Constitutional FAQ Answer #79 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #79

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Q79. “Does perjury fall into the category ‘high
crimes and misdemeanors?’ i.e. could the president be impeached for lying to
the Supreme Court?”

The definition of high crimes and misdemeanors is not supplied specifically
by the Constitution. It is left, then, to the House to determine if a
president, or other official, should be impeached for any offense. Perjury is
certainly an offense, and perjury in front of the Supreme Court is as bad as
you could likely get, so if it were proven that a president lied in a Supreme
Court hearing, it is likely impeachment would proceed (remember, though, that
there is usually not testimony of witnesses in front of the Court, so it is
unlikely anyone would have the opportunity to perjure themselves in front of
the Court). It is pretty subjective, but tempered with the super majority in
the Senate needed to convict.

Last Modified: 10 Aug 2010

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