By Nick Givas
Published June 17, 2019
HBO's John Oliver has become the latest media figure to back an impeachment push against President Trump.
During Sunday's episode of his show, "Last Week Tonight," Oliver went on a 20-minute rant while stopping to explain the mathematics and logistics behind removing Trump from power.
Before breaking down the numbers, Oliver ran a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explaining the definition of impeachment and mocked her for referencing the musical Bye Bye Birdie.
"If this situation were to be a musical it wouldn't be Bye Bye Birdie. It would obviously be Grease, where a rapey guy with weird hair treats women like sh-t and yet somehow gets everything he ever wanted," Oliver said.
"But I will say, it is true that many people don't fully understand what impeachment involves. So we thought that tonight might be a good time to discuss what it is, why it may be warranted, and what the risks might be in carrying it out."
Oliver painstakingly explained the history behind presidential impeachments and pointed out only two U.S. presidents have ever been impeached -- Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. Both of whom remained in office. He then walked viewers through the step-by-step process of impeachment, using colored graphs to illustrate his points.
"Very basically, here is how the impeachment process works," Oliver began. "Typically it begins with an inquiry in the House of Representatives during which a committee investigates and holds hearings into a president's conduct. And if a majority decides they found impeachable offenses, they vote to impeach. But that is not the end. That merely moves the process to the Senate where a trial is held. And the president is only removed from office if a two-thirds majority votes for that."
Oliver took the segment a step further and began running down the list of reasons why Trump should be booted from the White House.
"The Constitution says grounds for impeachment are treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. And that last phrase can trip people up. Even people who might really want to research its exact definition," he said.
"High crimes and misdemeanors can include acts that are not actual crimes. It is a broad term for serious misconduct," Oliver added. "And Congress is currently looking into a wide range of Trump's potential misconduct ... but one area where we already have considerable evidence against Trump is obstruction of justice."
Oliver claimed Trump committed an impeachable offense when he contemplated removing special counsel Robert Mueller, but remained skeptical about any concrete action being taken against him.
"If a president can shut down an investigation, he can basically do anything with no consequences. It's a big, big deal," Oliver said. "The problem is -- this has been in the public record for nearly two months now and it's failed to make much of an impression."