Impeachment, Donald Trump and Ukraine Extortion
66 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 12, 2020
For only the third time in the nation’s history, the decade of the 2020s begins with impeachment of a U.S. president. The first three years of the Trump presidency is characterized by: incitement of rampant political and racial polarization; multiple lies to the public on a daily basis from the president and administration; unprecedented cabinet and high level administrative personnel turnover; multiple convictions and sentencing of high level election campaign and administrative officials for crimes sounding in bribery and corruption; an investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections; continuous violations of the Constitutional emoluments clause… and the list continues.
Donald Trump’s presidency proves so divisive that talk about his impeachment begins immediately as the Democratic Party reclaims control of the House of representatives following the 2018 mid-term elections. Just a day after conclusion of the Mueller investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference, President Trump calls the president of Ukraine and requests an investigation into his political rival Joseph Biden in exchange for release of nearly $400 million of congressional mandated military aid. As another Constitutional crisis looms large over the Trump Presidency, now is a good time to examine the history and role of impeachment, how it works, likely outcome, and implications for the future.
Keywords: bribery, Bill Clinton, constitutional law, equal protection, emoluments, extortion, high crimes and misdemeanors, Andrew Johnson, Mueller investigation, Richard Nixon, obstruction of justice, pardon power, presidential impeachment, removal, treason, Donald Trump, Ukraine
JEL Classification: K10, K39, K40, K41, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation