OLLI at San Francisco State University
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The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump: Background, Legal Issues, and Potential Political Ramifications
The presidency of Donald Trump, more than any other in US history, has been shadowed by the existential threat of impeachment, a threat which has finally materialized in the form of an impeachment inquiry. Why has a phone call to the President of Ukraine triggered this most drastic of Constitutional sanctions when other potential high crimes and misdemeanors, well documented in the Mueller report, did not? What do we need to understand about Trump, Ukrainian politics and supporting cast of characters (including Rudy Giuliani, William Barr, Mike Pompeo, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and the anonymous whistleblower) to fully understand the background to this controversy? What issues in Constitutional and ordinary law are triggered when the House of Representative officially launches an impeachment inquiry? If it passes Articles of Impeachment and the Senate then holds an impeachment hearing? What does the fact that three of the four impeachments in American history have occurred in the last 50 years reveal about the presidency and contemporary American politics? What are some of the likely political ramification of the impeachment inquiry for the 2020 races for the presidency, the House and the Senate? Is it also possible to discern some of the longer-term implications of this moment of heightened focus in American politics?
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