WILLIAMSPORT – A local attorney says it was hard to find President Donald Trump guilty of two articles of impeachment because no criminal laws were broken. Attorney Cliff Rieders gave that analysis to WKOK recently.
He says Democrats could never point to anything concrete to convince others the president committed an impeachable offense, “To say we’re charging the president with these crimes, show me where in the criminal code it is. The Democrats keep saying, ‘well the criminal code says this is illegal.’ If it did, they would’ve cited it, and they didn’t have that.”
Because this case seems to be a grey area in the law, Rieders says it’s also hard to say if witnesses should’ve been called into the Senate Impeachment trial, “If it’s not a criminal trial, if it is rather, the house recalling somebody who they believe has violated the basic rules of our government’s structure, then whether you have witnesses or not depends on the case. So really, it depends upon where you come out on that equation, and the founders don’t really give us enough guidance to know for sure.”
But regardless of whether anyone thinks President Trump committed impeachable offenses, Rieders says the president’s actions were still wrong, “I think any American public official who reaches out to a foreign country, and who attempts to covet that foreign country with a threat of aid or aid cut off in order to better their own political view, has done the wrong thing. But the question is, is that a high crime or misdemeanor? You could argue about what Hamilton thought when he wrote the federalist paper, you’re not going to get an answer, because it wasn’t really absolutely clear to the founders.”
The impeachment trial ended with Wednesday’s senate vote to acquit President Trump of his accused crimes. Rieders talks more about this topic, the Iowa caucus debacle, and the State of the Union Address in his On The Mark appearance…listen on the WKOK Podcast page.