Cheat Sheet Q&A: What would Trump have to do to be impeached?
Today's entry: Brian, here's a potentially dumb question for you. I know the impeachment talk is absurd at this point but what would actually have to surface for him to be potentially impeached?
Bottom Line: You're right that impeachment talk is absurd without the President having been proven to have done anything impeachable. The hysteria does have the potential to be helpful. You can use it as a barometer of what politicians in Washington retain no credibility (along with their friends in the media). If you look at it that way it can actually be instructive.
So what does have to happen to have an impeachable offense? For any federal official, not just he President, the standard is " high crimes and misdemeanors". I'm guessing that really doesn't clear a whole lot up. Articles of impeachment are included in article two in the US Constitution. There's a lot to it but here's a summation statement: perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, and refusal to obey a lawful order. Making it more challenging is that the United States Supreme Court ruled that these must be interpreted under the intent at the time our our Constitution's founding - not modern interpretation (that would mean, for example, that a Tweet about something wouldn't apply).
It's instructive that we've had 45 President's, partisanship so intense that we had a civil war, and yet only two President's have been impeached (Andrew Jackson & Bill Clinton) by the House and no President's have been ousted by the Senate. So there's lot of room for interpretation on what might be impeachable but the threshold is extremely high and there actually has to be a concluded investigation proving impropriety along those somewhat subjective lines. Those calling for Trump's impeachment at this stage haven't just "jumped the shark", they've lost their minds.
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