Skipping the first step

Re “Lessons from history” (Left Foot Forward, Feb. 7):

Sheila Leslie cites Yoni Applebaum, senior editor at the Atlantic, as stating that our country has been through presidential impeachment three times—Nixon in 1974, Clinton in 1998, and Andrew Johnson way back in 1868.

Any attentive student in a high school civics class would tell you that there have been only two presidential impeachments in US history. Nixon, while subject to an initial impeachment process, was never impeached by the House of Representatives. Maybe Ms. Leslie should go back to high school.

David Georgi


Re “Lessons from history” (Left Foot Forward, Feb. 7):

Concerning “Lessons from History”, perhaps Ms Leslie should review actual history a bit closer. Especially since she wishes to bloviate about the matter, trying to make a comparison to President Trump in office.

The facts are, President Nixon never went through impeachment proceedings, even though hundreds of left leaning talking heads have said that he did. Now, had he not resigned, by all accounts he would have then faced the actual proceedings. Impeachment, is simply a $64 word for “accusation”.

As I understand it, this joker in Virginia, cannot be impeached as such, due to the fact that their state constitution requires the misdeed to have taken place while said miscreant was in office! Yet what is the current buzzword of the week?

Now, the other impeachment circus that needs corrected, is with President Clinton. He was not impeached, for not keeping his pants zipped in office, he was impeached for lying about it to Congress!

Speaking of the Clintons, had the country really needed another impeachment, based on possible smoke, rather than actual concrete facts, Ms Clinton would be the perfect mark. Her sketchy past would make the Kennedy family seem irreproachable, and saintly.

Ron Ryder


Editor’s note: Just for the fun of it, we checked a high school textbook, American Government (Independence Hall Assoc., 2008) and found this: “Committees help to organize the most important work of Congress.” The notion that committees are not a part of the impeachment process is novel but false. Articles of impeachment don’t materialize on their own, and completed impeachments are not the only impeachment proceedings. The House Judiciary Committee voted for three articles of impeachment in the Nixon case. Saying it was not a part of the impeachment proceeding is like saying that an indictment is not part of a trial. If articles of impeachment—the equivalent of an indictment—are not researched, drawn up and approved, then there is no impeachment by the House, no trial by the Senate. In addition, after the House approves the committee’s indictment, members of the House Judiciary Committee then become the prosecutors for the Senate trial, called managers in impeachments, because the members of House Judiciary are the most familiar with the evidence. The House Judiciary Committee’s work in impeachment is the essential first step. The committee is part of the impeachment proceeding. The Nixon impeachment was not completed, but it still happened. It’s not Ms. Leslie who needs more study.


If you have any doubts about who is responsible for all the government shutdowns let me give you some help.

Republicans despise government. Shutting down the government and putting out 800,000 workers (not to mention contractors) is simply sport. Taxes and regulations, a function of government (regulations keep you from being poisoned, robbed, etc.) are an anathema to Republicans.

There is no reason to close our government for a single made-up item that can be negotiated separately. Any competent deal maker would call that stupid. So on February 15 the Republicans do not have to shut down anything except their pay checks.

Don McKechnie


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