Presidential Impeachment Trials

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Presidential Impeachment Trials Mandy White Legal Methods and Process LS 500-01 June 5, 2012 The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the impeachment trials of President Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton and identify any ethical dilemmas associated with each individual case and whether or not criminal chargers were appropriate or not. Before delving into the trials here is a brief description of what impeachment is and how the process works. “Technically speaking, impeachment is the Senate’s quasi-criminal proceeding instituted to remove a public officer, not the actual act of removal. Most references to impeachment, however, encompass the entire…show more content…
Here we have a President who is supposed to not only be governing our nation under the laws of our Constitution but also setting an example as a respectable an upstanding member of society, who is supposed to have moral and family values and is supposed to be someone that the American public can look up to and respect. However, he failed to set this example when he got caught in the extramarital affair. Yet, this act alone did not justify a move to impeach him. He also lied and tried to cover up his affair, yet the majority of the American public still did not view this as having any effect on his ability to govern our nation. While Clinton’s action’s may have been ethically and morally wrong on a private and personal level they were not in any way a danger to our nation, our Constitution, or our liberties and freedoms. At no point did his actions jeopardize our liberties or the security of our nation. So, why then did Congress move to impeach? I’m sure I don’t have the answer to this question. However, I believe they created an ethical dilemma by doing so. Impeachment is not finally about justice; it is a political process designed to remove the officeholders who have threatened the nature of government and, in the process, lost the nation’s confidence. It is important to note that poll after poll suggested that Americans did not view Clinton’s offenses as
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