We didn’t start the fire …

Since we’re getting a live test of how well the Constitution’s oversight of the Executive branch works at the moment, let’s evaluate how it’s doing vs. my suggestion from Failed Constitution Check: Executive Oversight that the Executive branch needs to be split in two.

Not so hot, actually.

To start with, the current system depends on Executive branch employees to identify problematic issues and report them. There are no independent staff anywhere in this.

In the proposed system, it’s possible that the actions that led to impeachment would have been noticed and investigated directly without any need for a whistleblower.

Silencing the whistle.

The whistleblower’s report was initially quashed by the DoJ (despite the statutory requirement that it be reported to Congress). If that office were under an appointee from an elected Advocate rather that the President (who the report accuses of wrongdoing), there would have been no opportunity to interfere with it.

Impeaching in the dark.

Other than the testimony of career staff, the House utterly failed to get any evidence out of the Executive. None of the relevant appointees provided either testimony or documents.

With the full and independent access to Executive branch data that an Oversight executive would have, this stonewalling would not have been be possible.

Even if the Oversight executive hadn’t noticed the actions that led to Trump’s impeachment and notified Congress and the Supreme Court, the House would have been able to simply request the documents from Oversight who would have had no reason to not disclose them.

Trial by Senate.

From that point, impeachment under the proposed system would look a lot like we’re seeing now: once the process moves to the Senate the Legislative branch is fully in control, and they’re all elected politicians.

You could make the case that with a better public evidence base, even the hacks in the Senate wouldn’t be able to justify ignoring the case as they are, but don’t be too sure. No one ever went broke underestimating a politician’s ability to ignore mendacity by their own Party.

So maybe let’s try to fix that too?

Maybe the requirement for regular in-person meetings with randomly-selected constituemts suggested in Constituent Service: Making Politicians Face The Music would help with that?

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