tv Lawrence Tribe and Joshua Matz To End a Presidency CSPAN August 12, 2018 9:00am-10:00am EDT
they hired up an ad agency out of madison avenue to come up with something that would you hate. the reason why it works is it is a peeling. it makes smoking uncool and they felt the same way that tobacco companies were selling a marlboro man and joe camel. >> i am pleased to welcome laurence tribe at politics & prose here. tribe is the university professor and professor of constitutional law at harvard. a graduate of harvard law school and a constitutional lawyer. previously, he had tried have written uncertain justice, the roberts court in the constitution. in their new book, "to end a presidency," they discuss their most urgent question, when and how to remove a president from
office. the constitution gives congress the power to impeach, but the vote on whether or not the president of the national menace. ultimately impeachment is a long train process that calls for political judgment of the highest order. whether you think impeachment is necessary for a partisan conspiracy to win the presidency is essential for anyone who wishes to lenders and have the immense power should be deployed. jill lepore, offered these truths, history of the united states wright's impeachment is a fearsome power. the restraint and fiercely judicious account of the processes of origin and purpose explains why no u.s. president has ever been removed from office by impeachment and what it might mean if one were. please join me in welcoming laurence tribe and joshua matz. [applause] >> thanks very much. can you hear me?
thanks so much in thank you all for being here. i really appreciate politics & prose giving us this platform and i am eternally grateful to my co-author, joshua, who is just a wonderful colleague working through some of these deep problems. he was probably my favorite students since barack obama and that is saying a lot. so we work well together and we have sort of different coworkers back dues. i want to talk a little bit about how i came to the subject of impeachment. where it comes from inside me. i was never taught anything about constitutional law. we were studying mostly the commerce clause and occasionally some first amendment law. but since i was about joshua's
age, that is since 1974, during the watergate scandal that brought down richard nixon, i obviously started taking very seriously about impeachment and what it was all about. two newly tenured law professor at harvard, impeachment looked at the time a rather practical approach as a way to preserve the nation by pulling down a crooked president, preventing him from wrecking our constitution, by ignoring the rule of law and using executive agencies like the fbi and the cia and some private thugs to boot in order to hurt his political opponent. that seems like an astonishing riot to the rule of law and our system of government. little did any of us imagined that we would be much the same thing, but with a hostile
foreign power as the colluding entity in achieving presidential authority. i spent four or five years after the watergate scandal studying really the whole constitution and sort of writing about it at the hole. looking at things this seemed rather marginal at the time except maybe for the impeachment cause, which had its day in the nixon era. i thought it would be an interesting thing to look out. never thought it would come in handy. you never know what will be relevant in the constitution. and indeed, my whole approach to the constitution and the approach of this book is to see the constitution as a whole, has an integrated structure, not simply as a series of discrete points and powers than rights
and responsibilities. that is why as we wrote about impeachment and study there, we thought about how it would fit into the system of government, what might happen to make the presidency two weeks. if for example we followed the path that some countries had followed his making anything that might be as vague as the administration on this behavior or misconduct a basis for removing a president, actually that was done by american states as a way of removing their highest executive authority, massachusetts, new jersey, pennsylvania and smattering of countries abroad. sierra leone, russia. we had a different kind of system. almost like a vote of no confidence. if on the other hand we approach things the way argentina or
germany or india or south africa or polling different country as well. they basically say anything that is a crime or that is unconstitutional and violates the basic contract. it keeps the chief executive in power. if we had that, how often would a court dare to hold a particular presidential act like a travel ban or something of constitutional if they knew it would immediately down the president. a lot of things the president can do that are obviously inconsistent with our system of government. directing anyone who beats up a black person or a muslim would automatically be pardoned and not subject to prosecution. it's not a crime, but surely
impeachable. and a lot of crimes aren't impeachable. tax fraud, tax evasion. so we took our guide is from a the framers themselves thought and did in developing this living constitution. we had to formulate approach of what is or is not impeachable. it is pretty clear that not every instance of perjury should be impeachable. i concluded that with clinton lying under oath when sex as an intern was a way of bringing them down. but that charge on which he was impeached is one that got five votes in the senate to convict. 45 voted to acquit. 55 is not enough. you need 67. the other charge against an obstruction of justice, which was a prepackaged version of the
