Oct. 10, 2019 by James Goodwin

What the Trump Impeachment Inquiry Teaches Us about the Federal Bureaucracy

Just when it seemed that President Donald Trump was completely immune to accountability for his various abuses of power, impeachment proceedings against him have quickly picked up steam over the last couple weeks.

Laying aside what happens with Trump, it's significant that it was a whistleblower complaint from a current CIA officer that helped expose the president's misconduct. (Reports that a second whistleblower, another intelligence official, is preparing to step forward have emerged in recent days.)

Therein lies one of the many important civics lessons to be drawn from the bit of history we're witnessing: The process to this point has confirmed the value of a high-quality, independent, and professional federal bureaucracy to the effective functioning of our democracy. For starters, while Trump administration political appointees and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are likely to dominate the headlines as this drama plays out, it was ultimately the courageous act of one career public servant that set it in motion. (Depending on the second whistleblower's identity and actions, it might be another public servant who is responsible for ensuring that the proceedings reach a legitimate conclusion.)

Perhaps more significantly, that the impeachment proceedings have taken on so …

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Oct. 10, 2019

What the Trump Impeachment Inquiry Teaches Us about the Federal Bureaucracy