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Former U.S. Congressmen to Contextualize Trump Impeachment

Jan. 21, 2020

Former U.S. Congressmen Alan Steelman (R-TX 5th District, 1973-1976) and Chet Edwards (D-TX 11th and 17th Districts, 1991-2010) will be joined by Baylor Law Professor Rory Ryan and Baylor Professor of History Stephen Sloan for a panel discussion and Q&A, "Investigating Impeachment: Context, Congress, and the Constitution," on Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center on the campus of Baylor University. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

"Our founding fathers gave the American people the right to elect their presidents and Congress the right to impeach and remove presidents from office," said Edwards. "History shows that presidential impeachments are always divisive, but our democracy is better served if citizens understand its constitutional roots and the first-hand lessons from past impeachment processes."

Steelman was a freshman congressman in 1973 when President Richard Nixon was suspected of participating in the Watergate scandal and ultimately resigned prior to being impeached. Edwards was a leading House democrat in 1998 when President Bill Clinton became only the second U.S. president to be impeached. These congressmen will reflect on their experiences with impeachment proceedings as a context for understanding the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Baylor Law Professor Rory Ryan is an expert in the areas of federal jurisdiction, appeals, and complex litigation. He has tried cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court, state and federal appellate courts, and trial courts. Dr. Stephen Sloan will moderate the panel discussion. He serves as professor of American History and director of the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University.

"Impeachment isn't for the faint of heart." said Steelman, "It is a surreal and raw experience for the people of the country and the congressmen and senators who have to vote on it. I’m hopeful those who attend the panel discussion will come away with a better understanding of the historical gravity of this process, and be better prepared and informed and able to make their own personal decisions about the current process that is underway."

This panel discussion provides an excellent opportunity to experience and participate in a civil conversation about the impeachment process from an experiential, historical, and constitutional perspective. For more information, visit