Magazine December 31, 2018, Issue

How Impeachment Works

President Clinton poses with Monica Lewinsky in a Nov. 17, 1995, photo. (RC/CM//REUTERS )
Lessons from the failed Republican effort to remove Bill Clinton from the presidency

Impeachment chatter is suddenly in vogue. It was strictly déclassé during the Obama years. To hear congressional Republicans tell it, the Clinton fiasco of the late Nineties proved both that the Constitution’s procedure for removing corrupt presidents is futile and that invoking it guarantees political carnage for the accusers.

Today’s Democrats, as the saying goes, never got the memo. Or perhaps they have known all along that their counterparts learned precisely the wrong lessons from President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Now that the impeachment of Presi­dent Donald J. Trump is a realistic contingency, though, getting those lessons right is vital.

The problem

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Readers weigh in on Allen C. Guelzo’s “The Great War’s Great Price” and Kevin D. Williamson’s “Pillars of Fire.”
The Week

The Week

The worst part about getting coal in your stocking isn’t the indignity; it’s the notice of violation from the EPA.
The Long View

Holiday Revisions

From “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” words and music by Frank Loesser, with revisions and amendments by the women’s-studies department at Bard College...


“Though slave to him I plan to kill, From here on in I mean to do the things I will...”


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