Expert Pitch

Oregon State University expert says impeachment is all about foreign intervention

Oregon State University, College of Engineering

 

Christopher Nichols, an associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University, is available to comment about Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment announcement.

Nichols has these initial thoughts:

“President Trump’s efforts with -- and ties to -- foreign governments, particularly Russia and these latest developments regarding Ukraine, have made an impeachment investigation followed by a vote in the House and the Senate very likely. 

“Foreign intervention in American politics and the leveraging of U.S. power to manipulate other nations toward domestic political and partisan interests has always been perhaps the most fundamental worry about the American democracy. For the nation’s founders the possibility of foreign influence in any of many potentially insidious forms was an essential reason to bestow the impeachment power on the U.S. Congress, to check the power of a president beholden to or actively working with foreign nations. As I have argued elsewhere, “the founders would be aghast” about President Trump’s penchant for accepting and especially pursuing foreign influence and information in American politics. 

“The latest developments announcing an impeachment investigation in the House of Representatives are in keeping with a set of foundational concepts: an absolute injunction against foreign influence and meddling.”

Nichols can be reached at christopher.nichols@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-3530.

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.

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