On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the titular host started the show by talking about the forthcoming Democratic debates and poking fun at Steve Bullock for releasing a YouTube video in retaliation — a video that barely got any views. He also took some jabs at California congressman Duncan Hunter’s scandal of allegedly using $250,000 in campaign money for personal expenses and blaming his wife. But the majority of the Sunday night was focused impeachment. In particular, the impeachment of Donald Trump.
Oliver said that people are “dying” to see Trump impeached and that it has become a major talking point among House Democrats, with 63 supporting impeachment. He then referred — and took a little joy — in the popular video of Rep. Rashida Tlaib saying “We’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherf*****!”
However, Oliver points out that not everyone in the Democratic party is enthusiastic about impeachment. In particular, he said, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly attempted to apply the brakes to an impeachment inquiry, claiming the country is not behind and they barely understand what it means.” Pelosi also has gone on record to say that impeachment is “not a means to an end.”
Oliver said, “It is true.”
He begins to unpack the impeachment process and what it means. It doesn’t guarantee removal from office and he goes on to give a history of impeachment. Clinton and Johnson are the only two presidents who have been impeached while Nixon resigned on his own before the House could finish the impeachment process.
The impeachment process begins with the House of Representatives and if a majority votes that there are impeachable offenses, it moves on to the Senate where a trial is held. The President is only removed from office if a two-thirds majority votes for that.
Grounds for impeachment include treason, bribery as well as high crimes and misdemeanors — and it’s safe to say obstruction of justice could be included in the latter because that is half the Mueller report.
Oliver reminds us that Trump told former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller and then put out a statement that he didn’t do that. “The president obstructed justice, then obstructed justice again to try to obstruct the investigation into his obstruction of justice — it’s ridiculous!” explained Oliver.
He continued: “If a president can shut down an investigation into himself and if a president could shut down an investigation he can basically do anything with no consequences — it’s a big deal.”
After further going into the details surrounding Trump and an impeachment, he explained “Every a**hole succeeds until they don’t.” He goes on to reference Nixon and Harvey Weinstein to prove his point and then jokingly taking a jab at Jeopardy! winner James Holzhauer for “not respecting the spirit of the game”
“I can’t guarantee that impeachment will work out the way you want it to because it probably won’t,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing because if nothing else, we’d be standing by the basic fundamental princple that nobody is above the law.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.