•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Nixon, Clinton, Trump: Why is the political 'fire extinguisher' of impeachment more common?

13:45  07 december  2019
13:45  07 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

House Judiciary Panel Asks Trump if He Will Present Impeachment Defense

  House Judiciary Panel Asks Trump if He Will Present Impeachment Defense The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee asked President Trump on Friday whether he intends to mount a defense during the committee’s consideration of impeachment articles, setting a deadline of next Friday for Mr. Trump and his lawyers to decide if they will present evidence or call witnesses. In a letter to the president, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the committee chairman, said Mr. Trump has the right to review the evidence against him, ask questions of his accusers during public hearings that begin next week and present evidence and request witness testimony.

Nixon , Clinton , Trump : Why is the political ' fire extinguisher ' of impeachment more common ? Michael Collins. The impeachment investigation into Trump was sparked by charges that he pressured Ukraine to announce an investigation into a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden

If impeachment of the president is always a match, today it is dropping into a much larger pool of gasoline than it did under President Richard Nixon or even President Bill Clinton .

WASHINGTON – No American president had been impeached since Andrew Johnson a century earlier when the House launched formal impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon in the fall of 1973.

But once the door to impeachment was flung back open, it would reopen again and again.

Three presidents – Nixon, Bill Clinton and, now, Donald Trump – have faced impeachment inquiries in just the past four decades.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Trump says Democrats 'not nice!' for holding impeachment hearings while he's overseas — but GOP did same to Clinton

  Trump says Democrats 'not nice!' for holding impeachment hearings while he's overseas — but GOP did same to Clinton In 1998, House Republicans conducted impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton while he was on several overseas trips, just like House Democrats will do this week.Trump accused Democrats in a tweet of "purposely" scheduling the first House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment against him for Wednesday, saying that was "not nice!"

The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton

Nixon thereupon ordered that Cox be fired , precipitating the immediate departures of Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William After that , with most of the members already on record as having voted once against impeachment , it would have been extremely difficult to get them

Nixon resigned in 1974 to avoid almost certain impeachment. Clinton earned a dubious place in history in 1998 by becoming only the second president to be impeached. All signs point to Trump soon becoming the third impeached president following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement on Thursday that Democrats would proceed with articles of impeachment.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump during a NATO meeting in London. © NICHOLAS KAMM, AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump during a NATO meeting in London.

Impeachment, an extraordinary constitutional punishment used only once against an errant president during the first two centuries of the republic, has evolved into a more habitual part of contemporary political discourse.

Why?

The answer, scholars say, lies in the no-holds-barred nature of modern-day partisan warfare, the idiosyncrasies of American political campaigns and the desire to rein in presidents as the executive branch’s powers have expanded.

Trump says impeachment inquiry is a 'hoax' being used for political gain

  Trump says impeachment inquiry is a 'hoax' being used for political gain Trump says impeachment inquiry is a 'hoax' being used for political gainDemocrats have been looking into Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, the former U.S. vice president who is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the 2020 election, and his son Hunter Biden, who was a board member of a Ukrainian energy company.

had feared the political consequences of impeaching a president many of them long ago concluded was unfit Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached but later acquitted by the For the past two years, talk of impeachment had centered around the findings of the special At issue are allegations that Mr. Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to open a corruption

Americans are more eager to impeach Trump now than they were at similar points in the impeachment sagas of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon . Right now, you could argue that we're already at that point with Trump . This, of course, is one of the key differences with the politics of

“Impeachment, although it is a constitutional process, is evidence in some ways that the system has failed and we need to resort to extraordinary remedies,” said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“Impeachment is the fire extinguisher on the wall,” Baker said. “But it’s better not to have the fire.”

In Trump’s case, House Democratic leaders argue that while they recognize impeachment is extraordinary, his actions – urging a foreign government to investigate a political rival – were so egregious that he left them no choice but to pursue an impeachment investigation. Trump accuses Democrats of pursuing a partisan witch hunt through the impeachment inquiry.

'A decent set of chaps'

When the Constitution was written, some of the framers of the document resisted including an impeachment clause. “There was a thought you didn’t need impeachment because you had elections,” said Frank Bowman, a law professor at the University of Missouri and the author of a book on presidential impeachment.

