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How Impeachment Works

By: Oisin Curran  | 

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Author's Note: How Impeachment Works

I was in high school when the Iran-Contra scandal took over the news and I was glued to the live broadcasts of the Congressional hearings in which Oliver North was grilled for info. For those who don't remember, Oliver North was accused of engineering an illegal scheme whereby the Reagan administration secretly sold arms to Iran in exchange for help freeing American hostages from Lebanon. Since North then had to do something with the illegal funds he got from Iran, he used them to help finance the Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. Many people were convinced that Ronald Reagan knew full well what was going on, but he steadfastly denied any knowledge of it. At the time, I was convinced the Reagan would be impeached. But not only did he emerge relatively unscathed from the scandal, stickers shouting, "Ollie for President!" soon adorned bumpers everywhere. That was my first inkling that politics and the law were not synonymous.

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  • Erskine, Daniel H. "The Trial of Queen Caroline and the Impeachment of President Clinton: Law As a Weapon for Political Reform." Global Studies Law Review. Vol. 7, Iss. 1. 2008. (May 26, 2017) http://openscholarship.wustl.edu/law_globalstudies/vol7/iss1/2/
  • Merriam-Webster, "Origin and Etymology of Impeach." 2017. (May 30, 2017) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impeach
  • Pérez-Liñán, Aníbal. "How would removing Trump from office affect U.S. democracy?" Washington Post. May 26, 2017. (May 26, 2017) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/05/26/how-would-removing-trump-from-office-affect-u-s-democracy/?utm_term=.50e5d8543352
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  • Stewart, David O. "Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy." Simon & Schuster. 2009. (May 26, 2017) https://books.google.ca/books?id=Sav95Z-KDZcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0 - v=onepage&q&f=false
  • Stewart, David O. Interview conducted May 28, 2017.
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