This is not a column about impeaching the current president. This is a column about the impeachment process and the history of the route our nation is obliged to follow to oust a federal official.
In the 231 years since the U.S. Constitution was ratified, Congress has seriously considered impeachment only a handful of times, just 19 to be exact. Most of the cases involved federal judges accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors” like being habitually drunk, showing blatant favoritism on the bench, using the office to enrich themselves, committing perjury or filing false expense accounts or tax returns.
Only three impeachment cases have involved a president. Andrew Johnson, 1868, and Bill Clinton, 1998, were officially impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted during the required trial in the Senate. In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned ahead of his inevitable impeachment.
Note a gap of more than a hundred years between the Johnson and Nixon impeachment proceedings. Today, many Americans are old enough to be enduring the third painful presidential impeachment drama in their lifetime: Nixon, Clinton and now Trump.
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