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Thanks to the First Branch Forecast for pointing out this newly published legal sidebar “The Impeachment and Trial of a Former President.” We are in uncharted waters as President Trump has been impeached for the second time for “incitement of insurrection”, but the articles of impeachment have not yet been delivered to the Senate. This CRS report offers some historical context of the impeachment process.
“For the second time in just over a year, the House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump. The House previously voted to impeach President Trump on December 18, 2019, and the Senate voted to acquit the President on February 5, 2020. Because the timing of this second impeachment vote is so close to the end of the Trump Administration, it is possible that any resulting Senate trial may not occur until after President Trump leaves office on January 20, 2021. This possibility has prompted the question of whether the Senate can try a former President for conduct that occurred while he was in office.
…it appears that most scholars who have closely examined the question have concluded that Congress has authority to extend the impeachment process to officials who are no longer in office.”
DPLA releases The Impeachment Papers as a free ebook. By Kathleen Williams, January 21, 2020.
“The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce the release of a new ebook, The Impeachment Papers, a compendium of 38 documents related to the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. The ebook consists of witness testimony, subpoenas and other publicly available material in an easy-to-read format. Additions to the preliminary version of this ebook, originally released in December, include the report from the House Judiciary Committee; report from the House Intelligence Committee; and the Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, all of which were released to the public in December.”
‘DPLA believes that open and convenient access to accurate information allows for an informed public and is an essential service that is core to the role libraries have played in democratic societies for generations. As such, the publication of this book is a non-partisan effort that is provided without analysis or editorial perspective.”‘
The political and social mix continues to churn across our layers of government. Impeachment of a sitting governor in Illinois (the first in the land of Lincoln in over a century); budget crisis in California forcing unpaid furloughs of government workers and loss of funding for critical medical, social, and education programs. Not to mention the further widespread layoffs throughout all sectors of the economy.
Library opportunities for civic engagement abound — if we can just organize ourselves and our institutions to do so. Though, I well know from experience, the pressures bearing down outside the library are wreaking their own pressures on our own bibliographic decisions. This internal tension may suggest that we duck and cover during the storm. I would suggest that, in a profoundly contrary way, it may be the best time to reach out to our communities and engage them. I am sure there are hundreds of examples out there where special, public and academic libraries alike are reaching out to their communities in specific ways to help deal with the cascading social, economic and political turmoil. Here is one instance, from the Oak Park Library, that speaks to this — watch the videos here and here. And this rather well designed web page about the event here. Note the emphasis on access to demographic and census information.
See you on Day 11.