Editor's Note: Sunday, November 11, 2012. In the 8 months that has passed since the original publication of this op-ed, ask yourself if President Obama's actions have led him more, or less, in the direction of an impeachment and imprisonment. This op-ed (now with more than 25 million views) has been updated with the most current facts for the case of Obama's Impeachable Offenses. Stay tuned right here at RedFlagNews.com for future updates!
I have repeatedly been asked by a number of different people if I think that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has committed any offenses that subject him to being impeached by the Congress of the United States. The answer is without a doubt, yes because he has repeatedly breached his oath of office. The oath of office of the President of the United States is simple and concise. It reads:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Instead of living up to that oath, President Obama has actively attempted to subvert, ignore, and completely destroy large parts of the Constitution. I believe the President of the United States is well aware of what he is doing, and it is completely intentional. Based from my years as a constitutional attorney, listed below are what I believe are impeachable offenses, and the list continues to grow.
1. President Obama has appointed numerous people to cabinet level positions without the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, as is required by the Constitution. These individuals are given extraordinary power and independent funding, and are not under the scrutiny of Congress. The fact that Obama calls them Czars does not make them legal. He has also made illegal recess appointments of other members of his cabinet that required Senate approval. He simply declared that the U.S. Senate was in recess despite the fact that no such declaration had been made by the Senate. The President has no Constitutional authority to do this.
2. The push by Pres. Obama to pass healthcare legislation in the Congress of the United States that he was fully aware was unconstitutional. He has continued to use his powers and executive branch of government to implement this legislation despite the fact that a federal judge had declared the entire law unconstitutional, and ordered that it not be implemented. In addition, Obama has directed members of his administration to violate the right to freedom of religion protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.
Religious institutions such as churches and schools have been ordered to provide contraceptives and abortion inducing morning after pills to employees as part of the health care bill requirements. The fact that this is a direct violation of their religious teaching is of no concern to Obama.
3. Despite the fact that the United States Senate refused to pass the Cap and Trade bill, the President has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to use regulations to implement key portions of the bill, including those regulating so-called greenhouse gases. Obama himself has acknowledged that this will force energy prices in this country to skyrocket. He is taking these actions in direct defiance of the will of the people of the United States, the will of Congress, and the Constitution. The actions of the EPA include regulations that will force many coal burning power plants to close.
4. Through the Department of the Interior (DOI) Obama has placed a moratorium on offshore oil drilling or exploration off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States and in parts of the Gulf of Mexico. He has also prohibited new drilling exploration on federal land in any states in the United States. These actions by the DOI have continued in direct defiance of several court orders issued by Federal Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans, Louisiana declaring that the department had no authority to issue such a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. In fact, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) has been held in contempt by the same judge. The administration has claimed to be complying, but has tied up the drilling permits in so much red tape that the effect is the same.
5. Instead of allowing American companies to drill for oil domestically, Obama has betrayed the American people and authorized loans of billions of dollars to countries like Brazil and Mexico so that they can drill for oil, and then sell that oil to the United States. This will dramatically increase our dependence on foreign nations including Venezuela, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and even Libya that do not serve the interest of America or the American people.
Obama has also refused to approve the keystone pipeline from Canada to the United States that would not only lessen our dependence on oil from countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, but create thousands of new jobs in the United States. The decision on the pipeline is one that belongs in the hands of the members of Congress, not the President.
6. President Obama has abdicated his responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States against illegal immigration. He has virtually declared our southern border an open border by declaring certain areas of federal land in states like Arizona as off-limits to federal, state, and local authorities. This is despite the fact that these areas are being used to bring in thousands of illegal immigrants, massive amounts of drugs, and also being used by foreign terrorists to infiltrate the United States. He has also ordered the border patrol not to arrest most illegal immigrants entering the country, and has stopped deportation proceedings against thousands of people in this country illegally. He is in effect instituting the so-called “dream act” bypassing the Congress of the United States which has sole authority over immigration matters.
7. The President and his Attorney General Eric Holder have clearly violated their oath of office by joining with foreign countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, and Columbia, in lawsuits against the sovereign states of Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama to stop them from enforcing the federal immigration laws.
8. President Obama has ordered the Federal Communications Commission to adopt regulations giving the federal government control of the Internet and its contents, including providing Obama with a kill switch that gives him authority to shut down the Internet if he sees fit. This is in direct violation of a decision by the United States Supreme Court that the FCC has no Constitutional authority to control the Internet.
There were two bills pending in Congress to effectively give Obama the kill switch he wants over the Internet. When these two proposals, the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) were withdrawn amid public outcry Obama announced he will sign an international treaty that purports to give him the same authority. He has signaled his intention to do this as an “Executive Act” and not bring the treaty to the Senate for ratification as required by Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution. I believe he intends to take the same action in regard to the United Nations Small arms treaty and the UN Law of the Sea treaty that are both unlikely to get Senate approval.
