Impeachment Expert: Trump Impeachment is unique

Frank O. Bowman III: U of Missouri School of Law

The Randy Tobler Show
November 06, 2019 - 7:30 am

Professor Frank Bowman III is an expert on Constitutional law and Impeachment at the University of Missouri School of Law, he says the inquiry into President Trump's actions with Ukraine are different than the two most recent impeachment investigations of a President.

"In both [Richard] Nixon and [Bill] Clinton, when the matter got to the House Judiciary Committee for the consideration of Articles of Impeachment, there already had been extensive investigation of the facts before that happened," says Bowman. "The facts were essentially already well-developed by prosecutors and other legislative bodies before we got to the Judiciary Committee to consider impeachment."

What's different this time around?  Bowman says since the Mueller investigation had already wrapped up and the Justice Department refused to investigate the Ukraine story, "we have, really, pretty much the first time in American history a situation where there's arguably impeachable conduct by a President and there's no body other than the House of Representatives itself with the ability to investigate."

"That means that the House here is doing something pretty novel, they're having to actually act as if they were investigators like police or prosecutors," says Bowman. "The first phase you're seeing now is exactly that. They're conducting it in the way in which t invesitgators and prosecutors conduct cases in criminal matters.  That is to say they interview witnesses in private. They present  matters privately first because they don't want witnesses to be coordinating their testimony."


Read more in Professor Bowman's Book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump