Expert Says Big Themes of Presidential Impeachments: “Treason, Bribery and High Crimes and Misdemeanors”

An author and presidential historian joins Jake Neher to dissect the historical impact and legacy of presidential impeachments throughout American history.

“It’s very intimidating.” Those were the words of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as she testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee as part of its public impeachment inquiry hearings last week. She was referring to tweets the president himself was posting as the testimony was unfolding on live TV. The tweets attacked Yovanovitch personally and professionally. Some have said since that the tweets amount to witness tampering.

“I contend that no matter which person won the election in 2016, we would be talking about impeachment.” – Jeffrey Engel, author

Detroit Today guest host Jake Neher is joined by Jeffrey Engel director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University to talk about the history of impeachment and how the current inquiry fits into the larger context. Engel is also the author of the book, “Impeachment: An American History.”

“I contend that no matter which person won the election in 2016, we would be talking about impeachment,” says Engel, who notes that the nature of the 2016 election overall was “extraordinary.” Engel, who has looked at presidential impeachments throughout American history, says it is important to “remember at the end of the day, American politics, like all things are a pendulum.”

Among the legal themes that tend to accompany impeachments, Engel says there are usually one of three offenses involved: “treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Click on the player to hear the full conversation between Jake Neher and author Jeffrey Engel.




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