charge came out 50/50. clayton merged triumvirate. his popularity soared. that gave us a clue to what some of the dangers of impeaching prematurely if someone can be the most terrible demagogic liar. he cannot the fabric of our society, but if it doesn't look like attacking his position for a bill of impeachment will result in anything more than a claim as indicated here's no clue should indicated an empowered horrible things. then you have to think twice about whether impeachment makes sense. even a successful impeachment
that results some of the factors that make even a fully successful impeachment extremely compulsive for the country. that is the factor is allowed like trump in the first place. it did not go away. impeachment is not a magic wand. we've been amazed how many people sent as e-mails or tweet thing and i can't wait for your book because it will remove from the court. the president is illegitimate. get rid of him in everything he's done is unwound. that kind of magic wand thinking , it then there's the drug you find it amusing to read about in the book, which is supposed to make headaches go away, make anxiety dissipate. that kind of magical thinking
about the power of impeachment really doesn't do much good. at the other extreme, the sort of apocalyptic thinking that says if we succeed in removing a president who's favored by 40% of the people, and if the offenses in abuses of power that people discover in the course of investigation to succeed in getting two thirds of the senate to remove them, that millions of people still think he is legitimately there and they being deprived of the voice they believe this guy would get them, then the underpinnings of democracy might be shaken. we don't want 60 million alienated people running around, some of them rather, well armed. the stability of the country is a fragile thing and in much of
the book, we explore what i've spent decades thinking about, but never examining as systematically as we did here. much of the book, we explored how to navigate. that is what can we do with the renegade out-of-control president. i must admit that i was one of the people who thought even as early as midnight on tuesday, november 8th, 2016, at the time was right to begin impeaching us all. we have talked a good read about the importance of not being simultaneously the owner of the company is that would be if not bribed, at least greased by foreign powers in violation of a
mentioned earlier, the emolument cause. one of the things the framers most tiered with foreign influence over our president. one of the things they most feared was the fact that we couldn't necessarily tell when that influence had yielded through. we know why the president was so slow in enforcing the magnets keep sanctions. we may suspect that there is a connection between that and the help he got from food and had been elected. hope that as recently as last night in a new book published by jim clapper called facts and fears may well have proved and he's a very cautious former intelligence guide who had served under many president has dni another similar capacity concluded is our intelligence
community, that russia directed by putin would help trump as well as to hurt hillary based on the fact that he was 80,000 votes -- it is one that is based more on common sense and experience been on a particular smoking gun. unlike smoking gun of the watergate tapes that nixon was finally ordered to return. there are many in plain view with this president.
after he's elected that all of these characters around him were bleeding can't donate and then lying about it, who is russian oligarchs and with members of the government. you look at the way in which our policy towards a country like qatar moves back and forth and it turns out that the curve exactly follows how nice qatar is being to jared kushner and his dad with respect to helping bail him out of the huge debt they have on 666 fifth avenue. it's not simply that the sky is the club to crack, but the autocracy to be directing the foreign policy in the united states. that is disastrous. but it doesn't immediately translate into the conclusion that we ought therefore to pull
the impeachment court and start that process rolling. i thought we should start an investigation the day after he was elected. certainly when he was inaugurated. when he fired comey, i thought the case was clear. it was certainly like one of is. and so i wrote an op-ed in the "washington post" four days later calling for the immediate peach mint. i was -- how far and how fast people like tom's diner were going. they were calling for investigations. they were singing and peach now if there is some way to do that with a constructive outcome. four days after i wrote that
op-ed, rosenstein appointed special counsel robert mueller. that for me was assigned not that some guy would come riding in and make it all transparent and clear and convince even the people anything that trump said, what mueller has discovered his true. i never thought not. i always realized there were these things trump could do to undermine the faith of the american people in robert mueller despite its integrity and how bipartisan in his was when he was named. but it did seem to me that while that probe was going on and it's been extraordinarily give, with guilty pleas and people cooperating an indictment that while the probe was going on, you would hold steady. we shouldn't jump ahead and
continue investigating. we have a chapter in our book that joshua will enjoy describing. i think it will be fun to read about how dangerous it can be to have too much of it. but it's not dangerous to have too much impeachment in reading and understanding and if the american people need to understand what this tool is, where it came from. why the problem. and if committed an impeachable offense or he hasn't. what should the frame of reference before when it makes sense to use this extraordinary power. we use the history of impeachment and the strange abuses of that power not only with respect to clinton, but people who wanted to impeach thomas jefferson because he was
rather slow to appoint a new collector of the port of boston. i like boston and i wish jefferson had moved a little more quickly and i wish he hadn't held onto so many slaves. all kinds of things. the policy differences and ambient madness does not really make a case for impeachment. we talk also about how he was impeached because i was a good example of how impeachment should not be used. in fact, we present a general theory of how to approach impeachment and i suppose you could call it the shoe on the other foot area, that is if you're ready to remove a president believe you can generate a powerful and deep bipartisan consensus in circumstances where you would come up the same way even if you felt the opposite way about the
president. even if you loved this president's policies. if you are ready to conclude that you would in that event still make the fateful move to try removing a president for this power, then you've passed, you might call it, for those who are fans of john rawls, the veil of ignorance passed. not knowing exactly which side of the political rubicon you stand on common you already think that this is is so dangerous to the persistence of the republic that you really ought to go. i think i probably ought to go. i've been talking longer than i meant to. i must especially want to save time for q&a. thank you so much. [applause]
>> i'm glad larry spoke so much because i only will speak a little and we will leave time for q&a. much like the book itself, and not going going to say much about president trump. we, in writing the book at a particular moment in time where we thought there was a president doing terrible things, that he was breaking the law, upsetting norms that had brought the presidency into accord with the needs of a constitutional democracy and he was destabilizing our position around the world. it is clear that there was going to be sustained impeachment pressure throughout the presidency. we can all agree that impeachment is that the many years to come. he was sort of a more general question. they can strongly disagree and who is doing things not for the society. under what circumstances do you reach. the theme the framers put there
in case of emergency. also it's about potential consequences what it's worth to say the society. when do you instead choose other means of engaging with the president, constraining his abuses and putting the ship afloat to the next presidential election. burris, the question was never impeached or nothing. it was impeached for what else. what is impeachment the right move. basically six questions you have to ask and answer to make that decision. the six questions structured our book and we ask them at a high level of generality of the we provide tons of his oracle examples in support for the constitutional launch we do speak about trump. our first question is impeachment power. what were the framers tried to do an include of this process in the constitution and if you
start talking about benjamin franklin put the constitutional dimension.up inside if we don't provide peacefully, and they will assassinate them. world history was very clear on this that the stories that the framers knew of field leaders with detailed assassinations, coups, revolution and sad ending for everyone involved. he thought there had to be a way to break the cycle. this ancient english doctrine had followed into basic disuse, but the colonists and they said we can remove the president when he abuses his power in a way that threatens society and we can do it peacefully without killing him in the question of when you can do that and you can do that was to the framers
intimately linked to what they look like. the question of who's the president and you can remove the president and when and why they were concerned creating a system where you can have an energetic president to flex some muscle in his powers in ways that might not have been foreseen the things that went off the rail could be object it. that understanding when throughout their thought process. not because we think their word is final. the constitution belongs to the living but in order to understand the power it's vital to have a grip on where it came from and what its role as a weekend by dividing three basic lessons about how the impeachment power has operated in the executive power. the power vested in the president he said he have to get
leeway they are because the constitution underspecified with the powers of the president really are and they will vault across time. on one hand you have to watch for abuse of power but on the other hand you need to measure the role in american life. the second i said this in general partisanship should not play a role in impeachment and motivated have not only historically failed and been condemned, but if one were to succeed, the long-term consequences for democracy could be quite tired because they would destabilize lessons a something or who'll govern our society is. and we emphasize other with attempting to focus on watergate and when you should impeached, and they have the president of
cia and have a club to prod or you have someone who's corrupt, or really anyone who uses her powers in way to threaten or undermine a democracy of such. do we turn to chapter two in what is presented as the only relevant question. what is a high crime and misdemeanor. when is it it appropriate term of the person from power? gerald ford set in the 1970s nixon was trying to impeach douglas. there's nothing more to the story and all the legal stuff misses the underlying politics of. we think that's right but uninteresting myself. it's right only of people in congress are not acting by reference to understanding within their constituents have about what high crime and misdemeanor means.
the constitution and its value we have to hope that's not the case it gives congress many tough judgment though it all depends on the proper functioning of our political system and its officials. we are asking when the president engages in conduct was appropriate in our bottom line is when the president has acted in a manner that renders him unviable as the leader of the state and someone who risks posing a great deal of future damage to society if he's allowed to remain in office. not about punishing him for something he did. it's about preventing them from exercising its power in a harmful way going forward. when the president going forward a real risk to society and
corruption, betrayal for abuse of power coupled with intentional injury to the nation to find the idea of an impeachable sense. something so plainly wrong to have expressed surprise at being impeached on those grounds and that's obviously not the same as committing a crime. some are impeachable. the question is to survive this presidency, what nation will it become in some ways it would be a democracy anymore? the allegations relating to president trump, identifying a few that could potentially justify impeachment, but explaining the others raised in the public probably don't. this is a question we think everyone should be asking but no one ever seems to, which is when the commerce exercise the power not to impeach? if the president has a high
crime or misdemeanor or bribery or treason which justifies removal from office, congress doesn't automatically have to impeach. the competition to establish and it doesn't mandate that they reach for the most extreme when it could theoretically be justified. instead coming years and so many other cases the constitution gives congress the power along with many others including the power of the purse, the power to control personnel, power of investigation oversight, to legislate in this house figure out what you need to use to do with the problem at hand. if you think about impeachment outweigh, not as a high crime or misdemeanor, if so surely we must do this come about in bed is a continuum of others in restraining the president who's gone off the rails. the whole framework looks a little bit different because every power come with a price in
the place of impeachment's. we basically stayed thinking about impeachment. what if we impeach too early? and what risks are unavoidable in any impeachment how well justified and try to provide a broad framework that applies to any presidency to calm, to emphasize the judgment that often has to be made against great uncertainty about how people respond to an effort to respond to the presidency. the main driver is always congress and this brings us to chapter four where we talk about the role that congress should play in there for we at the beginning. ..
the internet. why is it we live in a period where we make a response to our policy. how does that situate in us history and it turns out when you go back as we do in chapter 5 and look at every impeachment resolution ever introduced in the house, every mention and major national political movements that had impeachment as a prominent theme that we live in strange times. there were a few physicals until the end of the civil war culminating with andrew johnson. impeachment vanished from the national scene until truman. when truman fired douglas macarthur there was a cry followed again one year later with impeach the steel mills but then the impeachment with this president fell from the scene until next and and after nixon disappeared until
our iran-contra with reagan. it appeared a little more in that area under reagan and bush but it wasn't until bill clinton and ever since then impeachment became a dominant motif about how americans think about politics and the presidency and what's alarming isthere's been a ton of impeachment talk with no discernible benefit and quite a few harm . certainly presidents are notably more constrained or are more likely to be impeached in this period of time. hyper partisanship suggests that there are less likely to because mustering a national consensus is all the more difficult. this massive oversupply of impeachment talk has given our politics a more accidental character. it encourages tribalism and at worst it can help president of using this power because as we saw under bush, obama and trump, president facing impeachment threat from the ideological side use it to motivate their base and
enhance loyalty within their own political party and worst party that runs on a promise to impeach historically loses in the midterm elections and in that way a party that produces on impeachment talk ultimately suffer in its ability to restrain the president through other means so we were in chapter 5 that we live in a strange new world impeachment talk which the president using the power may benefit that the underlying dynamics of our democracy may suffer and we suggest a simple answer. you will need to chill out a little bit and this is a running theme of our book. impeachment is an judgment. the constitution only sketches in vague terms when it's necessary and appropriate but it asks us to understand which powersto use, which political strategies to invoke , what matters of understanding our democracy meet the role of a road budget and impeachment is not the right first move
for the right last move and this leads us in the last chapter to ask a simple question. and impeachment power achieve its basic purpose in a world of politics? i firing the super majority in the senate, the u.s. constitution makes a waiver from the us people. it gambled that presidential wrongdoing that menaces our democracy will arouse durable bipartisan opposition strong enough to overcome partisanship and polarization and inertia and all the dynamics that interfere with the federal governance of our country and that gamble doesn't seem awfully well-placed these days. alternate facts, hyper partisanship, all the buzzwords we see that amount to a decline in our democratic function have made it all the lord if not impossible to muster the national will and consensus that impeachment teams to ask of us and not to say can never happen and should never happen but it is to say that
especially so long as people asked these fantastical consequences to impeachment, along at the president's opponents view as your all, something that will stall all the problems and as long as the presence supporters as a doomsday device, everything that threatens to decode everything they believe in, the impeachment power can't function. that the constitution requires the american people to think thoroughly and reasonably and create a scenario in which they don't, impeachment a serve only to undermine rather than protect our democracy so although this is called "to end a presidency" a better title may have been to save democracy because that is our ultimate goal of the impeachment power and it's a goal that can only be achieved if the american people realistically understand the appropriate way to exercise it. [applause]
>> now we have a costume change. >>. >> friends, countrymen. >> thank you so much for being here and thank you for most of you for your words. the question that i have an sort of the impeachment of andrew johnson, the kansas senator provided the crucial vote, which equated president johnson by one vote.
something that i'm wondering if perhaps we know of senator roth is in your talk. >> what motivated? >> i don't think i do and i expect joshua may not but i want to answer on that basis. i want to answer a similar, broader question. we look at the impeachment of andrew johnson and the failure to remove him as a good example of why it's important to be precise about the reasons for saying that someone ought to be removed. in johnson's case, the ended up with a terrible reason. and it was because he would not go along with the senate with respect to stanton. he fired denton without senate consent. >> senate stanton was the secretary of work.
>> and it turned out he was said to have violated, the tenure of office was not that much long afterwards held unconstitutional. so the whole. of the impeachment really missed the mark what was really wrong with johnson is what we argue might well have justified his removal president would have.net extra vote, we don't really know but really what justified it was he was trying to undo the result of the civil war. what's on the mentally possible from lincoln school program and to the idea of union and the elimination of slavery and it was over that broad budget that he was a destructive force, we think probably to have been removed whether banking on the right reason one of major differences something we don't speculate about. >> thanks for the question. >> is a case where for impeachment clear would be
with president nixon and if president nixon had not resigned and if he had been impeached, would you have been convicted and removed from office? >> the historical evidence wrongly suggests he would have been in part of the reason he ultimately did resign is a delegation of prominent republican senators went to him and said you're going to lose in our chamber and at the time his popularity ratings have been essentially sanitized all of this relationship with the leadership in congress and national impeachment sentiment what was for old in this period of time increased steadily until it 57 percent around the time he resigned in august or may . so it seems clear that the direction the nation was trending in . and what's interesting the next case and we talk about this in the book is the end of chapter 4 is it illuminates what factors make it more likely that congress will impeach and offer the chance, a case study to see
when the stars will align where that can be possible and nixon did everything wrong but he ended his medical career, his judgment had almost completely escaped him in church using gerald ford on the mistaken theory that no one would be willing to make that man president, he refers to him as an insurance policy, and in terms of your insurance was something different and in any number number of other respects, sabotaging relationships with the press, fighting till the very end, destroying relationships with his own party, nixon at least the end did everything wrong and it's a sign of how power can corrupt but power can also reveal and in that circumstance nixon's penchant for absolute power in the manner in which he responded to the impeachment investigation wasn't self-evident of the fact that he should have been removed and this is a point we emphasize in chapter 3 where
we talk about the risk of impeachment too early. the manner in which the president responds to the wrongdoing or now the manner in which response to the mueller investigation may provide the most important risk available to us over whether this is someone we can believe in the white house and that was a big part of what was going on in nixon's final days. his response to the crisis that he had to goand the nation saw that . >> one reason that we don't have that kind of counterfactual history is we don't have nixon sticking it out and testing the question whether in you would been removed is he had a sense of shame. that differentiates him from certain other presidents. he did not want to go down in utter a nominee whereas there are some presidents who truly get on the flight and enjoy the gladiatorial spectacle in which they will be center
stage. another fundamental difference even though the democrats controlthe house at the time , another fundamental differences there were moderates in the republican party, people who you don't normally think of goldwater as a moderate. we think of him as holding down the right end of the republican party when in fact goldwater was a kind of mccain -like figure in some ways but he was someone who was not absolutely stuck in the mud with a particular loyalty not to the country, not to the constitution but to a specific faction and a specific president. it would be hard to find the republican states person today who would go to trial and tell him mister president, the jig is up and it would be hard to imagine him listening. makesthis moment incredibly perilous . >> so i think if we could
reserve it for holes were standing up here. >>. >> i agree with you. i understand why impeachment is probably not a wise move forward. but you know, is it a rest. and what do we do? >> writing this book was a very traumatic exercise. for me especially. i started out much more extremely eager to get rid of this monster than joshua did. >> i want to be clear that i am not a fan of either . it's a difference of method and you are more naturally balanced than i am .
the chemistry is good because i tend to start as a firebrand and then gradually joshua manages to convince me that even though it may feel good to bed, the temperature has to be turned down writing this book as i would do these passages, i would say to myself that everyone will say how can you stand not getting rid of him and the answer always has to be there are many other avenues. when you see the me to movement, when you see the kids mobilizing and registering people to vote and we will never vote for anyone who is not for very strong gun safety measures and when you see marches as large as any in the history of the country, i see the possibility . >> and's inauguration. >> that was the largest group ever, we know that. but when you see that, i get
enormous over, one of the reasons i love teaching as i'm attached to the younger people and is with them that i think the whole. >> somebody who's like me, i'm not necessarily going to see today the country regains its senses but i also don't think this is the passionate satisfaction of voting to impeach him only to be vindicated in the senate would do very good at the end. we would be shooting ourselves. and it seems to me we have to do other things. the conditions that might make it possible to actually get a large majority to vote him out are the very conditions that would allow congress in different controls to perform its oversight function, to subpoena some of the people the house intelligence committee left on the cutting
room floor. you actually exposed to the light of day a lot of things that have been going on and i have faith that when it's all exposed, the willingness of the country these to reelect him in 2020 will have dissipated and i saythat because i think that's a real possibility . one might not like to think it, we might have to live for eight years with this kind of quasi-tyranny and i think the main thing we have to do as the doctors say is do no harm. we should not exacerbate the chance that he will grow roots into the american culture that cannot be pulled out. it seems to me from that point of view and i saw a number of people looking skeptical as joshua talked about relying on congress. you know as well as i do the standouts, the framers imagined we might have a tyrannical president.
president who was as we say a low functioning moron, they say in the book high functioning moron. that's an example of where we had to negotiate. they imagined that although they thought strongly that the electoral college would stop them. couldn't imagine we would have political parties. they could not also imagine that we would ever have congress as beholden to the president as timeless as this one. and that creates a situation of maximum peril. the branch we must rely on to check has to be dramatically changed . in november 2018, i would hope. we also rely on the courts. we saw what the justice for such. to collective-bargaining and collective in vindication of rights and we don't know how
long kennedy will stay. we cannot rely on anything more than we the people in a very large uprising to make the ultimate difference. >> let me offer two short additions to that. one point is that i feel like there are faults in the country and for example fire in this group whose attitude is the president is really terrible and the only reaction equal to the depth of our situation is impeachment and there's this idea that because we face a great problem we must invoke an equally extreme and great power to mediate and part of what i worry about with that kind of thinking is that no not only devalues other forms of political engagement makes them feel beside the point besides what matters is that it tends to accelerate and encourage this no holds barred existential politics
in which people go immediately from electoral loser to impeachment and winning and both sides nowadays use that rhetoric and i think it's well justified in president from but there is a question about how you stabilize the situation and the idea that it impeach or nothing is nothing else could possibly be good enough is dangerous and there's one other point which is fine but imagine you do want to impeach. muscles thought, you've got 40 percent of the country back to you. 60 percent doesn't. you're not going to impeach excessively, you don't even have a vote in thehouse right now . you don't even have a vote in the house so there's a question, let's imagine you do believe impeachment is the appropriate thing to do. the question is how do you assemble the political will and forces you need to make in a way that doesn't blow up in your face or vindicate the president. the question then is is impeachment talk the best form of political messaging and rhetoric and strategy to build political coalition. maybe if you secretly really want impeachment the best
thing to do is to shut up and use other forms of political messaging and rhetoric to assemble the political will of the majority, that they can then use to do other things which then might make that more practical. to me, the sort impeach or nothing mentality is wrong on the merits. and it's case for an assumption about the strategy or persuading out-of-control president does not withstand scrutiny as a historical matter. >> let me add one thingand i have to be quick . >> i want to say the shut up strategy is also not practical. we may shut up with tom stier and his $3 million and the other side will say see, it's just like the terrible arguments that were made in panama to that the americans of japanese descent must be spies because you see they've done nothing wrong and
therefore they are hiding in the weeds. people say suddenly impeachment talk has called down because they are all reading lucy's labor but we know what their real agenda is. we have to be realistic. we can't just stop talking about it but we have to persuade one another that it is not right to pull that board just yet. another question hopefully. >>. >> in your idea of alternatives, one could always make a case about talk about president johnson the more recent president johnson and whether or not his activities with regard to continuing vietnam, lying about what was going on finding , creating reasons where the engagement, could arguably have constituted plans for impeachment?
and i will as old as you. and have my own experiences from that time. but the point is, that an alternative movement, sense of dialogue created somehow pressure on the president to say hey, maybe i did screwup . and without then we got nixon. >> don't blame me. >> to answer your question, maybe that could have been grounds for impeachment but impeachment was not feasible. that is, the goal of talking resolution was a thinly veiled, we know that. it seems to me that for the president that for the yellowcake stop and the reason for going to war in iraq made up a fabric of
lies line in order to get the nation into war , i think passes are threshold of being impeachable but the whole thing point of much of our book is so it's impeachable, do you actually move to impeach. what will happen next. how will the president react you will that build up momentum that we need. >> in 1983, i don't know if there may be other folks who want to ask questions, in 1983 president reagan had us military forces in grenada and did it without congressional authorization and there was a member of congress who said you can't do that. in my view is a clear misuse of presidential power and what was great about this is he was a real lot with democrat and they said white is the kind of guy if you thought you needed to doit would impeach god . >> and then he added, at least intellectually honest so if he did impeach god, you know you really meant it and
he never got around to god but he did get around the reagan so in 1983 he introduced articles of impeachment against president reagan thatwas plausibly well justified . it was a nonfrivolous resolution. got a couple votes. because the american public approved of what reagan had done, strong and it was a nice way to break out in their view of the post vietnam lethargy that paralyzed american interventionism so in that circumstance and so many others residents use their powers in ways that were plausibly contend with a bunch of massive votes. followed by the high crimes and misdemeanors. >> and then the real question is is american democracy in peril for the american people think of it that way. they there nobody really did. and i think that broader political question is in some ways the more important one rather than the more technical question that you
might more plausibly be able to characterize something as a high crime or misdemeanor. there was somebody wanted to ask a question. this will be our last question. >> sorry i came in late. hopefully nothing like this has been asked before but one of the things that goes to the what can we do, and one of the things i would really love to see and participate in is if we could crowd fund and the crowd investigate or analyze, get a whole bunch of people to throw in $20. higher folks like you guys. >>. >> we do most of this already. >>. >> so a whole bunch of people , i see from as just like the flag at the top of this huge organism and this huge building and its building itself.
we need to take the spokes out of the wheel. one by one. collect information and prosecute individual crimes and basically dismantle the crime scene. >> that's what mueller is doing. i'mexpecting to indict quite a few more people . >> but he's a. he has some constraints on them. >> i think it's a question of , our our lawyers and other people in civic society examining really trump organization and those around and those in trump's inner-circle and seeing if they have broken the law. my very strong intuition is yes area i say that because i amone such person . >> mario and i are both counting on an issue, but addresses the president
receipt of improper payments from foreign power but there are beyond the lower investigation to do that. i think actually the more important thing is not our people looking into this because there are lawyers and journalists and many others who are the question is is there a political movement out there that cares about it and can translate that into something that moves the ball in terms of electoral outcome because at the end of the day, you can thousand of us in the room and found larry's in the room might just break the course of intellectual power but at the end of the day, a one-vote majority, it would really take 1000 of me? >> i love you for your modesty . >> at the end of the day room of larry tribes is not worth as much as a single vote control of the house of representatives so the question for me isn't our people looking at the organization, the story is is the information that is being found in utilized in ways that can shape the electoral and to be honest my answer on
that for at least me as i hope someone else is doing that because i'm really busy working on wall street. >> but i read the new york times and it seems like they are . [applause] >> thank you larry and thank you. i just want to remind everybody that we will be forming a signing line atthis event , please hold up and the books are right behind everybody there. >>. >> please buy them. >> here's a look at upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. >> next saturday, august 18 we will be live at the mississippi book festival in jackson teacher and pulitzer prize winning historian john meacham and many others. the full schedule of events is available on their website at tv.org.
then from august 31 to september 2 it's the ajc decatur book festival in atlanta. on saturday, september 1 we are live for the year in a row at the national festival in washington dc supreme court justice sonia so the mayor, lager ron turnout, former secretary of state madeleine all right and many others. later in the month it's the baltimore book festival held at the city's inner harbor area for more information about upcoming book fairs and festivals and to watch our previous festival coverage, the book fairs have on our website, book pdf board. >>. >> book tv recently covered book party for former white house secretary sean spicer in washington dc where he met and sign his book briefing. >>