M. Todd Henderson on What the Impeachment Process Should Borrow from Corporate Law

What corporate law can teach us about impeachment

If you believe the several law professors who testified before the House Judiciary Committee, it is a “high crime or misdemeanor” for a president to call for an investigation of a political rival. Harvard professor Noah Feldman declared: “The abuse of power occurs when the president uses his office for personal advantage or gain.”

This argument is too rich. Every time the president acts it is in part for their personal gain. If serving one’s own purposes were impeachable, politicians would be out of business. If it was forbidden to investigate other politicians, it would open up massive loopholes. After all, the Obama Administration investigated then-candidate Trump. The key question, which is being ignored in the impeachment proceedings, is how do we sort between decisions that are purely selfish and those that are not?

One approach can be found in the law’s treatment of another type of chief executive — the corporate CEO. Any corporate decision might serve the CEO’s personal interests, the company’s interests, or both. Most CEO decisions are not reviewable, because it is thought that what benefits the CEO flows from what benefits the company. Making profits may cause the CEO’s pay to rise, but this is good for everyone. But there are checks on CEOs — directors, shareholders, and, of course, the stock price.

Read more at The Hill

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