Jan. 16, 2020

Impeachment trial major indicator of the health of American democracy

Media contact: Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Christopher Nichols, an associate professor of history and Director of the Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University, is available to comment about the developments in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

Nichols has these initial thoughts:

“Today is an historic day. It marks the third ever Senate impeachment trial of a president. Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump. That's it. Regardless of the outcome in the Senate, this will be in every U.S. history textbook and every account of U.S. political history. More to the point, the way that the Senate conducts the trial, calling witnesses, securing new evidence, hearing arguments, performing crucial oversight will be a major indicator of the health of American democracy. Our main question today, therefore, is about precedent. Every impeachment that has gone to conclusion in the Senate has involved testimony and evidence. Will this one? The process in both the House and now the Senate, as in the past, represents a vital exercise in balancing powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch.”

Oregon State University is equipped with on-campus television and radio studios that can be used by journalists. Live or live-to-tape broadcast television studio interviews can be conducted using Vyvx. For radio, Oregon State’s ISDN phone line provides a broadcast-quality audio feed.