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The Intractable Politics of Impeachment: New at Reason

The litany of potentially impeachable offenses by Donald Trump grows longer by the day from the possible violations of the foreign emoluments heartsmindears via Foterclause to firing a sitting FBI director investigating the “Russia thing.” And while the talk of using the 25th Amendment option to remove him from office is nuts and counterproductive, Trump has offered more than enough fodder for an investigation that could potentially result in his impeachment.

But Republicans control Congress and are afraid to proceed aggressively not because they love their president, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia, but because they are afraid of their base. Had Democrats been in control, they could have hidden behind them as they pursued Trump, saving both the republic and Republicans from this disastrous presidency. She notes:

Illegal behavior by the president is only a necessary condition for impeachment. It is not sufficient. For that, you likely need divided government. The politics of impeachment are much more tractable when the same party doesn’t control all branches of government.


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