tv Author Discussion on the Impact of the Trump Administration CSPAN September 29, 2019 7:45am-8:37am EDT
>> you're watching tv on cspan2 with topnonfiction books and authors every weekend . televisionsfor serious readers . >> good afternoon, thank you for coming on this supposedly autumnal very beautiful sunday . my name is emily greenhouse and i have an editor at the newyork review of books since march. it's an honor to be here today . such insightful thinkers on the review on this minor question . before i introduce a net,
brenda and david, a little housekeeping. their books are on sale today and they can be purchasedfrom barnes and noble outside the building at signing table 1 . they'll be signing them and after our brief queuing day, i'm supposed to remind everyone to leave the room after the event is over. apeaceful transfer of power will be the idea of the event . our topic today is e impeachment versus election: how to confront a lawless president and our esteemed panelists are david paul, david is the author of engines of liberty: how citizen movements succeed. it director of aclu and george dave mitchell director of law and policy at georgetown university law center. an award-winning author, regular contributorto the new york review of books and correspondent for the nation he lives in washington dc. annette gordon-reed , author of most beloved of the
patriarchs is the charles warren professor of american legal history at harvard law school and professor of history arts and sciences at harvard . she won the pulitzer prize for the hemingway's of monticello, a subject she had written about. her honors include a guggenheim fellowship, macarthur fellowship,national humanities medal, national book award and women of power and influence award at the national organization for women . to her right is annette gordon-reed brenda wineapple, the in teachers author. heralded as a guidebook and cautionary tale for our time and a book on a question ripped from the headlines . her other books include ecstatic nation named best by the new year york times and white heat, a finalist for the national book critics circle award. her efforts and reviews appear in many publications. she teaches inthe mfa programs at columbia university .bi
so the first question is sort of an easy one to pose . should president trump be impeached? david, i want to start with you. in may you wrote apiece on the mueller report called an indictment . canyou explain to us what you meant ? >> first of all, thanks for including me . asi think after the last time i was at the brooklyn book festival and bob silvers was here overseeing the panel and in some cases i feel like his spirit lives on. wone of the most remarkable thingsabout bob , the editor of the new york review of books for over 50 years was his uncanny ability to somehow predict that the story that he asked you to write on day one and gave you no deadline whatsoever to turn in would be incredibly
timely when it eventually appeared in themagazine and that's how i feel about this panel . in some sense this panel when emily first reached out i thought arts we over this question? hasn't time run? and yet here we are with new evidence, new allegations,new reasons for concern about president trump's conduct . i'll say first i'm speaking in my personal capacity at the aclu where i'm national director has not taken an issue on impeachment. we have taken an issue on presidenttrump. it's called we will see you in court and we've sued him over multiple constitutional violations . i'll just quickly list some of them. it's a great list but i'll give the highlights h.
the census attempting to put a citizenship question on the census in order to bring down responses from immigrant communities. we sued him and one in the supreme court this summer. family separation, the incredibly cruel practice of operating mothers and fathers from their children as an attempt to deter people from applying for asylum. we sued him and the courts andjoined that practice .ti the jane goal of abortion case, the second most cruel practice of the trumpet ministration which was to deny young women, undocumented women in federal custody access to a medical facility if they sought to use access to that facility in order to obtain an abortion hewhich is their constitutional right. we sued him, the courts have enjoined that practice. the detention of an american citizen as an enemy combatant without charges, without
trial, without access to a lawyer. we sued him and he was forced to release the american citizen. the asylum band which barred people from a pile applying for asylum if they didn't come in an illegal border checkpoint despite the fact that statute governing asylum since everyone who faces persecution abroad can apply for some whetherthey came here lawfully or unlawfully . we sued him and the courts enjoined that practice. the border wall, he asked congress for billions of dollars to build the border wall. they said no. he went ahead and started spending thatmoney . we sued him, thecourts enjoined the border wall . that case is now on appeal and finally the transgender military band, a band that he reintroduced without consulting with the joint chiefs of staff . we sued him and joined that
has been stayed pendingan appeal but the appeals continue . i have no great respect for this president. i think he's the worst president in the history of this country when it comes to civil liberties and civil rights and maybe i don't even have to say when it comes to civil liberties and civil rights. and he clearly obstructed justice. the indictment in all but name that emily referred to was a review essentially of the mueller report and making clear that in all but name it was an indictment. robert mueller concluded he didn't have the authority to actually indict a sitting president because of the justice department interpretation to that effect and so he didn't feel it would be fair to conclude formally that he obstructed justice but you laid out all the facts and had he not been barred from making such a conclusion, he clearly would .
