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1/29/2020 The history of weaponizing impeachments

  • Broadcast in History
Hart of America

Hart of America


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If you seem worn out, exhausted, pissed-off, or otherwise sapped by the never ending drudgery of the Senate’s impeachment of President Trump, at least you didn't have to endure that of Warren Hastings.

Hastings was a British official who served as the Crown’s governor-general in Bengal, India. The British Parliament was attempting to impeach Hastings in the late 1780s. That’s right around the same time the Founders convened the Constitutional Convention in the United States. Word of Hastings’s impeachment trial even made the papers here at home. It helped form debate and the final verbiage in the American Constitution about impeachment.

The British Parliament tried to impeach Hastings over a seven-year period stretching from 1788 to 1795. The trial dragged on for so long that a third of the House of Lords’ membership hearing the case died before it was over. Parliament eventually acquitted Hastings. Yep so you see there's a precident for dragging these things on for ever and for very political reasons. In this episode we take a look at the history of the weaponization of political impeachments.