by C. Douglas Golden, Western Journal:
Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings is the vice chairman of the House Committee on Rules, the folks who set the guidelines for Wednesday’s impeachment vote. Unsurprisingly, they did so along a 9-4 party-line vote, refusing to allow any amendments on the floor and limiting debate time to six hours.
As for impeachment, Hastings knows a thing or two about the process. In 1989, as a Florida federal district court judge, he was impeached and removed from office for bribery, perjury and falsifying evidence.
On Tuesday, the Rules Committee set the parameters for debate on impeachment, in what CBS News called a “contentious but comparatively collegial” session.
I’m not quite sure what that even means anymore in the context of Washington, considering these were some of the comments from Hastings that passed as “comparatively collegial”:
“The president’s actions, in your words, were so wrong,” Hastings said, according to the Palm Beach Post, referring to remarks made by committee chairman Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, the previous day.
“It’s hard for me to believe that all of us here do not all understand that. But the die is pretty much cast.”
As for Republicans who didn’t see what Trump did as trying to induce a foreign leader to influence an American election: “I just can’t believe you people,” Hastings said.
He probably wasn’t the guy who should have been talking.
In the 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. He was commissioned in 1979. It took him a grand total of two years to find himself enmeshed in bribery charges.
In 1981, Hastings was indicted on charges he took $150,000 from mob-connected defendants to reduce their sentences. His alleged co-conspirator, William A. Borders, was convicted. Hastings, however, was acquitted in 1983 and returned to being a federal judge.
Status quo ante, right? Well, not exactly.
“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.