not an Attorney only a Scholar.
I want to take a moment and explain what powers where granted by Our Constitution and How they can be used. You have been Mislead.
The Congress never Voted on Hastings Guilt!
The Congress does not have the Power to convict. They only have the power to indict. In many ways they act as The District Attorneys of the Federal Government. "The House Committee hear from form Prosecutor (remember Star?) if they feel there is enough evidence the hand down (impeachment) indictments and the whole body Votes: if the Majority Agrees the House send the indictments to the Senate.
The House elects "House Managers" who work with the prosecution, appear before the bar of the Senate to ague their case and report back to the Congress and give updates.
The Senate conducts the trial. They act as both Judge and Jury. The House Managers acts as The Prosecutor’s argue their case and present exhibits and face the accused.
"The House Managers" Hastings
Rep. J. Brooks, Rep. J. Bryant, Rep. M. Synar, Rep. H. Fish, Jr. and Rep. J. Conyers.
So all of those Great quote Using John Conyers are Misleading- At the time Rep. Conyers was working As The Prosecutor, he was no stating his opinion, then the D.A. is when they are at trial.
Oh, another nifty Fact that few felt the need to write about that F.B.I. Agent: That went undercover and entraped Mr. Boarders'and Hastings was later convicted murder...
More about the F.B.I. Agent: H. Paul Rico
Here are some quotes you can look up other at Thomas Library of Congress Search 101 (1989) Senate
"Sting cases border on illegal entrapment and are subject to abuse, so the FBI must take every precaution to nail down real evidence.
In this case, the FBI did not obtain real evidence. They could have waited and proved clearly that Judge Hastings would or would not have taken the bribe, but they did not wait. They didn't prove their case.
My message to the FBI is that if you are going to carry out a sting operation, you had better leave the stinger in the victim."
"The impeachment trial of federal Judge Alcee Hastings represents a landmark in our constitutional history. In the 202 years since the adoption of the Constitution, this is the first time that any federal official has been impeached after being tried and acquitted by a jury. In essence, the House's 1988 impeachment of Judge Hastings asks the Senate in 1989--eight years after the events in question, and six years after the jury verdict--to reconsider a jury decision on charges and evidence that, if not identical to those before the jury, certainly are substantially the same. The case thus presents the Senate with unsettled issues touching on the applicability in an impeachment trial of legal concepts such as double jeopardy, collateral estoppel and undue delay.
The question before the Senate on article I, and on each of the other articles as well, is not which version of events--that offered by the House or that offered by Judge Hastings--is more plausible. The question instead is whether the evidence presented by the House satisfied its burden of proof to the satisfaction of two-thirds of the Members of this body. For my part, it does not."
"Now this guy sounds Steven Colbert"
Perhaps Colbert plays this WY Senator?
"Simply put, he fabricated the testimony that sprung him, and I think in our gut --we all know that. And now it is time to follow our head and our gut and defrock this fraud on the Federal judicial system. He fully deserves the fate of impeachment."
Ouch, this just hurt to say... Sen. Hatch said it best, oh noooooo
Sen. HATCH. Mr. President, today we are at the final stages of one of a handful of unique governmental processes in which a single U.S. citizen can find him or herself battling, essentially alone, against the entire fabric of the Federal Government. There are only a few such procedures, and we do not invoke them very often, but when we do, these activities can produce dire consequences for the individual and his or her family. An independent counsel investigation is one such example. The impeachment before us today is probably the ultimate in such processes.
In Judge Hastings' case, we find an individual who truly has `battled' against the entire Government. He has endured an exhaustive investigation by the executive branch of the Government, and the results of that investigation have been reviewed not once, not twice, but eventually four times by the other two branches of the Government. First there was a jury trial, in which he was acquitted. Then, there was an inquiry by his judicial peers. The judge next appeared before the House of Representatives, and finally he finds himself here for a trial by the Senate. Before we convict him and remove him from office, we need to be convinced he merits that severe sanction.
As has already been noted before this body, this is, in a sense, a case of first impression. While a handful of judges have been impeached in the past, this is the first instance in which the judge has first been acquitted by a jury in a trial based on essentially the same charges. In my review of these earlier impeachments, I am for the most part satisfied that the Senate reached a correct decision. I am, however, concerned that this time, our consideration of this matter may produce the wrong result.
Earlier this year, this body debated charges that this impeachment process should have been barred by the fifth amendment's double jeopardy clause. I am still of the opinion, as I was then, that the double jeopardy clause is irrelevant to impeachment proceedings. I also agree with several of my colleagues who have expressed their opinion that the Senate is not bound by any previous jury or court verdict with respect to a government official facing impeachment. If the Senate were simply to follow the results of a judicial proceeding in reaching a decision on an issue as important as an impeachment, we would be doing a serious disservice to the principles underlying our Constitution and we would severely trample the rights of those facing impeachment. We would also render the impeachment process superfluous in those cases covering charges already adjudicated in the third branch of Government. That seemed to be the prevailing understanding during the Claiborne impeachment, and I think it is equally applicable today.
Nevertheless, I believe that the findings of a jury should be accorded some weight. In Judge Hastings case, the jury heard much of the same evidence that was pesented before the Senate Impeachment Committee. That panel reviewed these facts when they were much fresher and when some of the key figures were still available to present testimony. In addition to all of the other information that has been placed before this body, that is a fact that I think we should include in our consideration.
The case against Judge Hastings is based primarily upon circumstantial evidence. The evidence admittedly raises troubling questions and casts suspicion on the Judge's conduct. But for each scenario painted by the House managers with respect to given fact situations, the judge, either through his testimony, or the testimony of other witnesses, has provided a plausible explanation that, in turn, casts doubt on the proper interpretation of the facts.