This impeachment is too complicated to win over independent voters. That should worry Democrats

  This impeachment is too complicated to win over independent voters. That should worry Democrats What every single House Democrat knows but has refused to say publicly was conveniently published in the New York Times on Wednesday morning. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Caroline Fredrickson, a lawyer who worked at the White House during Bill Clinton's impeachment, rightly observed in an op-ed that the Democrats' case against President Trump is exhausting in its obscurity.

Why do the Johnson, Nixon and Clinton examples offer us so little direct help today? Johnson’s defiance provoked the House to swiftly pass 11 articles of impeachment , most of which dealt As for the political questions— are impeachment and conviction possible? —the narrowness of Johnson’s

There are many reasons, but part of the explanation comes down to timing.

But delegates to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia adopted the impeachment clause after much debate because they feared that someday it might be necessary to remove a president from office.

It wasn’t until Johnson nearly a hundred years later that presidential impeachment would be put to the test.

The unpopular 17th president was impeached by the House in 1868 after a bruising fight with Congress over his post-Civil War Reconstruction policies and his removal of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Thirty-five senators voted to find him guilty of the charges – a single vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction and removal from office.

No other president would face possible impeachment until Nixon got entangled in the Watergate scandal. One reason, Bowman said, is that all of the presidents between Johnson and Nixon “were a pretty decent set of chaps.”

Some may have been mediocre, and others may have downright lousy at their jobs. But, “by and large, the presidents were a pretty good lot and didn’t do the kind of stuff the framers would think of as being impeachable,” Bowman said.

Nancy Pelosi did what no one else could (opinion)

  Nancy Pelosi did what no one else could (opinion) For all the talk of an Imperial Presidency, with her announcement on impeachment, Speaker Pelosi has just reminded Americans that when they have the power and the will, congressional majorities can still respond with force and vigor to a President who listens to no one, writes Julian Zelizer.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has brought the impeachment inquiry to its final phase. In her press conference Thursday morning, she announced that the Judiciary Committee will begin drafting articles of impeachment.

In both the Nixon and the Clinton cases, the House Judiciary Committee first held an investigation and What are the standards for impeachment and removal? The Constitution does not specify many , making impeachment and removal as much a question of political will as of legal analysis.

“ Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. So for Nixon , it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton , that phase was This is “ The Daily.” Today: The House Intelligence Committee has released its impeachment

Richard Nixon sitting on a table: President Richard M. Nixon points to the transcripts of White House tapes after he announced during a nationally-televised speech on April 29, 1974, that he would turn over the documents to House impeachment investigators. He resigned less than four months later to avoid almost certain impeachment. © AP President Richard M. Nixon points to the transcripts of White House tapes after he announced during a nationally-televised speech on April 29, 1974, that he would turn over the documents to House impeachment investigators. He resigned less than four months later to avoid almost certain impeachment.

Personality-driven campaigns

Nixon represented a new era that would continue with Clinton and Trump.

The scandal that led to Nixon's resignation began with a 1972 break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel by five men who were later revealed to have ties to the president's reelection campaign.

An extramarital affair and charges that he lied under oath would trigger the case against Clinton, who was impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.

The impeachment investigation into Trump was sparked by charges that he pressured Ukraine to announce an investigation into a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

“We happen to be in a period in which the people who secure the presidential nominations in elections are more problematic,” Baker said.

He blames some of that on the nation’s personality-driven presidential campaigns.

Just how fast is this impeachment progressing, anyway?

  Just how fast is this impeachment progressing, anyway? Presidential impeachments are rare enough that there isn't really a standard.“Fast is not good for impeachment,” the George Washington University law professor said. “Narrow, fast impeachments have failed. Just ask Johnson.” Turley was referring to President Andrew Johnson, who was impeached by the House in 1868. More on him in a bit.

The summer of 1998 was not an auspicious time for me to start work as a young White House lawyer. I was in the Office of Legislative Affairs — but all legislative work had ground to a halt with President Bill Clinton facing impeachment in the House.

“ Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal As the House drafted articles of impeachment , Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign So for Nixon , it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton , that phase was just

Slideshow by photo services

“When you are looking at potential presidents, what we know about them mostly is what they tell us about themselves,” Baker said. “Even though journalists and scholars try to make some appraisals of them, self-presentation turns out to be an incredibly important thing, and some people are just preternaturally gifted at presenting themselves without blemishes.

“Even those who have multiple blemishes, like Donald Trump, basically have a good line of self-promotion.”

University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt, who has written books on impeachment, offers another theory. Though impeachment is still rare, it’s happening to more presidents because more people are watching their every move, he said.

“The presidency itself is covered more closely (by the press), scrutinized more closely and held potentially more accountable,” said Gerhardt, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Trump's actions were worse than the misconduct of any prior president.

Perhaps more than anything, Bowman said, the rise of hyperpartisanship has fueled the recent push for presidential impeachments.

When Nixon faced impeachment, the Democratic and Republican parties each included liberals and conservatives among their ranks. Nixon, in fact, had been counting on the support of Southern Democrats to keep him in office but was forced to face reality – and, ultimately, resignation – as their support crumbled.

Political parties in the post-Nixon era are characterized more by ideological purity than diversity, which breeds fierce partisan warfare in which the goal is to take down the other party’s leader, Bowman said.

“Success or failure becomes defined as the rise or fall of your ideological faction led by the president,” he said.

Expansion of presidential powers

Over the last century, multiple presidents have expanded the president’s powers – from Teddy Roosevelt’s reliance on executive orders to carry out much of his progressive agenda, Woodrow Wilson’s heavy involvement in international affairs during World War I, and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms that gave rise to a large bureaucracy headed by the president.

Bowman and others suggest there may be a correlation between the increase in presidential powers and the renewed interest of impeachment as a way to keep the president in check.

The tussle between the White House and Congress over presidential powers escalated when Nixon defied a congressional subpoena to turn over White House tapes, transcripts and other documents during the Watergate hearings.

The matter would eventually end up in the courts, and Nixon would lose. In a decision that limited a president’s powers to claim executive privilege, the Supreme Court ruled on July 24, 1974, that Nixon had to turn over the requested documents.

Hillary Clinton et al. looking at the camera: First lady Hillary Clinton looks on as President Bill Clinton makes a statement at the White House on Dec. 19, 1998, thanking Democratic House members who voted against impeachment and vowing to complete his term. © Susan Walsh, AP First lady Hillary Clinton looks on as President Bill Clinton makes a statement at the White House on Dec. 19, 1998, thanking Democratic House members who voted against impeachment and vowing to complete his term.

Another landmark ruling came during Clinton’s presidency when the Supreme Court decided on May 27, 1997, that a sitting president cannot be immune from civil lawsuits filed against him or her for acts committed before taking office. The decision cleared the way for Paula Jones, who claimed Clinton had propositioned her, to proceed with a lawsuit against Clinton while he was still president.

“For some conservatives, they have wanted to push back on these judicial decisions which they have thought cut back on the president’s power,” Gerhardt said.

Hence, Trump has refused to hand over records to House Democrats and has tried to block top administration officials from testifying before House committees leading the impeachment inquiry against him.

In partisan warfare, impeachment can be a way to expose alleged misbehavior or wrongdoing even when there’s little chance that it will end with a president’s removal from office, Bowman said.

“That’s what we’re going to see here (with Trump),” he said. “Unless a miracle occurs, we’re not going to remove Trump as a result of this process. Impeach him? Yes. Remove him? No.”

Michael Collins covers the White House. Reach him @mcollinsNEWS.

Trump impeachment: Read Volker aide Christopher Anderson's testimony to Congress

Trump impeachment testimony: Read the transcript of Fiona Hill's testimony in the Trump impeachment inquiry

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nixon, Clinton, Trump: Why is the political 'fire extinguisher' of impeachment more common?

Impeachment disaster only going to get worse for Democrats .
The American public is not buying the impeachment farce. That is fact.It’s hard to argue that, to date, the combination of the Democrats in the House controlling the process, coupled with coverage from the mainstream media, is anything other than a drumbeat that the facts are horrible for the president, that they demand impeachment, and failure to impeach is nothing short of constitutional malfeasance.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 4
This is interesting!