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Margaret Tseng

The Politics of Impeachment

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As changes in our political system have developed over the last two centuries, impeachment has grown even more political. The polarization of political parties, the power of interest groups and the expansion of suffrage has deeply impacted who we elect. Those elected officials, in turn, are responsible for overseeing the impeachment process, and their decisions are impacted by party dynamics, interest group influence and the desires of their constituents. While discussion about impeachment seems ubiquitous today, on the state level, impeachments of governors are extremely rare. Over 2,000 people have served as governors in the United States, but only thirteen governors have been impeached and eight removed from office. On the national level, there have only been two presidential impeachments, but modern presidents have faced increased impeachment efforts. Every president since Ronald Reagan has faced some type of impeachment resolution from the opposing party. President Trump is no exception. Starting from his first day in office, over a million people signed an online impeachment petition and within six months of taking office he faced articles of impeachment from two Democratic congressmen.