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弹劾特朗普?先来了解一下程序运作规则

更新时间:2017-5-18 19:30:08 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How the Impeachment Process Works
弹劾特朗普?先来了解一下程序运作规则

The account from the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey of President Trump pressing him to drop an investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, has escalated talk among the president’s critics that his actions may amount to obstruction for justice and grounds for impeachment.

前联邦调查局(FBI)局长詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)称,特朗普总统曾向其施压,要求停止调查前国家安全顾问迈克尔·T·弗林(Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn),此事进一步加剧总统批评者的不满,他们认为他的行动或许构成了妨碍司法公正,并成为弹劾的依据。

“Asking F.B.I. to drop an investigation is obstruction of justice,” Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense.”

“要求FBI停止调查是妨碍司法公正,”佛罗里达州民主党众议员特德·多伊奇(Ted Deutch)周二在Twitter上表示。“而妨碍司法公正是可弹劾的行为。”

But several legal specialists across party lines cautioned that talk of impeachment is premature while the facts remain unclear; the White House has denied that Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Comey to drop the case.

但两党的多位法律专家警告说,在事实尚不清晰之际讨论弹劾为时过早;白宫则否认特朗普曾敦促科米停止调查。

Still, the early chatter has heightened interest in how the impeachment process works. Here’s what you need to know:

不过,前期讨论让人们对于弹劾程序如何运行兴趣日浓。以下是你需要知道的信息:

What is impeachment?

什么是弹劾?

The Constitution permits Congress to remove presidents before their term is up if enough lawmakers vote to say that they committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

根据宪法的规定,如果有足够多的议员投票认定总统犯有“叛国罪、受贿罪和或其他严重罪行和不检行为”,国会可以在总统任期未满前解除其职务。

Only three presidents have been subjected to impeachment proceedings. Two were impeached but acquitted and stayed in office: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 and 1999. A third, Richard M. Nixon in 1974, resigned to avoid being impeached.

只有三位总统面临过弹劾程序。其中两位虽遭到弹劾,但被宣告无罪并得以留任:1868年的安德鲁·约翰逊(Andrew Johnson),以及1998和1999年的比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)。第三位是1974年的理查德·M·尼克松(Richard M. Nixon),他为免遭弹劾而辞职。

What is the process?

弹劾程序是怎样的?

First, the House of Representatives votes on one or more articles of impeachment. If at least one gets a majority vote, the president is impeached — which essentially means being indicted. (In both the Nixon and the Clinton cases, the House Judiciary Committee considered the matter first.)

首先,众议院会就一项或更多弹劾条款投票表决。如果以简单多数通过至少一项弹劾条款,总统就会被弹劾——其实相当于遭到起诉。(在尼克松和克林顿的案例中,都是先由众议院司法委员会[Judiciary Committee]对事情加以仔细斟酌。)

Next, the proceedings move to the Senate, which holds a trial overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors. The president has defense lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury.

接着,程序向前推进,参议院在最高法院(Supreme Court)首席大法官的督导下进行审讯。扮演检察官角色的是来自众议院的一组议员,他们被称为检控干事。总统会有辩护律师,参议院则充当陪审团。

If at least two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he is removed, and the vice president takes over as president.

如果有至少三分之二的参议员认为总统有罪,总统便会被解职,由副总统接替其职务。

What are the rules?

规则是怎样的?

There are no standard rules. Rather, the Senate passes a resolution first laying out trial procedures.

没有标准规则。参议员首先会通过一项列明审讯程序的决议。

“When the Senate decided what the rules were going to be for our trial, they really made them up as they went along,” said Greg Craig, who helped defend Mr. Clinton in his impeachment proceeding and later served as White House counsel to President Barack Obama.

“参议院决定我们的审讯采用哪些规则时,的确是且行且定,”曾在克林顿弹劾案中为其辩护、后来给贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)总统当过白宫法律顾问的格雷格·克雷格(Greg Craig)表示。

For example, Mr. Craig said, the initial rules in that case gave four days to the Republican managers to make a case for conviction, followed by four days for the president’s legal team to defend him — essentially opening statements. The Senate then decided whether to hear witnesses, and if so, whether it would be live or on videotape. Eventually, the Senate permitted each side to depose several witnesses by videotape.

