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What Qualifies a President for Impeachment?

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jul. 19, 2018


During the past 18 months of Donald Trump’s presidency, there have been national conversations about whether or not he should be impeached. There are organized efforts to move the idea forward, including the group Need to Impeach, which recently visited Utah. Utah State University associate professor of politics, Michael Lyons said the United States’ Constitution contains almost no information about what actions qualify a government official for impeachment. ... In the whole of the constitution, there is one sentence about impeachment qualifications. It reads, “The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” “When you throw high crimes together with misdemeanors it becomes really confusing,” Lyons said. ... A United States president has never been successfully removed from office through impeachment. Out of the 44 men to hold presidential office, only eight have ever faced impeachment. ... Lyons said it is important that the concept of impeachment isn’t trivialized. ... “It demeans the Constitution, it devalues the Constitution, to regard things in the Constitution lightly, and to make the constitution a weapon in partisan politics. That’s not what the framers had in mind when they designed the constitution-- they wanted it to be the supreme law of the land. They wanted it to define what United State Government is,” Lyons said. For those who do want to remove the president from office, Lyons says the best solution is to vote accordingly.



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