Congress, Impeachment, and Constitutional Redemption

George Thomas is Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions and Director of the Salvatori Center at Claremont McKenna College. On January 6th President Trump urged his supporters to violently storm Congress while it was in the process of formally counting the electoral votes that would recognize Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. Let’s be exquisitely clear about a few things. The President called for a violent attack on another branch of government. He did so in an effort, however feeble, to keep himself in power despite having lost the election. For the first time in American … Continue reading Congress, Impeachment, and Constitutional Redemption

Impeachment Beats the Alternatives

Congress seems split, mostly but not entirely on partisan lines, between two alternatives: removing Donald Trump immediately or getting the nation across the January 20 finish line on a wing and a prayer. The problem is that the wing and prayer are also predicated on bad precedents. The most ominous of these was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about, in her words, “preventing an unhinged president from using the nuclear codes.” That kind of interference from Congress in the military chain of command is a dicey precedent. These are, … Continue reading Impeachment Beats the Alternatives