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1- Thread on definition & history of Presidential impeachment. I am writing this to post now, but also for future ref in responses to other tweets/threads. Why? Because it's clear that many people don't understand impeachment, including blue checkmarks. So here we go (cont).
2- Impeachment is covered in both Article 1 (Legislative Branch) & Article 2 (Executive Branch) of the Constitution. Let's start with the Executive Branch.
3- Here is the infamous Article 2 clause. It's vague. "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors". The key phrase is "and Misdemeanors". What the %!@$ does that mean? In short, it can be whatever Congress wants it to be (cont).
4- Historically, it has generally been accepted that the "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes" part set a high bar. In fact, Joe Biden babbled endlessly about this in his statement defending his Bill Clinton acquittal vote.…
5- The U.S. House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment, This is made clear in Article 1.
6- One giant misconception; however, is "impeachment" means removing someone from office. That is not the case. An impeachment is a formal charge. Think of it like an indictment. The House is akin to a Grand Jury. A prosecutor still has to secure a conviction.
7- And that prosecutor, in the case of Presidential impeachment, is the Senate. Only the Senate can convict, based on a trial that is presided over by the Chief Justice of the United States. And it takes a 2/3rd majority to do so, not a simple majority (another misconception).
8- I often wonder how much the far Left actually understands this. I think many of them believe that the House can impeach, and that's it. Or that all it takes then is a simple Senate majority, and they think that just means flipping a few Senators.
9- Some short history first. The first President ever impeached was Andrew Johnson. Basically, Congress didn't like his leniency towards the South after the Civil War. The whole impeachment is well-summarized here 👇
10- Andrew Johnon ended up being aquitted by one vote. As an aside, the "Tenure of Office Act", which was Congressional overreach (sound familiar?) and likely would have been deemed Unconstitutional, was repealed in 1887.
11- The only other impeachment was of Bill Clinton. I am not going to go deep on that here. The bottom line was Clinton 1) perjured himself and 2) suborned perjury from Monical Lewinsky. Unlike with Trump, these crimes were vitually undenialbe. Key timeline elements here 👇
12- The charges aganist Clinton were largely the result of a long-running special counsel investigation into the Whitewater real estate deal. Ken Starr headed the investigation for most of this period. The SC overreached imho, just like Mueller. Another thread for another day.
13- The Senate acquitted Clinton, largely along party lines. Interesting to note is that Clinton's approval ratings increased significantly during this process, & the GOP lost House control in the 1998 midterms. This is what Nancy Pelosi is worried about (rightfully).
14- It is a common misconcpetion that Richard Nixon was impeached, He was not. The House had only drafted Articles of Impeachment when Nixon resigned. Nixon almost certainly would have been impeached, as many Republicans had turned against him, e.g. Howard Baker.
15- Nixon, unlike Johnson or Clinton, committed serious crimes. In short, he authorized hush money payments from a secret slush fund, to silence the original Watergate burglars. Then he truly obstructed the investigation, beyond anything Clinton did.
16- Bill Clinton was acquitted because even lying about the Lewinsky scandal - and asking her to lie - did not amount to "Treason" or "other High Crimes" in the minds of the Senate & the American public.
17- And Trump has done way less than Clinton. He was unequivocally cleared of "collusion". The obstruction case was also absurd, something only the likes of Andrew Wiessmann could have crafted. And even Mueller knew it was a bridge too far. More here 👇

18- So this is what impeachment is. And why Nancy Pelosi is (rightfully) worried about the backlash effect. It's a long, drawn out affair, and the country would get sick of it, espeically as it becomes more apparent the real crime here was DoJ/FBI abuse.
19- And there is no way 2/3 of the Senate (67 Senators) would vote to convict. Not on something this idiotic. Everyone knows that. So ultimately it would be a political stunt. A stunt that would cheapen the Constiution, and that the country would hate.

/end of rant
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