举个例子,克雷格说,那个案子的初始规则是,共和党检控干事有四天时间阐述定罪理由,接下来总统的法律团队有四天时间为他辩护——实际上相当于开案陈词。参议院随后决定是否听取证人的证词,以及如果听取,是让证人当庭作证,还是提交作证录像带。最终,参议院允许双方分别对七名证人以录制录像带的方式进行庭外取证。

The rules adopted by the Senate in the Clinton trial — including limiting the number of witnesses and the length of depositions — made it harder to prove a case compared with trials in federal court, said former Representative Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican who served as a House manager during the trial and is also a former United States attorney.

参议院在对克林顿的审讯中采用的规则——包括限制证人数量和口供证词长度——让该案更难与联邦法庭上的审讯相提并论,曾在那场审讯中担任众议院检控干事的前佐治亚州共和党众议员鲍勃·巴尔(Bob Barr)说。巴尔还是一名前联邦检察官。

“Impeachment is a creature unto itself,” Mr. Barr said. “The jury in a criminal case doesn’t set the rules for a case and can’t decide what evidence they want to see and what they won’t.”

“弹劾是自成一体的,”巴尔说。“刑事案件中的陪审团不会为案件制定规则,也不能决定他们想要看或者不想要看什么样的证据。”

What are the standards?

标准是怎样的?

The Constitution says a president allows impeachment and removal for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” But no controlling authority serves as a check on how lawmakers choose to interpret that standard, which makes it as much a question of political will as of legal analysis.

宪法规定,可以弹劾或罢免犯有“叛国罪、受贿罪和或其他严重罪行和不检行为”的总统。但没有哪个监管机构能对议员们选择如何解释该标准加以制约,从而让它变成了一个既关乎法律分析又关乎政治意愿的问题。

In the case of Mr. Clinton’s trial, for example, Robert Byrd, a Democratic senator from West Virginia at the time, told his colleagues that he thought Mr. Clinton was clearly guilty of perjury but that removing him from office was a bad idea.

以克林顿案中的审讯为例,当时的西弗吉尼亚州民主党参议员罗伯特·伯德(Robert Byrd)告诉同僚,他认为克林顿显然犯有伪证罪,但将其解职是一个糟糕的主意。

“To drop the sword of Damocles now, given the bitter political partisanship surrounding this entire matter, would only serve to further undermine a public trust that is too much damaged already,” he said. “Therefore, I will reluctantly vote to acquit.”

“鉴于整件事引发了党派之间严重的政治分歧,现在就让达摩克利斯之剑落下,只会进一步损害早已千疮百孔的公信力,”他说。“因此,虽然不太情愿,我还是会投无罪票。”

Mr. Clinton was impeached by a Congress in which the opposition party controlled both the House and the Senate. In Mr. Trump’s case, his party controls both chambers, making it more politically unappealing for them to vote to impeach him.

弹劾克林顿的是一个参众两院都由反对党把持的国会。而特朗普面对的情况是,两院均在他所属的党派掌控之中,这让他们很难产生弹劾他的政治意愿。

What about the 25th Amendment?

第二十五修正案是怎么回事?

Adopted in 1967, the 25th Amendment provides another mechanism for removing a president. It is geared toward dealing with a president who becomes disabled from carrying out the duties of the office, as opposed to presidential lawbreaking.

1967年生效的第二十五修正案提供了另一种解除总统职务的机制。它适于应对总统无法履行职责而非违反法律的情况。

Under its procedures, if both the vice president and a majority of the cabinet tell Congress that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the vice president immediately becomes the acting president. If the president contests that finding, but two-thirds of both chambers of Congress side with the vice president, he remains the acting president for the remainder of the term.

按照其规定,如果副总统和内阁的大多数成员都向国会表示,“总统无法行使职权和履行职责”,副总统便可立即成为代总统。如果总统对这一结论提出异议,但两院有三分之二的议员站在副总统这边,那么副总统仍然可在余下的任期内担任代总统。

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