Prime Minister missteps, ongoing conflict between the U.S. and Iran, and climate change strikes around the world are big news stories this week.
Guest Host: Kimberly Adams
Schoolhouse Rock taught us about checks and balances within the American government.
From Three Ring Government:
No one part can be
more powerful than any other is.
Each controls the other you see,
and that’s what we call checks and balances.
Need a refresher on how the separation of powers works? Check out this explainer from Crash Course
Throughout American history, there have been periods of intense friction between the executive and legislative branches of government. With the power struggle between President Trump and the Democratic-led House, we’re in such a period now.
When Democrats took control of the House in 2018, the drumbeat for impeachment picked up. Then, the Mueller report was released. And Democrats started asking for testimony by some of the president’s closest associates in front of Congress. This week, former White House Counsel Don McGahn, didn’t show after President Donald Trump instructed him not to, even though a House committee issued a subpoena. The report by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Russian meddling in the 2016 election prominently featured testimony by McGahn.
Before McGahn declined to appear, top Democratic Rep. David Cicilline tweeted “If Don McGahn does not testify tomorrow, it will be time to begin an impeachment inquiry of
Prior to that, a Republican Congressman, Justin Amash, also called for impeachment proceedings.
In March, Yoni Appelbaum, an Atlantic editor, argued for impeaching President Trump. He started by outlining what it actually means to impeach.
…It is absurd to suggest that the Constitution would delineate a mechanism too potent to ever actually be employed. Impeachment, in fact, is a vital protection against the dangers a president like Trump poses. And, crucially, many of its benefits—to the political health of the country, to the stability of the constitutional system—accrue irrespective of its ultimate result. Impeachment is a process, not an outcome, a rule-bound procedure for investigating a president, considering evidence, formulating charges, and deciding whether to continue on to trial.
How effective is the system of checks and balances today? What is the likelihood that Congress will impeach the president?
Produced by Stacia Brown.
- Norman Ornstein Resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute; co-author, "One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet Deported"; @NormOrnstein
- James Antle Editor-in-chief, The American Conservative magazine; former politics editor, Washington Examiner; senior advisor, Defense Priorities; @jimantle
- Bruce Gibney Lawyer, venture capitalist, and author of “The Nonsense Factory: The Making and Breaking of the American Legal System"
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