Live from Capitol Hill

The Guardian Live is reporting on the impeachment.

Jerry Nadler talked about the history of impeachment:

[Andrew] Johnson, who took office after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was the first president to be impeached but was narrowly acquitted by the Senate.

Johnson’s impeachment ostensibly centered on his violation of the Tenure of Office Act, a law that was later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

But Johnson’s impeachment was actually the culmination of the president’s bitter feud with Republican lawmakers, who accused Johnson of trying to nullify the Union’s victory in the Civil War by being lenient toward former Confederate leaders and opposing the expansion of political rights for former slaves.

Reconstruction failed, and former slaves continued to be lynched, arbitrarily imprisoned and thus re-enslaved, denied rights, confined to bad jobs, bad housing, and bad schools, for another damn century. This stuff matters.

Nadler quoted Dershowitz.

As Bill Clinton faced removal from office in 1998, Dershowitz said of the constitutional standard for impeachment, “It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime.”


He also had a gotcha moment for Lindsey Graham.

Nadler just played this 1999 clip of then-congressman Lindsey Graham, who served as an impeachment manager during Bill Clinton’s trial.

“What’s a high crime?” Graham said at the time. “How about if an important person hurts somebody of low means? It’s not very scholarly. But I think it’s the truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime.”


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