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Trump’s ‘scandalous harangues’ are an impeachable offense

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The landing of the Mueller report after the administration’s initial misdirection revived a debate about whether President Trump’s actions are impeachable.

But we don’t have to wonder. A president already has been impeached for something similar.

In 1868, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson because of his firing of Edwin Stanton as secretary of war and, at root, Johnson’s thwarting of Reconstruction. But Article X against Johnson (the Senate eventually acquitted him of all charges) seems written for the current moment:

Johnson, “unmindful of the high duties of his high office and the dignity and proprieties thereof,” it said, sought “to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach, the Congress of the United States.” On several occasions, it added, Johnson declared “with a loud voice certain intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous harangues, and did therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces” against Congress and U.S. laws “amid the cries, jeers and laughter of the multitudes then assembled.”

The article concluded that “said utterances, declarations, threats, and harangues . . . are peculiarly indecent and unbecoming in the Chief Magistrate of the United States,” and have brought the presidency “into contempt, ridicule, and disgrace, to the great scandal of all good citizens.” Johnson was therefore guilty of a “high misdemeanor in office.”

Loud threats and bitter menaces in front of jeering crowds?........

© Washington Post