HIGH CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS - A History and Analysis of Impeachment for the Age of Trump - 7 weeks
S 2020


The Donald Trump Impeachment is over, or is it?  This SDG is a historical and analytical look at the process of Impeachment from its inception in the monarchies of Europe (Britain in the1300's), debate in the constitutional convention after the Revolutionary War, the Federalist Papers, the final product in the U.S. Constitution thru Donald Trump and beyond.  The SDG will include all facets of Impeachment in the United States, including Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump.  Finally, we will discuss if the process is effective as envisioned by the founding fathers and where it may evolve in today's highly partisan country.

Weekly Topics

Week One:  How to Interpret the Constitutions Impeachment Clauses .  British Impeachments (1376-1787), American Impeachments before 1787. 

Week Two:  The Founders' Impeachment, Impeaching Legislators and Lesser Executive Branch Officials, Impeachment of Judges.

Week Three:  Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.  The south has lost the civil war, Abraham Lincoln has been assigned and Andrew Johnson is now president.  Presidential succession issue in 1865 (U.S. Constitution and Johnson was an accidental president).  Appointment of U.S. Senators, not then elected.  Reconstruction issues.  Lincoln's cabinet remains and issues between Johnson and congress.  Civil Rights Bill of 1866.  Veto of Military Reconstruction Act, Impeachment and trial of Johnson (the trial in the senate of Andrew Johnson set the stage for the trials of Presidents Clinton and Trump).

Week Four:  The Fall of President Richard M. Nixon Richard.  

Week Five:  The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. 

Week Six:  The Trump Era: The Scope of Impeachable Presidential Conduct, Impeachment for Obstruction of Justice, Impeachment for Abuse of pardon Power, Impeachment for Lying, Impeachment for Obstruction of Congress, Impeachment for Corruption (Schemes of Perculation, the Emoluments Clauses and Avaricious President), the Twenty-fifth Amendment as an Alternative to Impeachment.

Week Seven:  Impeaching Donald Trump and an open discussion of where the state of Presidential Impeachment is as a political tool in these times of high charged partisan times. 


Bowman III, Frank O., High Crimes and Misdemeanors, A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump. Cambridge University Press 2019; Jon Meacham on Andrew Johnson, Timothy Naftali on Richard Nixon, Peter Baker on Bill Clinton and Jeffrey A. Engel on the Constitution and Donald Trump, Impeachment, An American History, Modern Library, New York 2018; Selected Sections of the Federalist Papers, U.S. Constitution and various articles to be provided in pdf format.