This special edition of the Power Line Show offers a panel discussion on impeachment held this week at Berkeley Law School, which Steve moderated. Its purpose was not to rehash or thrash out the specific issues of the Trump impeachment as much as to illuminate what the founders had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution, and what we have learned from the two rare instances of presidential impeachment in our history. There are a lot of gray areas in the issue. The three panelists are:

Gary J. Schmitt, resident scholar in strategic studies and American institutions at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies national security and longer-term strategic issues affecting America’s security at home and abroad. In addition, Dr. Schmitt writes on issues pertaining to American political institutions, the Constitution, and civic life. He is co-author, with Joseph Bessette, of an excellent paper on what the founders regarded as a “high crime and misdemeanor,” which you can find here.

Dr. John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law, and also served as the School’s Dean from June 2007 to January 2010, when he stepped down to pursue a bid for California Attorney General. Professor Eastman is also affiliated with the Claremont Institute as a Senior Fellow and Director of the Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, which sponsors Chapman’s constitutional jurisprudence clinic.

Burt Neuborne is a visiting professor and the Norman Dorsen Professor of Civil Liberties and founding Legal Director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. For more than 50 years, he has been one of the nation’s foremost civil liberties lawyers, serving as National Legal Director of the ACLU from 1981-86, Special Counsel to the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund from 1990-1996, and as a member of the New York City Human Rights Commission from 1988-1992.

Please settle in with a cup of coffee or your favorite whiskey (unless you are driving) for this extremely interesting conversation, which nonetheless offers some sharp and entertaining disagreements among the panelists.

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  1. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Good discussion. Thanks for the information on the Founding Father’s views. I had read a little on that but appreciated the additional background.

    • #1
    • January 23, 2020, at 11:53 AM PST
    • Like
  2. Richard Easton Member

    I agree that it was a good discussion. However, I think that Prof. Neuborne claimed that there was no evidence for Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. I believe that the anti-Trump animus was clear (op Ed’s by the ambassador for example).

    • #2
    • January 23, 2020, at 3:06 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I agree that it was a good discussion. However, I think that Prof. Neuborne claimed that there was no evidence for Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. I believe that the anti-Trump animus was clear (op Ed’s by the ambassador for example).

    Agree. I was waiting for Neuborne to say that Biden had been investigated and cleared or that there hadn’t been a smidgen of corruption in the Obama/Biden administration. Maybe a NYU thing?

    • #3
    • January 23, 2020, at 6:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Taras Coolidge

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I agree that it was a good discussion. However, I think that Prof. Neuborne claimed that there was no evidence for Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. I believe that the anti-Trump animus was clear (op Ed’s by the ambassador for example).

    Agree. I was waiting for Neuborne to say that Biden had been investigated and cleared or that there hadn’t been a smidgen of corruption in the Obama/Biden administration. Maybe a NYU thing?

    Just as a progressive journalist is a progressive first and a journalist second, a progressive scholar is a progressive first and a scholar second.

    This was strikingly borne out when Neuborne attributed the Clinton impeachment to sexual misconduct.* One of the conservatives present immediately corrected him, pointing out that Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.

    But if you think Neuborne won’t go right on saying it was sexual misconduct, in the future, then I have a nice bridge to sell you. Among progressives, bias gradually fades into dishonesty.

    *The occasional sapheaded “conservative” will make the same mistake.

    • #4
    • January 24, 2020, at 10:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes