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Many Secrets, No Mysteries

David Frum
 

By David Frum (Original source The Atlantic)

“On the 20th of July 1787, Gouverneur Morris rose inside the stiflingly hot Independence Hall in Philadelphia to explain why he had changed his mind and now favored including a power of impeachment in the constitutional text.

Until that point, he and others had feared that an impeachment power would leave the president too dependent on Congress. He had thought the prospect of reelection defeat would offer a sufficient control on presidential wrongdoing.

But the arguments of other delegates had convinced him—and particularly an example from then-recent British history. A century earlier, Great Britain had been ruled by a king named Charles II. King Charles was the son of Charles I, the king whose head had been cut off during the English Civil War. Restored to the throne, Charles II had learned to tip-toe carefully around his dangerous subjects. But there was a problem: Charles wanted more money than Parliament willingly offered him. His solution? He reached out to an old friend and patron, the King of France, Louis XIV.”

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