Legal Scholar and Constitutional Law Expert Peter M. Shane Answers Questions Surrounding the Presidency
Marquis Austin

Last Friday, legal scholar and constitutional law expert Peter M. Shane met with community members to discuss impeachment, the 25th Amendment and the violent attacks at the Capitol. To begin, Professor Shane clarified what acts warrant impeachment: "Impeachment occurs when the president, vice president or any other officer of the United States is accused of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors." He defined "high crimes and misdemeanors" as "abuses of office that are so grave an injustice to the nation that they warrant removal from office." After a president is impeached, the Senate will conduct a trial to determine if they committed such acts. The 25th Amendment, on the other hand, does not hinge on accusations of presidential malfeasance or lead to the removal of a president from office. "It just suspends his ability to exercise the powers of the presidency," said Professor Shane. 

In addition to defining these two relevant political terms, Professor Shane outlined the steps it would take to remove a president from office following impeachment and invoke the 25th Amendment if a vice president were to proceed with that course of action. Following his presentation, he answered questions from students and faculty about Washington D.C's current proceedings. 

To watch the full talk with Professor Shane, please click here. 

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