Democrat Who Set Impeachment Rules Was Previously Impeached for Bribery & Perjury
Rep. Alcee Hastings has some special experience on impeachment
The vice-chairman of the House Committee on Rules, Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, is the person who helped set the guidelines for the impeachment vote on Wednesday.
But Hastings has some experience with impeachment, due to the fact that he was impeached and removed from office for bribery, perjury and falsifying evidence in 1989.
The parameters for debate on impeachment were set by the Rules Committee, in what CBS News called a “contentious but comparatively collegial” session.
“The president’s actions, in your words, were so wrong,” Hastings said, according to the Palm Beach Post, referring to comments made by committee chairman Rep. Jim McGovern.
“It’s hard for me to believe that all of us here do not all understand that. But the die is pretty much cast.”
But for Republicans who didn’t see what Trump did wrong, Hastings just responded: “I just can’t believe you people."
In later years of the Carter administration, Hastings was appointed as a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
In 1979, he was commissioned.
It took him two years to find himself entangled in bribery charges.
Hastings was indicted on charges for taking $150,000 from gang connected defendants to lessen their sentences.
He was, however, acquitted in 1983 and returned to being a federal judge.
“Subsequently, suspicions arose that Hastings had lied and falsified evidence during the trial in order to obtain an acquittal,” a synopsis of the case on the U.S. Senate’s website reads.
“A special committee of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals began a new probe into the Hastings case.
The resulting three-year investigation ended with the panel concluding that Hastings did indeed commit perjury, tamper with evidence, and conspire to gain financially by accepting bribes. The panel recommended further action to the U.S. Judicial Conference, which, in turn, informed the House of Representatives on March 17, 1987, that Judge Alcee Hastings should be impeached and removed from office.”
According to National Public Radio, the house voted by a margin of 413-3 to pass on 17 articles of impeachment to the Senate - “the greatest number of articles in any impeachment proceeding to date," the enate case synopsis revealed.
The mater was then sent to a special committee, finding that there was convincing evidence t that Bowers and Hastings had conspired to receive the bribe.
Hastings attempted to get the matter dismissed, arguing that a Senate trial constituted double jeopardy.
“The trial committee presented its report on October 2, 1989. Sixteen days later, the trial began in the U.S. Senate, with prosecution and defense given two hours to summarize their cases. The Senate deliberated in closed session on October 19, 1989,” the synopsis read.
“The following day, the Senate voted on 11 of the 17 articles of impeachment, convicting Hastings, by the necessary two-thirds vote, on eight articles (1-5, 7-9). On two articles (6, 17), the vote fell short of the required majority to convict. On article 11, the Senate voted 95, not guilty to 0 guilty. Having achieved the necessary majority vote to convict on eight articles, the Senate’s president pro tempore (Robert C. Byrd) ordered Hastings removed from office. The Senate did not vote to disqualify him from holding future office.”
And here is the last part:
Hastings sued as last-ditch attempt to get the case tossed out but proved fruitless.
He then finally made his comeback by winning a seat in the House in 1992.
But Hastings hasn’t faced any allegations of corruption during his two-and-a-half decades in the lower house.
However, in the wake of the John Conyers scandal, Congress had paid out $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit against Hastings.
The complainant alleged hastings invited a woman to his hotel room and asked her questions about her undergarments and made other gestures toward her.
In 2008, another controversy arose when he gave a collegial assessment of the GOP’s vice presidential candidate to the National Jewish Democratic Council:
“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Hastings said.
“Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through.”
“Impeachment is as partisan as hell,” Hastings said.
“I know it because I’ve lived it.”