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The Case for Impeachment Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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“Lichtman has written what may be the most important book of the year.” (The Hill)
“It is still striking to see the full argument unfold and realize that you don’t have to be a zealot to imagine some version of it happening…Lies. Abuse of power. Treason. Crimes against humanity. Martial law. Lichtman throws everything Trump’s way.” (Washington Post)
“Liberal catnip.” (Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe)
“Lichtman’s powerful book is a reminder that we are only at the start of the Trump investigations. The US system takes a long time to gather speed. Once it does, it can be hard to stop.” (Financial Times)
“[Lichtman’s] book is a pretty substantial case for why Donald Trump should not have been president at all…The Case for Impeachment is a good backdrop for conversations that will likely remain a part of our national dialogue for some time.” (New York Journal of Books)
From the Back Cover
Professor Allan J. Lichtman, who has correctly forecasted thirty years of presidential outcomes, makes the case for impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
In the fall of 2016, Distinguished Professor of History at American University Allan Lichtman made headlines when he predicted that Donald J. Trump would defeat the heavily favored Democrat, Hillary Clinton, to win the presidential election.
Now, in clear, nonpartisan terms, Lichtman lays out the reasons Congress could remove Trump from the Oval Office: his ties to Russia before and after the election, the complicated financial conflicts of interest at home and abroad, and his abuse of executive authority.
The Case for Impeachment also offers a fascinating look at presidential impeachments throughout American history, including the often-overlooked story of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, details about Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Bill Clinton’s hearings. Lichtman shows how Trump exhibits many of the flaws (and more) that have doomed past presidents. As the Nixon Administration dismissed the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as “character assassination” and “a vicious abuse of the journalistic process,” Trump has attacked the “dishonest media,” claiming, “the press should be ashamed of themselves.”
Historians, legal scholars, and politicians alike agree: we are in politically uncharted waters—the durability of our institutions is being undermined and the public’s confidence in them is eroding, threatening American democracy itself.
Most citizens—politics aside—want to know where the country is headed. Lichtman argues, with clarity and power, that for Donald Trump’s presidency, smoke has become fire.
Top customer reviews
Allan Lichtman is one of the most distinguished political historians in the United States. Here, he takes the reader on a journey through the myriad ways that Trump could be impeached in a work that is proving more prophetic each day. Whether you are a lover of political history or a novice to the subject, this book is as informative as it is entertaining and enlightening.
The first few chapters are historical in nature, they bring the reader up-to-speed on the creation and purpose of the impeachment clauses of the Constitution as well as those judges and presidents who have been subjected to them. This is not history for its own sake; along the way, readers will quickly see the parallels and relevance to the Trump administration. If you've heard the term emoluments clause recently and didn't know what to make of it, or if you see more than just a shade of Nixon in Trump, this is a book for you.
Having gone through the history, Lichtman devotes the bulk of his chapters to the ways in which Trump could be impeached, with each chapter laying out a different case. From Trump's legal woes stemming from his abuse of women to his shady dealings with Russians, each of the avenues leading to impeachment is explored. Crucially, Lichtman reminds readers that impeachment is not reserved for crimes taking place in office; prior offenses, such as tax fraud, follow you. Some of what you will read may be familiar to you, but I guarantee that because of the level of research that went into this, everyone has something to learn.
I suppose some readers may worry that this is all just wish-fulfillment, or some sort of diatribe against a conservative president. Both assumptions, however reasonable, are absolutely mistaken. Lichtman is a top-notch scholar – measured and considerate in his arguments and meticulous with details. His advice has been sought by liberal and conservative operators alike. Moreover, as one of the only experts in the country to correctly predict that Trump would win the election, he can hardly be accused of injecting wish fulfillment or unchecked biases into his analysis.
This book, as no other does, lays out all the relevant history and contemporary facts that demonstrate the possibility of a Trump impeachment. Of course, not every argument will ring loudly with every reader, though this is irrelevant. The sheer quantity of ways in which Trump is vulnerable to impeachment will knock your socks off when you read them all together.
In a November 11th Washington Post interview, Lichtman said: "not based on a system, it's just my gut....I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."
I got to know Lichtman through his Great Courses, four-hour vignettes on 12 "great presidents." .As a history professor, I listened to the series ten times. Each time my admiration for Lichtman increased. He was extremely accurate and fair. His conclusions met the highest historical standards. This is a historian whose judgments I trust.
Lichtman states that this is "your warning about the dangers of Trump's rogue presidency and as your guide to the myriad transgressions that I predict will lead to his impeachment."
Lichtman provides a historical tutorial on impeachment, from the Constitutional Convention to the present. He writes on the political aspects of interpreting "Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was a political rather than a legal proceeding. As described in the New York Times Johnson obituary: Johnson's "fatal flaw was that he was always headstrong an sure he was right, even in his errors." Lichtman relates this to Trump's personal style.
1. Characterizes Trump as a "serial law breaker" who has broken many laws for personal gain';
2. Highlights a wide range of business conflicts of interest by President Trump;
3. Describes Trump's penchant for lying;
4. Considers Trump's opposition to climate change as a possible crime against humanity;
5. Focuses on Trump's Russian connections; and
6. Underscores Trump's abuse of power and his lack of restraint.
Lichtman provides some specific 'Dutch uncle' advice on how Trump might avoid the dangers of impeachment. He then speaks of how the House, whether Republican or Democratic, might react to a President Trump with dismal results and/or dismal approval ratings.
Personally, I consider it far too early in Trump's presidency to predict whether he might face impeachment proceedings. Professor Lichtman, drawing on Trump's past behavior and his core character, presents a troubling scenario on how our 45th president could possibly fact impeachment in the House, which would then require two-thirds of voting senators to remove him from office.