9. One of the paramount responsibilities of the President of the United States and his executive branch of government is to enforce and defend laws adopted by Congress unless they are declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. Obama has decided that he should ignore this Constitutional mandate, and that as President he is more powerful than either the Congress of the United States or the Supreme Court. He has unilaterally declared that the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Congress is unconstitutional, and further declared that he will not have the Justice Department defend it against lawsuits.
His administration has also refused to enforce laws against voter intimidation and federal law that requires states to purge their voter registration lists of deceased individuals and those that are registered illegally. In addition, the Justice Department is refusing to allow states to enforce laws requiring proof of identity by voters at the polls. Obama has essentially said that he is the supreme ruler of the United States, and that the Congress and the Federal Judiciary are irrelevant.
10. It has been widely reported that acting through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms the Obama administration was involved for months in getting legitimate and law-abiding gun store owners along our southern border to supply weapons to straw buyers who the government knew would deliver them to the drug cartels in Mexico. This was billed as a sting operation against the cartels when in fact it was designed to produce fraudulent data showing that large numbers of weapons were going from the United States to the Mexican drug dealers.
This data was then to be used, and is being used, to try to justify new gun control regulations to limit the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms. It has nothing to do with arresting members of the drug operations. The administration has, in effect, armed our enemies, and one border patrol agent has already been killed by one of these weapons. Now, Obama continues to impose gun control laws by Executive order so he will not have to deal with Congress. The administration is also refusing to cooperate with the committees in the House of Representatives that are investigating the entire operation. It is even defying Congressional subpoenas.
11. The President of the United States is not authorized by the Constitution to take our nation to war without the consent of the Congress of the United States. The only exception to this is the authority granted to the President by Congress under the War Powers Act. This law allows the President to take immediate action without the consent of Congress if there is an imminent threat to the security of the United States, or its citizens. Although there was clearly no such imminent threat caused by the Civil War in Libya, the President committed members of the United States military to combat missions in a foreign country without the consent of Congress. He based his authority on a United Nations resolution, and a resolution by the Arab League.
Now, the President has carried it one step further. During testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told Senators that the President has authority to take our country to war without the Congressional approval required by Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. The administration is taking the position that it can ignore Congress as long as it has United Nations approval or NATO approval.
However, these actions may be the least of the worries facing the American people. The White House insisted that language be included in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that gives the President sole authority to order the military to arrest and indefinite detain American citizens on U.S. soil if the President suspects them of terrorist ties. This was amazingly passed overwhelmingly by Congress. It appears to be another situation where few members read the bill before voting on it.
This was almost immediately followed by another unconstitutional executive order titled the National Defense Resources Preparation order. It is similar to orders signed by past Presidents, but this one includes language that appears to give Obama the authority to declare martial law in peacetime, and take over the allocation of everything from food and fuel to transportation and health care. This violates the Constitution in a number of different ways.
12. Last but not the least of my dirty dozen of impeachable offenses, is the fact that since taking office the President has used executive orders, laws pushed through Congress in the dark of night, and administrative actions by his departments to nationalize and control automobile manufacturers, banks, insurance companies, and portions of the healthcare industry. This is designed to take our country from a free enterprise economy to a socialist economy. There is absolutely no authority in the Constitution of the United States that allows the President to do this.
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides as follows:
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
I contend that among those high crimes and misdemeanors is the intentional violation of the oath of office administered to the President and all other federal officials. In fact, federal law at 5 U.S.C. 7311 specifically provides that violation of the oath of office includes advocating the overthrowing of our constitutional form of government. This is specifically declared a criminal offense in 18 U.S.C. 1918 and is punishable by both a fine and imprisonment.
In the 12 areas I mentioned in the paragraphs above I firmly believe that Obama, Eric Holder, and numerous other members of his administration have gone beyond just advocating the overthrow of our constitutional form of government. They are actually engaged in making it happen, and as a result should be impeached and convicted. There are also the emerging issues of corruption such as the Solyndra scandal caused by Obama using stimulus money to pay off campaign contributors.
Will there be an impeachment and conviction in the current Congress? Probably not, since it takes a two thirds vote in the House of Representatives to impeach, and a two thirds vote in the Senate to convict. With Harry Reid and the progressives still in control of the Senate, and many of them guilty of some of the same impeachable offenses, they will resist it.
However, we are the American people and we still have a right to control our government, and the people elected to represent us. Therefore, I am personally calling on the conservative members the House of Representatives to bring this action based on the grounds I have enumerated so that the American people can understand what is really at stake here. Then “we the people,” can make our voices heard.
-- Michael Connelly, retired constitutional lawyer