Impeachment during a not normal presidency
Pics from the Clinton (upper left) and Nixon impeachments
This is a not normal presidency, so expect a not normal impeachment process when the House impeachment public hearings kick off tomorrow.
The big picture: "There are consistencies in the process — televised hearings, partisan rancor and memorable speeches — but each impeachment process also stands alone," the AP reports in a useful "then and now" preview.
- The Clinton and Nixon hearings featured evidence from special prosecutors and followed extensive law enforcement investigations.
- The Trump hearings feature the House Intelligence Committee assembling its case in the absence of a special prosecutor or Justice Department investigation.
- The Nixon hearings featured Senate hearings that included the famous question, "What did the president know and when did he know it?
- For the Trump hearings, expect the fireworks in the House, where Democrats run the show. Plenty of witnesses have already gone behind closed doors, with the public rounds starting tomorrow.
- Nixon resigned in the face of likely Senate conviction, and multiple Senate Republicans told him conviction was coming.
- For Trump, not a single House Republican voted yes on the proxy vote for an impeachment inquiry, and it's hard to fathom Senate Republicans voting to convict.
- Clinton apologized for his actions, and Nixon complied with a Supreme Court order to turn over evidence.
- Trump has called the Ukraine call that launched the inquiry "perfect," and his administration has refused to cooperate with the inquiry.