How To Impeach A President

Pro-Impeachment anti-war protester 2007We haven’t had a good old fashioned presidential impeachment since the 20th century, so just in case y’all forgot, here’s how courtesy of Vox:

Last weekend, the South Dakota Republican Party voted to call for the impeachment of President Obama. It seems to be the first official adoption of impeachment as policy by a state GOP organization, but it’s the latest example that parts of the conservative base are yearning for it. Since Republican leaders aren’t on board, impeachment seems unlikely to actually happen unless some major new scandal emerges. But — just in case — here’s how the process actually works.

The Constitution says that the president can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” But many have argued that the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is really up to the House to decide. When Gerald Ford was House Minority Leader, he said, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” And as a practical matter, he’s absolutely right. If the House wants to vote to impeach the president, it doesn’t seem that anyone can stop it from doing so — the Constitution says it has “the sole Power of Impeachment.”

However, in our two 20th-century examples where Congress seriously weighed impeachment — for Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton — they did so only after dramatic revelations from preexisting investigations. For Nixon, a select Senate committee had been investigating his campaign’s potential involvement in the Watergate break-ins, leading to the sensational revelation of a White House taping system and Nixon’s firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox. For Clinton, independent counsel Ken Starr had been operating a years-long investigation into various sprawling matters, until he finally filed a report alleging that Clinton had lied under oath and obstructed justice to prevent his affair with Monica Lewinsky from becoming known. So would-be impeachers have needed some body to build their case first — such as, for instance, a select committee on Benghazi…

[continues at Vox]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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18 Comments on "How To Impeach A President"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Jun 30, 2014 at 5:55 pm |

    Is it just me, or does that lady have a really long neck?

  2. For what? It’s not like he’s gotten an extra marital BJ or something world shatteringly important like that.

    • JackiBoldenypt | Jul 2, 2014 at 10:19 am |

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  3. This site and salacious imagery …

  4. erte4wt4etrg | Jun 30, 2014 at 8:55 pm |

    Its the thought that counts

  5. misinformation | Jul 1, 2014 at 2:20 am |

    Article about impeaching the president…5 of 7 comments concerned about lady’s neck…that seems about right to me.

    • Anarchy Pony | Jul 1, 2014 at 10:40 am |

      4. But hey, numbers are hard.

      • misinformation | Jul 1, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

        I see five, all posted before mine. Maybe disqus got the timing wrong? Maybe I did make a mistake? Probably not on either of those, though. There’s no maybe about you being a dick, however. That, over substance, seems to be par-for-the-course when I read your posts.

        ‘But hey’, at least you’re consistent, if not substantive.

    • They’ve been trying to impeach Obama since before he was inaugurated the first time. Yawn*

      • misinformation | Jul 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm |

        I suppose that is boring as opposed to the aesthetics of a woman’s neck…

  6. MarrianneClancyano | Jul 1, 2014 at 6:39 am |

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  7. DeepCough | Jul 1, 2014 at 8:10 am |

    I don’t see an impeachment of Barack Obama, because by the time the House of Representatives gets its shit together, he’ll already be out of office.

    • By the time the House gets its shit together, it’ll be the second coming of Christ.

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