A lot of discussion is happening today about the Valerie Plame affair, both in media and in the blogosphere. I’ve even started seeing the word “impeachment” come up in a few places, such as on Brad DeLong’s blog.

But there are really two separate questions one can ask about this situation regarding impeachment, and I haven’t seen the distinction really made yet. The first question is whether this crime falls into the category of “impeachable offenses,” particularly as it was defined during the 1990s. My answer is that I’m not sure, yet, and that we probably need more information. The second question is whether, if the press and public answer yes to Q #1, Bush could actually face impeachment over the issue. I think the answer is absolutely not — there is zero probability of that happening with the current Congress. Given the answer to Q #2, is it even relevant to ask Q #1?


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