Past impeachments, products of their times, often produced unintended consequences

There have been five impeachment processes in U.S. history, each leaving a significant impact on the direction of national politics. The impeachment inquiry against President Biden, focusing on his actions as vice-president, would be the sixth.

Historical insights: Nixon’s resignation before a formal House vote is the only impeachment process that drove a president from office.
* The comparison highlighted that impeachments are largely products of political circumstances as much as the specific “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Impeachments’ impact: The impeachment proceedings against former President Trump in 2019 and 2021 were characterized by a toxic partisan environment.
* The first impeachment was focused on delayed military aid to Ukraine dependence on a “favor.”
* Trump’s impeachment in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capital still affects politics as Trump’s impeachments continue to be significant because he considers them as badges of grievance.

Clinton’s case: The last president impeached before Trump was Bill Clinton, over evidence of a sexual affair which yielded accusations of lying to a federal grand jury and obstructing the special counsel’s investigation.
* Clinton remained popular in polls to the end of his second term in 2001, despite the impeachment.

Looking further back: Andrew Johnson’s impeachment in 1868 was driven by the context of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the American Civil War.
* A feud with the hardcore Northern senators who sought to punish the South after the Civil War led to Johnson’s impeachment.

View original article on NPR

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