Thursday in Whitewater will see light afternoon showers with a high of seventy. Sunrise is 7:03 AM and sunset 6:20 PM, for 11h 17m 09s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 89.6% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Finance Committee meets at 5:30 PM.
On this day in 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns after pleading no contest on this same day to a felony charge of tax evasion.
One can listen to a fine podcast, Bag Man, that recounts Agnew’s financial corruption and downfall.
Recommended for reading in full:
Keith E. Whittington writes Must the House Vote to Authorize an Impeachment Inquiry?:
But what counts as an “official impeachment inquiry,” and what is required to move forward with one? House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to Pelosi asking her to “suspend” the impeachment inquiry until “transparent and equitable rules and procedures” could be put in place and a floor vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry could be taken. Pelosi responded that no vote was necessary. Now White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has written to Pelosi informing her that the administration will not cooperate with the House’s “constitutionally invalid” impeachment inquiry, in part because the House had not voted “to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step” or provided the president with “due process protections.”
Is it constitutionally acceptable for the House speaker to initiate an impeachment “by means of nothing more than a press conference”? In short, yes.
The constitutional text on this issue is spare. The Constitution simply says that the House has the sole power of impeachment. Ultimately, if the House wants to impeach someone, it needs to muster a simple majority in support of articles of impeachment that can be presented to the Senate. How the House gets there is entirely up to the chamber itself to determine. There is no constitutional requirement that the House take two successful votes on impeachment, one to authorize some kind of inquiry and one to ratify whatever emerges from that inquiry. An impeachment inquiry is not “invalid” because there has been no vote to formally launch it, and any eventual impeachment would not be “invalid” because the process that led to it did not feature a floor vote authorizing a specific inquiry.
Of course, the House’s own rules might require such a vote, and the House must follow its own rules until it chooses to change them. But there is no rule requiring such an authorizing vote, and neither McCarthy nor Cipollone points to one. The House has changed its internal procedures dramatically over time. At one point, the House did not rely on standing committees but instead created select committees to handle many legislative tasks. Through much of its history, the House has limited the investigatory powers of its standing committees and required that those committees go to the floor to receive special authorization to issue subpoenas or spend substantial resources on staff. It no longer does so, and so it no longer needs to take such votes to specially authorize particular investigations.