Professor Frank Bowman was quoted at length in Adam Liptak’s recent New York Times article “Is Obstruction an Impeachable Offense? History Says Yes.” Using the two most recent impeachment proceedings against sitting presidents, Liptak compares the offenses of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton to those of Donald Trump.
“The historical comparisons make out a solid case for an article of impeachment against Trump for obstruction of justice in both the technical legal sense and in the more general sense of an attempt to subvert American legal process and institutions,” Professor Bowman says.
“Both Nixon and Trump attempted, sometimes successfully, to induce witnesses to refuse cooperation with prosecutors or to lie,” Professor Bowman adds. “Their methods were similar. Both on some occasions attempted to directly convince subordinates to lie. Both Nixon and Trump dangled pardons as incentives for witnesses to keep quiet.”
“Both Trump and Nixon repeatedly lied to the public about the investigations,” Professor Bowman notes that the articles of impeachment against Nixon relied on those public statements.
Professor Bowman is the author of the book “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump,” to be published this summer by Cambridge University Press.