For example, the House relies heavily on contracts between Judge Hastings and Mr. Borders surrounding significant events in the bribery scheme. While the House managers have urged that their explanation of these facts can be the only explanation, I find many of the judge's explanations to have plausibility. We are, after all, talking about two men who had been close friends for most of their lives. There were undoubtedly many events that brought them into contact or required some form of communication. If we were to rely on some of the impressions left in the record, these key events would be viewed as the only times that they contacted each other. However, if we had a record of every contact that occurred between these two men before, during, and in between these key events, I would not be surprised to find that the frequency of their contacts does not show much fluctuation.
The prosecution also stresses such facts as Mr. Borders' inside knowledge of the Romano brothers' case. While such knowledge may have come from the judge, it is equally plausible to believe that the knowledge came from outside, even underworld, sources, as Judge Hastings has suggested. It is also within reason to believe that the judge was manipulated into making the infamous appearance at the restaurant, once the bribery scheme was under way. The judge's account of that event is not inherently unbelievable.
Also, with respect to the restaurant event, much is made of the exactness of Mr. Border's prediction that the judge would appear. Judge Hastings would like us to focus with equal interest on the fact that Mr. Borders was way off on his prediction as to when the order regarding the forfeited property would be issued. Instead, we are again urged by the House managers to focus on the contacts between the judge and Borders between the predicted date and the actual date of issue of the order. In response, the judge refers us to the explanation that he offered in his testimony, that he was drafting letters, at Mr. Border's request, on behalf of Hemphill Pride. Again, both explanations are believable.
At this point, however, I must express my discomfort with the House manager's heavy reliance on the so-called `coded' telephone conversation regarding the letters. Frankly, I find Judge Hasting's explanation for this recorded phone call as believable as the interpretation expressed by the House managers. It is not unreasonable to believe that the judge and Mr. Borders were talking about actual letters and that Mr. Borders was not exactly truthful when he told the judge that he had spoken to Mr. Pride about the letters or their content. After all, we are talking about a person for whom there was direct evidence that he was involved in the bribery scheme. If he was willing to deceive his friend the judge with respect to the bribery scheme, it is not unreasonable to believe that he may have not been totally truthful with his friend in other matters.
Let me turn to the judge's actions after the arrest of Mr. Borders, which the Judge learned about while in a Washington hotel room. I can only say that again, the House asks us to rely heavily on circumstantial evidence in drawing the conclusion that the judge's actions prove that he was a part of the bribery scheme. I, too, am troubled by his conduct. Judge Hastings has testified that his actions were probably a mistake on his part. But I can understand how a person learning that a close friend had been arrested, that the FBI wanted to talk to him, and suspicious of the FBI, rightly or wrongly, would make a panicky reaction. I think it is fair to say that the FBI has not had a totally spotless record over the years. And the Judge certainly did not seek to hide out from the FBI. We are left with deciding whether to believe the conjecture of the House as to why the judge returned to Florida or to believe the explanation offered by the judge. Since the FBI agents in the case did not `let the money run,' we are left with only circumstantial evidence.
Finally, with respect to the charge of the wiretap leak, as best as I can understand, we are left to decide between the testimony of two witnesses--Mayor Clark, to whom the information was supposedly leaked, or Judge Hastings, who maintains that Mayor Clark is simply lying. And again, I would note for my colleagues that we are given two equally plausible explanations as to what actually happened.
Given the degree to which the prosecution relies on circumstantial evidence; and I would also note that there is little, if any, direct evidence; and given the fact that Judge Hastings has provided, in my view, plausible explanations for each of the fact situations presented by the House managers, I believe that the benefit of the doubt must be given to Judge Hastings. I do not believe that the House managers have met their burden of proof, regardles of whatever standard of proof my colleagues might wish to apply.
For me, the circumstantial evidence that exists in this case does not provide the kind of clear and convincing proof which demonstrates that the judge should be removed from the bench.
I would also like to focus on a few other issues that have influenced my decision. First, there is the elapsed time between the events in question and this trial before the Senate. Granted, there are other impeachment cases which have occurred even later from the date of the events than this case. But here we are confronted with the lack of certain key witnesses, such as Mr. Borders and the Romano brothers, and missing evidence, such as conclusive reasons why the Judge and Borders spoke so frequently. As Judge Hasting's counsel noted in his closing remarks, not only are we being asked to look at a part of the donut and assume that there was a whole donut, but we are also asked, in some instances to look at a hole, and assume that there was a donut.
Mr. President, this is a very difficult matter. But just as the jury was not convinced that Judge Hastings was guilty of committing any crime, I am not convinced that Judge Hastings is guilty of committing an impeachable offense. I have carefully followed the Senate proceedings and feel comfortable with this decision. Based solely on the merits of this case, I will vote to acquit on each of the Articles of Impeachment.
I know you would never let Bush Get Way with anything!
Thank you Sen Hastings For Voting
No on the War
No to The PATRIOT Act.
No to The PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
No to ‘Several Amendments To PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
Thanks for Calling The PATRIOT Act "Completely Unacceptable."
"Expansion Of Intelligence Gathering Powers" Raised "Serious Questions." Hastings
"Let a free press stand in this nation." Hastings
Thanks for Serving with Honor on ‘The House Intelligence Committee’ for the past 7 years
JTA: Reports Jewish-Lobby working on behalf Rep. Jane Harman, After Pelosi Drops Hastings
Thank You Hastings for all you have done and will do!!!
I really am Sorry.