In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. Watch Honig answer reader questions on "CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera" at 5:40 p.m. ET Sundays.
美国有线电视新闻网 (CNN) 法律分析师、前联邦和州检察官埃利·霍尼格 (Elie Honig) 在周播节目 “Cross Exam” 中，讲述了他对这桩 “成为头条” 法律案件的看法。请将提问发布在下面。这篇评论所表达的观点代表霍尼格本人的立场。敬请关注CNN的更多资讯。美国东部时间周日下午5点40分，准时收看霍尼格在 “ CNN主新闻编辑室与安娜·卡布瑞拉有约 ” 中答读者问的节目播出。
(CNN)During the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of President Donald Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation of the Bidens, the committee issued 71 subpoenas and requests for information. The Trump administration, in response, produced nothing -- not a single piece of paper.
So, it's only fair to ask: What are they hiding?
We just got our first small hint, and the answer is alarming. A federal judge ordered the administration to turn over documents subject to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Center for Public Integrity. And just one of those documents -- an e-mail from Michael Duffey, a Trump appointee who served in the Office of Management and Budget, to other OMB and Pentagon officials -- gives us a tantalizing look at the administration's efforts to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine, and to cover up its own conduct.
Duffey -- one of four witnesses requested by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Trump's upcoming Senate impeachment trial -- sent the e-mail roughly 90 minutes after Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Duffey e-mail is a prosecutor's dream, opening up various lines of potentially fruitful questioning.
参议院少数党领袖查克·舒默 (Chuck Schumer) 传唤了杜菲在内的四名证人出席特朗普即将面临的弹劾审判案。在特朗普7月25日与乌克兰总统沃洛迪米尔·泽伦斯基(Volodymyr Zelensky) 通话后大约90分钟，杜菲发出了这封电子邮件。达菲的电子邮件帮助检察官们达成了获取存在潜在成效的多方问话渠道的愿望。
Duffey writes, "Based on guidance I have received and in light of the Administration's plan to review assistance to Ukraine... please hold off on any additional DoD obligations of these funds."
First question: Who gave you the referenced guidance? Second question: What was the guidance? Clearly, somebody in the White House who was senior to Duffey told him to make sure to hold back foreign aid to Ukraine -- and did it right after Trump's call with Zelensky. The answer to these questions could provide information vital to understand Trump's actions and motives toward Ukraine.
Duffey later instructs in the e-mail, "Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held."
Ok, Duffey: explain the "sensitive nature" of the request to hold back funding from Ukraine? Why was it sensitive? Who told you it was sensitive? The answers to these questions could prove damning to Trump and his most senior officials.
好了，达菲：请解释一下暂停向乌克兰提供资金的这一请求的 “ 敏感性 ” ? 其敏感性何在？谁告诉你一点的？这些问题的答案可能会对特朗普和其政府的高级官员造成致命打击。
Remember: the Duffey e-mail is just one piece of paper out of likely thousands, or more, that the administration has but refuses to turn over. If this one e-mail raises so many important questions, just imagine what we don't yet know.
I believe we will see many or perhaps all of the documents that the administration is withholding -- somehow, someday. The documents might come out, like the Duffey e-mail did, through Freedom of Information Act requests. Or they might become public through other lawsuits, subpoenas by Congress or prosecutors, disclosure by future administrations, or leaks. But, one way or another, we will eventually learn what this administration may be hiding.
我相信我们将会看到很多或者可能是政府试图隐瞒的所有文件---不管怎样，总有一天会公开的。这些文件可能会像达菲的电子邮件一样，在《信息自由法》(Freedom of Information Act) 的要求下，又或者可能通过诉讼手段、接到国会或检察官的传票、未来政府的信息披露或泄密等其他方式而公之于众。但是，不管怎样，我们最终会知道特朗普政府所隐藏的真相。
The problem, of course, is that we may not know what the Trump administration is covering up until it is too late -- until this administration is long gone, or until it is too late to fix the damage.
Now, your questions
Scott (Tennessee): If the Senate acquits Trump, but then he does something else later in his term that merits impeachment, can the House impeach him again? Or, is there a double jeopardy rule against impeaching a person twice?
No, the double jeopardy rule does not apply to impeachment. Double jeopardy is a concept unique to criminal law. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution provides that "nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb."
