Do you think that the actions of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton warranted impeachment?
Impeachment is the act of removing a public official from a public office due to misconduct in the office. Impeachment is common in most nations or states where public officials behave unethically during their tenure. In the United States, it is common among presidents, whereby, most of them use public offices as an avenue for conducting unethical deeds (Garraty, 1995). Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson are some of the U.S presidents who were impeached for their misconduct in office.
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Bill Clinton was impeached because he had committed several crimes which included lying under the oath to a grand jury, perjury, and adultery. The perjury misconduct came about as Clinton testified to his relationship with Monica Lewinsky where he had been accused of sexual harassment (Bloch, 2006, p.1). Clinton also lied to Congress as he attempted to cover up some of his misdeeds. In doing all these, Clinton was abusing power and contravening the law. Therefore, his impeachment was justified because he had grossly abused his power.
Andrew Johnson, just like Clinton, was impeached when the Congress was not impressed with his conduct regarding matters of Post- Civil War (Longley, 2011, p.1). He was accused of signing several laws against the will of the congress. In addition to this, he fired cabinet members who failed to follow his instructions. It can therefore be argued that, despite the fact that he was the president, Andrew took the law into his own hands thus making him act wrongfully.
His impeachment is also justified because the president is expected to consult before making any decisions concerning the state or else it may lead to political unrest. Despite the numerous criticisms regarding impeachment, the action is justified in cases where a public official is proven to have had substantial misconduct while in office. This is because, if not warned, people in public offices can do more harm than good using the power accorded to them by the state.
If Richard Nixon had not resigned, what do you think would have happened?
Richard Nixon is regarded as one of the best presidents of the United States despite the unlawful mistakes that he made. However, during his second term in the office, a scandal named Watergate came up that led to his resignation together with other officials. In this scandal, Nixon was accused of breaking into the offices of DNC (a rival party) and destroying them. Those convicted covered up the whole scandal issue, while others opted to resign. At first, Nixon denied being involved in the scandal but was later forced to present tapes in order to prove himself innocent. As the case went on, Nixon stated his intention to resign out of office.
If Nixon made the decision to hang on, he would have definitely been impeached. This is because he used a government agency to destroy the headquarters of a rival political party. By doing this, he acted wrongfully and against the law. His actions in the Watergate scandal clearly depicted the kind of person he was, something that the citizens of America will live to remember.
Bloch, S. (2006). Assessing the Impeachment of President Bill Clinton from a Post 9/11 Perspective. Web.
Garraty, J. (1995). The American Nation: a history of the United States. New York: Harper Collins College Publishers.
Longley, R. (2011). Impeachment: The Unthinkable Process. Web.