Democrats are echoing the worst impeachment in American history — the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868 — by drafting an article of impeachment that accuses President Donald Trump of “abuse of power.”
The Washington Post reported Monday evening that, barely hours after the first and last hearing in the House Judiciary Committee to consider the evidence against the president, with no fact witnesses, Democrats were preparing two articles of impeachment. The first concerned “abuse of power,” and the second concerned “obstruction of justice.” (Articles alleging “bribery” and “obstruction of justice” were apparently dropped.)
The argument for “abuse of power” is flimsy and draws on the worst possible precedent. Left-wing legal scholar Cass Sunstein, a former Obama administration official, actually argued in his 2017 book Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide that “abuse of power” is an impossibly broad standard: “Almost every American president has, on more than one occasion, passed the bounds of his power, in the sense that his administration has done something that it is not lawfully entitled to do.” The House Judiciary Committee staff andrew johnson pollak breitbart, prepared entirely by Democrats, cites Sunstein’s book but ignores that passage. Similarly, the staff report ignored liberal legal scholar Jonathan Turley, who testified before the committee last week that its “abuse of power” standard would apply to every president.