A brief suggestion for Mr. Levinson: Read the 1998 Report by the Staff of the Impeachment Inquiry from the House Judiciary Committee. In it, the overall conclusion is that grounds for impeachment do not need to be criminal in nature, and that impeachment in itself is a political tool.
If impeachment were in fact limited to criminal transgressions, then it would follow that the impeachment trial would carry criminal sentencing. It does not, however. Impeachment merely removes an individual from office. Because the Senate is not an impartial jury of peers, it cannot act as a regular trial court and issue sentences; therefore making the very use of the Senate as a trial body in exclusively criminal matters inplausible.
Patrick K. Hunt
Apr 25 2007 - 1:55am