Though Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House, the Senate ultimately acquitted them. They find themselves walking a fine line between legitimate freak-out and overreach, and they do not want to blow it. Comey memorialized the conversation in a memo; associates who had copies of the memo read parts of them aloud to the Times and other news outlets. Absolutely. In fact, 15 federal judges have been impeached, although only eight have been removed from the bench.
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) went before the House of Representatives to call for the impeachment of President Trump.
And there are certainly Democrats who do not feel constrained. Others, like Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, have merely mentioned the possibility, with Gabbard saying last month that she was studying the impeachment process. "Who knows what he's going to do?" she said. But the Democratic establishment has taken a more cautious tone.
Brad Blakeman pushed back this morning that Democrats have been called for impeachment since the inauguration and are like "the boy who cried wolf" at this point. Rumors spread that Rosenstein threatened to quit, rejecting the idea that his memo was the reason for Comey's firing.
As White House lawyers begin researching impeachment procedures, former senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Friday night the GOP is nowhere near supporting such a move, but warned President Donald Trump that "this can't continue for a whole lot longer". "We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump".
But that doesn't necessarily make the tactic cynical. I also say that this can happen with a Republican-controlled House and Senate if the public weighs in by demanding that the Republican President be charged by way of impeachment.
"You'll be hanging from a tree", one message said.
"A President Pence would be bad and there' s a lot of uneasiness about the idea of a President Pence because you could easily spin out a scenario where the Republican establishment floods into the White House to help and they unify and they really push through a very radical agenda", said Matt Bennett, senior vice president for public affairs for Third Way, a moderate-left leaning political party.
Democratic strategists see a similar danger in trying to overreach in the case against Trump. Just to name those offenses, they could even include treason - both in acquiring the presidency through what may have been collusion with our adversaries, and in using that office to give those adversaries aid and comfort in return, as well as grow the family fortune at America's expense.
That committee conducts an investigation and draws up articles of impeachment. Democrats are contesting what had been safe Republican House seats in special elections in Montana and Georgia (note: the Georgia race has become the most expensive in the history of House elections, with $29.5 million spent and counting).