CNN's Avlon schools Trump on the history of impeachment -- and outlines his potential 'high crimes and misdemeanors'
CNN's John Avlon debunks lies told by President Donald Trump (Screen cap).

CNN's John Avlon on Thursday devoted his daily "Reality Check" segment to discussing the history of impeachment, and he explained that President Donald Trump way well likely be on the hook for the "high crimes and misdemeanors" outlined in the United States Constitution.


Avlon began by recalling that early drafts of the Constitution envisioned using impeachment for very specific offenses such as treason and bribery, but then founding father George Mason argued that those two crimes were too narrow and would not be sufficient to curtail a rogue executive for "many great and dangerous offenses." Thus, the Constitution was revised to say that the president could be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Avlon then goes through other impeachments that have occurred in the past, including former presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, neither of whom were convicted in the Senate.

The closest parallel to Trump, Avlon argued, was former President Richard Nixon, who resigned before he could be formally impeached.

In particular, Avlon pointed to second article of impeachment against Nixon that accused him of abuse of power for his use of the FBI and IRS to investigate his political opponents -- just as Trump has now been shown to be trying to use a foreign government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Watch the video below.