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Is it possible to impeach Johnson?

Tim Dowling

The Constitution lists, as impeachable offenses, "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Legal redress for arbitrary or unlawful action by an agency is available under the Administrative Procedure Act. I am not aware of any serious legal scholar who would view impeachment as an appropriate response in these circumstances.

Interestingly, cabinet officers and other agency heads are subject to impeachment. Section 2 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution authorizes impeachment of the President, Vice President, and "all civil Officers of the United States." There is precedent for impeaching an Executive Branch official other than the President or VP. William Worth Belknap, President Grant's Secretary of War, was impeached by a unanimous vote of the House. The Senate vote on conviction fell short of the requisite two thirds.

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