Legal aspects of impeachment, written by a famous American lawyer. It’s a little-known clause in the constitution, designed to keep a balance of power, and so far, three presidents have been seriously in danger of impeachment before Trump (Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton). Impeachment is designed for serious misuse of presidential powers against the benefit of the country, not for small crimes, and definitely not for just disliking his policies.
The rationale for impeachment was to keep a separation of power, to prevent the president from neglecting his duties or use his powers to oust political opponents. But since impeachment is so disruptive, and the president is gone in four years anyways, the standards to impeach are quite high, requiring a majority of the house of commons and two-thirds of the senate. Still, the original constitution is quite vague about what is an impeachable offense, so there’s a lot of legal gray areas, and people debate about whether it really matters what the original constitution writers intended.
The author emphasizes that impeachment is a legal matter (has the president committed acts that are worthy of impeachment as defined in the constitution), and should not be affected by whether you like the president or not. The book also doesn’t say much about the current situation with Trump and only briefly touches upon the Mueller report and accusations. The author takes a neutral stance on whether Trump should be impeached.
The book’s point of view seems quite odd to me, maybe even naive. By diving deep into the legal aspects, the author goes on and on about legal technicalities and the precise interpretation of the constitution. He ignores the politics, urging us to remain neutral and not let your opinions of the president cloud your judgement. But there’s clearly a large gap between the letter of the law and what’s happening in reality: in every impeachment trial so far, the opposing party has always voted much more in favor of impeachment than the supporting party. I don’t think it makes sense to ignore politics and economics, which is important for understanding what’s going on in America.