The "in jeopardy of life or limb" language refers to criminal penalties -- including imprisonment or execution -- and not to impeachment, where the only penalty is removal from office.
“ 生命或身体的危害 ” 的描述指的是监禁或处决在内的刑事处罚，而不包括弹劾，因为弹劾的唯一惩罚是罢免。
While the double jeopardy rule means that a person cannot be charged twice for the same criminal offense, the Constitution provides no such legal protection against a second impeachment. No federal official, however, has ever been impeached twice in the United States.
Although second impeachment is legally possible, practical obstacles certainly would arise. It seems exceedingly unlikely as a political matter that the House would impeach a President, see that President acquitted in the Senate and then impeach him again for the same conduct.
If, however, a President was impeached, acquitted, and then committed new impeachable acts, the House could be more willing to impeach again.
Turtley (New York): House Republicans claim that all the evidence against Trump is indirect. Are criminal cases ever decided solely on indirect evidence?
Yes, a jury can convict in a criminal case based solely on indirect (also called "circumstantial") evidence, if it finds that indirect evidence sufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here's how judges explain the concept of direct versus indirect evidence to juries. Let's say you looked out the window of the courtroom and saw raindrops falling down and hitting the window. That would be direct evidence that it is raining outside. Now let's say the window shades were drawn, but you saw three people walk into the courtroom, all wearing raincoats, holding umbrellas and dripping wet. That would be indirect -- but still relevant and potentially decisive -- evidence that it is raining outside.
House Republicans' claim that the case against Trump consists of "no direct evidence" is not true, in any event. The July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky, for example, is direct evidence: you can look at it and see Trump's own words to Zelensky, much as you could look out the courtroom window and see raindrops.
There also is plenty of indirect evidence. For example, Ambassador Bill Taylor testified that it was unusual and unexplained that military aid to Ukraine was held back. A reasonable juror could -- but need not necessarily -- infer from this indirect evidence, all with the other indirect evidence, that the aid was held back in order to pressure Ukraine.
Marty (Texas): Now that Trump has been impeached, does he lose the ability to issue pardons?
No, but the confusion here is understandable. Article II of the Constitution provides that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment."
On this point, the Constitution -- venerable document that it is -- loses points for ambiguity. Read one way, it could appear to say that after the President is impeached by the House, he loses the power to issue pardons. But read another way, it says that the President can issue pardons for criminal offenses but not for impeachment.
The latter reading is correct. There is no provision anywhere in the Constitution, statutes or case law that strips a president of any power upon impeachment by the House (though of course, if convicted in the Senate, the President loses office and all of its powers). It would be anomalous for the President to lose only one power -- the power to pardon -- upon impeachment alone, and no serious legal authority has argued for this interpretation.
Rather, the clause in Article II means that while a President can pardon an official (or any person) for a crime, he cannot pardon an official out of impeachment. In other words, the President does not have power to un-impeach. For example, if a federal judge committed bribery, the President could pardon the judge from a criminal bribery charge, but the President could not rescue the judge from impeachment. Indeed, no president has ever pardoned or even attempted to pardon an official from impeachment.
相反，《宪法》第二条中的条款意味着，虽然总统有权赦免官员 (或任何人) 的罪行，但他无权赦免遭到弹劾的官员。换句话说，总统没有撤销弹劾的权力。例如，如果一名联邦法官犯了贿赂罪，总统可以免除对他的刑事贿赂指控，但总统却不能免除对他的弹劾。事实上，从未出现哪位总统曾赦免甚至试图赦免官员免遭弹劾的情况。
This makes sense in our broader system of checks and balances. The Constitution grants Congress the "sole power" to impeach, as one of its most powerful checks on the President and the executive branch. If the President could simply issue pardons to undo an impeachment, he could unilaterally deprive Congress of one of its vital tools, effectively rendering it moot.
Three questions to watch
1) How long will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wait before formally sending Articles of Impeachment to the Senate?
1) 众议院议长佩洛西 (Nancy Pelosi) 要等多久才能正式向参议院提交针对特朗普的弹劾条款？
2) Will Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer make any progress toward a negotiated deal for Trump's Senate impeachment trial?
3) Will Trump and McConnell pursue an aggressive trial strategy, or will they go with a minimalist approach to get it over with quickly?