U.S. Presidents and Their Impeachable Crimes, Ranked
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U.S. Presidents and Their Impeachable Crimes, Ranked

‘Lying’ to ‘inciting insurrection against the U.S. government’ is a hell of a spread

3. Bill Clinton

Once upon a time, in a 1998 New Yorker essay, Toni Morrison famously dubbed Clinton the first Black president — a statement that has long been misinterpreted as affectionate. In actuality, she was referring to the way the saxophone-playing prez was scrutinized and disgraced for his sexuality. A Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted to impeach Slick Willie for obstruction of justice and lying under oath, due to his denial that he had an adulterous sexual relationship with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Sure, it’s problematic — and Clinton inflicted his share of agony on the Black community while in the Oval Office — but in retrospect, this seems… not so bad?

2. Andrew Johnson

The 17th president of the United States was nearly ousted from office for doing whatever the fuck he wanted. After Abe Lincoln’s assassination, Vice President Johnson rose to the top of the executive branch, where he was tasked with reunifying a nation fractured by the Civil War. Much to the chagrin of Congress, Johnson sought to handle former Confederate leaders and seceded states with kid gloves, and didn’t give a damn about establishing rights for Black Americans. A power struggle ensued; vetoes overturned; Johnson defied Congress with unauthorized (and unconstitutional) appointments and firings. Eventually, enough was enough, and legislators impeached him for everything from conspiracy to badmouthing Congress “with a loud voice.” (Could you imagine if this guy had Twitter?) He fell one senator vote short of being put on permanent vacay.

1. Donald Trump

There’s levels to this shit, and the Donald trumps all when it comes to conducting shady activities as aspiring fascist-in-chief. For one, he allegedly sought foreign interference from Ukraine in an attempt to influence a presidential reelection campaign in his favor. While he wasn’t removed from office for that one thanks to a GOP-controlled Senate, 45 upped the ante by inciting and encouraging an insurrection attempt that, based on still-developing reports, increasingly appears to be an inside job. He’s since been impeached a second time, and while it’s unlikely he’ll be convicted — that’d require 16 Republican senators to vote for country over party, and “GOP” doesn’t stand for shit these days — a separate vote might just bar him from holding office in the future. That’s making America great again.

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