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Charlotte Talks: What Does It Take To Send A President Packing? History Offers A Guide

The White House

Monday, Dec. 10, 2018

Impeachment might have been a rallying cry for some Democrats in the midterm, but it's a road rarely traveled. Author David Priess has explored America's history of removing chief executives from the Oval Office, either at the ballot box or through other means. He sits down with guest host Erik Spanberg.

Impeachment wasn’t a high priority for Democratic leadership in Congress in the midterms, but it was on the minds of voters. More than three-fourths of Democrats said in exit polls they wanted President Trump removed from office.

But author David Priess doesn’t see it happening.

"It would be extraordinarly difficult," the former CIA officer told Charlotte Talks. "It's hard, and it's supposed to be hard. The Founders were not stupid."

Usually, presidents are turned out of office at the ballot box. In other eras, presidents were denied a chance for re-election by their own party.

Credit WFAE / Chris Miller
David Priess served in the CIA during the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Priess, a former CIA officer during the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies, outlines the history of dumping presidents in his latest book.


Erik Spanberg, managing editor, Charlotte Business Journal (@CBJspanberg)


David Priess, author, How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable or Unfit Chief Executives (@DavidPriess)