Pres. Gerald Ford once said, when he was Speaker of the House, "that impeachment is what Congress says it is.” Whether he meant that literally, we do not know, but what we do know is that our forefathers wanted impeachment to be for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 65, described impeachable offenses as arising from "the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust. Hamilton wanted the impeachment bar to be so high that it would prevent politicians from using small crimes to remove the president or other federal officials from office. In other words, under normal circumstances the American voter would remove the president from office at voting time.

So, let’s see what impeachment really is. Congress has the Articles of Impeachment, they vote on it, if they have enough votes, the president is impeached and it goes to Senate where the Senate will hold a trial. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside where 100 senators will vote — it takes a two-thirds majority to be able to remove the president from office, that decision will be final.

It’s safe to say, that our forefathers never thought government would be ran by such political hacks and we would always have a matter of honor and a sense of fair play

If Donald Trump is impeached, he will only be the third president to actually be impeached in the history of our great country. The first was Andrew Johnson who was Lincoln’s vice president and succeeded the president. The second was Bill Clinton.

Remember president Nixon was never actually impeached, he resigned, before Congress could vote. In Nixon’s case, I personally never thought it rose to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, however it was a fair hearing.

Andrew Johnson was not really liked and the impeachment was underway by February 24, 1868. He was a very cantankerous person, but what brought it to a head was he fired the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Stanton then barricade himself in his office and was forcibly removed. Sec. Stanton felt that he couldn’t be fired by the President, because he was approved by Congress and felt that he could only be fired by Congress.  Congress agreed, so that’s what started impeachment.

Ron McGinley,


(1) comment


Hate to disagree with Mr. McGinley, but what sparked the Nixon impeachment was his involvement in the Watergate burglary and after that his attempts to cover it up. That is definitely "high crimes and misdemeanors." A little information about the Articles of impeachment put together by the House Judiciary Committee in the Nixon case. From Landmark

Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon in 1974

RESOLVED, That Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. . . .

Article One: making false or misleading statement to delay, cover up, or conceal evidence relating to the Watergate break-ins by:

making false and misleading statements to the government and the people

withholding information

allowing/encouraging witnesses to give false or misleading statements

attempting to interfere with FBI and other investigations into the break-ins

allowing secret payments to influence witnesses

attempting to misuse the CIA

leaking information about the investigation to help the accused

insinuating that people who refuse to testify against him or who give false testimony will receive favors

Article Two: . . . for having engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens . . . and impairing the due and proper administration of justice . . . by:

using confidential tax return information to initiate tax audits in a discriminatory manner

misusing the FBI, Secret Service, and other government employees by allowing their information to be used for purposes other than national security or the enforcement of laws

allowing a secret investigative unit within his office

using campaign contributions and the CIA in an attempt to sway the fair trial process

has failed in faithfully executing the law

knowingly misusing the executive power by interfering with agencies within the executive branch

Article Three: . . . has willfully disobeyed the subpoenas of and failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and information for the House Judiciary Committee . . . assuming to himself the functions and judgments given to the House of Representatives by the Constitution.

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