It seems to me like the Democrats have the potential to gain a lot if they do. The GOP has already come out strongly against the withdrawal, as opposed to their tepid reception of the Ukraine related issues. The Syria withdrawal has cost the lives of US allies, and arguably weakens the US strength in the region, jeopardizing US interests.

It also seems like the Democrats have little to lose. The worst that can happen is that the GOP decides that the conduct, while reproachable, is not impeachable, which is already what seems to be happening with the charges the Democrats are currently pursuing. However the GOP currently seems to be much more incensed about Syria than Ukraine.

Why not give it a go?


As this Wikipedia page makes clear, the phrase "High crimes and Misdemeanors" is very broad. According to the same source "Chronic intoxication" fits the definition.

The decision to withdraw or deploy troops is serious and mistakes made in these movements cost lives, and sometimes wars.

Please refrain from any other comments suggesting that such a move, if proved disastrous and not immediately rectified, is neither a high crime or misdemeanor. It is.

  • 1
    While one can argue it's a poor decision, it's hard to see what the "high crime or misdemeanour" is in this case. – Joe C Oct 16 '19 at 15:18
  • Please try to elaborate in your question why you think it would be a high crime. You seem to swap the burden of evidence by stating that it is a high crime or misdemeanor but it's unclear why. Is there any jurisprudence you're basing that on? Has anyone notable suggested that it is? – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 16 '19 at 15:37
  • The articles of impeachment have not yet been drawn up, so isn't it a bit premature to ask this? Has anybody stated that Syria is off the table in regards to the impeachment inquiry? Whose to say that the House investigators won't also look into this? Perhaps a better way to ask the question would be in whether or not the issues with the Syrian withdrawal could constitute an impeachable offense. – Nelson O Oct 16 '19 at 15:40

This would obviously not fall under "high crimes and misdemeanors," so adding it would weaken the case that there are actual crimes.

Of course impeachment is a political process, with a trial in front of the Senate rather than judges, but it is not supposed to be used simply because a majority in the House disagrees with the President.

  • 2
    I don't think that the situation is as obvious as you are saying it is. Here's an article from the Washington Post that discusses business dealings that President Trump has in Turkey, and that could complicate his motives around the withdrawal. This could be something worthy of investigation and possibly impeachment. I'm not saying that it is, but I at least object to your certainty in this answer. – Nelson O Oct 16 '19 at 15:47
  • 2
    @Nelson - In that case it would be the business dealings, not the pullout, which broke the law (in particular, Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution, AKA: "The emoluments clause"). If there's good evidence for them, yeah, might as well chuck them on the pile. But at some point the examples of violations of that clause are so numerous you gotta quit compiling them just so you have time to do something about the ones you already have. – T.E.D. Oct 16 '19 at 16:05
  • @T.E.D. The Wikipedia page for Impeachment in the United States states that the Congress has broadly defined a non-exhaustive list of three different categories of impeachable offenses. (1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain. While the business dealings in Turkey could themselves be Constitutional offenses, could not the Syrian withdrawal itself possibly be categorized under point (3) above? – Nelson O Oct 16 '19 at 16:14
  • @Nelson - No, its the "personal gain" part that is important in that phrase, so that's what would have to be concentrated on. (Not sure about the "improper purpose" bit, but I think its going to have to be some manner of illegal or corrupt behavior to count) – T.E.D. Oct 16 '19 at 16:17
  • Remember "misdemeanor" at the time was more "mis-demeanor". In other words, bad behavior. Not bad decisions, but bad behavior. From Johnson's 1755 dictionary: "MISDEMEANOR. Offence; ill behavior; something less than an atrocious crime" – T.E.D. Oct 16 '19 at 16:26

Why don't the US Democrats add the withdrawal from Syria to President Trump's impeachment charges?

Article II, Section 2

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; ...

The president, as Commander in Chief, is acting within Constitutional authority, when ordering the withdrawal of troops. Impeachment is suitable when the president is not acting within Constitutional authority (or any number of other reasons).

Members of Congress know the difference and that is why it will not be added to any impeachment charges.