I am taking no position here on whether Trump should be impeached or not, but I am curious if the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act can be relevant for the impeachment process (say, because of the dealings with Ukraine and because Trump apparently heads The 2020 Donald Trump presidential campaign).

1 Answer 1


Not really.

Impeachment and conviction are entirely a political process carried out by the legislative branch of Government. The question that has to be answered is "has the accused done something sufficiently inappropriate to make it appropriate to remove them from office?"

Something can be legal and still be grounds for impeachment (sex with an intern for example - although in that case the accused was not convicted), or illegal and not be grounds for impeachment (nobody is going to be impeached for a speeding ticket). Having said that, it is quite likely that inappropriate acts will also be illegal but that is not the main question.

  • @MartinBonner : I fully agree that "Impeachment and conviction are ... a political process", but not "entirely", as, technically, grounds for impeachment are limited to ""Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors", and Clinton was not impeached for sex with an intern, but for (alleged) perjury and obstruction of justice. So my question is if Trump could potentially be impeached (possibly, among other things) specifically for violating FCPA. I am trying to understand if FCPA could be applicable in principle..
    – akhmeteli
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 13:56
  • 4
    @akhmeteli Yehbut, the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanours" is pretty much "whatever the politicians decides it means" - and the Supreme Court will not get involved to give them guidance. Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 13:59
  • @MartinBonnersupportsMonica : In principle, yes, but in practice, politicians do not completely ignore legal issues:-)
    – akhmeteli
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 14:07
  • It's much more convenient if what the sitting president has done is contrary to an actual law. But they can impeach him for having the letter 'U' in his first name, if they do not fear the political repercussions.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 0:17

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