The US House of Representatives has voted to impeach Donald Trump by 230 to 197 on the 1st count of Abuse of Power and 229 to 198 on Obstruction of Power.
The only two other President to be impeached were Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Also Richard Nixon was about to be impeached before he resigned.
How justified has each impeachment been? Here’s my scoring:
- Andrew Johnson 2/10. All he did was ignore a clearly unconstitutional law saying he couldn’t fire a Cabinet Secretary. It should have been resolved in the Courts. Other charges were making speeches inciting hostility to Congress. Ridicolous.
- Richard Nixon 8/10. He covered up a criminal break in designed to help him politically, and used his office to try and do so.
- Bill Clinton 6/10. He lied under oath. That is a serious offence. However it was about something basically unrelated to his office – a sexual affair. So a line call, but on balance a reasonable impeachment.
- Donald Trump 9/10. Using your office to suspend congressionally approved military aid to a valuable US ally to pressure them to smear your domestic opponent is as close to a 10/10 as you can get. Worse unlike Clinton and Nixon who admit wrongdoing, Trump thinks it was fine.
Sadly the partisan nature of US politics today means the trial in the Senate is a formality. I supported Clinton’s impeachment not because he was a Democrat but because he lied under oath. Trump’s actions are so much worse I don’t see how anyone can support the Clinton impeachment but not Trump’s. Sure you can oppose both or support both, but you’d have to be wildly partisan to support Clinton’s and oppose Trump’s.
Feel free to give your own scores in the comments as to how you would score out of 10 the validity of the four “impeachments”.