Nov 12, 2019

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.

Investigations:

  • 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.

Hearings:

  • 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.

Partisanship:

  • 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.

Cooperation:

  • 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.

Go deeper: GOP to argue Trump's "state of mind" on impeachment

Go deeper

Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

2 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.