so this is a president who could be impeached to be sure. could be impeacheded. he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, obstruction of justice of an inquiry into interfering with the election, clearly impeachable offense the question of impeachment is not a legal question or it's not only a legal question. there's a threshold legal question, as a person committed a high crime or misdemeanor but ultimately apolitical andpragmatic decision . it is not a sort of you must impeach if someone has committed a high crime or misdemeanor. it's rather doesn't make sense to pursue impeachment and that depends on the politics at the time. they gave the power not to judge in a court of law but to congress area and they said the house will make the decision to indict. the senate will convictand only my two thirds vote .so i can say right now absence some new blockbuster
disclosure, president trump will not be impeached. why? cause there's no way in hell that two thirds of the senate will vote to impeach president trump. the house might vote to impeach him one partisan line but the senate will never vote toconvict . so i think wyou have to ask yourself what would be the effect if the house went ahead and impeached. we had a trial, a show trial essentially in the senate. in which president trump would absolutely for sure come out as a winner. and he would be able to claim victory, castigate the democrats for engaging in partisan which funds, just like he did robert mueller. jim up his supporters and very possibly alter the
results of the 20/20 election . so do i think he's committed acimpeachable offenses? yes. should he be impeached? i'm with nancy pelosi. accountability is essential but accountability comes in many forms in the form i like to see it in is a 2020 election that repudiates everything he stands for. [applause] >> a neck, you've written real brilliantly and memorably about presidential power and abuses of power . it is trumps behavior on the world stage breaking so many forms anddefinitions affect your question of impeachment ? >> they certainly draw attention to the power of the presidency and basically we never thought we would see happen we areseeing happen . some people hate that. some people find the norm breaking actually exhilarating.
but what was before was sort of this divine and problematic and phony, people, some people, i don't happen to be one of them see this as a refreshing change. now, the latest revelations about the ukraine and the calls and so forth, this is all new territory i was reading something and someone was making a point that we've not seen that before . there's a lot to sort out with but it's certainly adds a new dimension to the question of whether or not the president should remain in office. if people feel that he is in some way correct to the united states. you typically think of outsiders as potentially occupying that role. we don't think of the president in that vein. he definitely has broken norms and the interesting thing to me about this is someone who writes about the early american republic is that it's whole episode has made me think about the founders and what they put
together. the strength of it and the weaknesses of the system of government. they couldn't obviously have anticipated everything they could not have, to some degree there was concern about parties and the power of parties as affecting judgment. people would become too wedded to their parties, wedded to what they could would have called factions and not do what was right and in that even if that might extend to what we never thought would extend the foreign policy . because obviously politics ytstop at the edge of the water, that's not trueanymore . and it appears that a number of americans go along with that. they don't think that it matters if americans enlist the aid of foreign idpeople to help them in their elections. so this has been a lesson for me and changed the way i think about the founders and founding generations and the hesystem they instructed. the weaknesses and strengths of it and write out the focus for me has been on the weaknesses.
>> considering the sort of superlative situation that you and annette are f describing, you don't decide that there's any invasion of responsibility in nancy pelosi not calling for impeachment ? not fitting about? >> i think it's a political question, not a question of principle. it's a question of politics, it's a question ofwhat is the best way to move forward ? what is the best way to hold this president accountable. is it by diapering a huge amount of attention and energy to a process that we know will end in his acquittal lesson mark and give him yet another thing to gin up his supporters or is it by focusing on the bad things he does which one can do without going for impeachment process. investigating those bad
things which one can do without going throughan impeachment process . talking about the things that we would do those who oppose him with permanently if the election comes out the other way. and focus on regaining power in the executive branch and possibly in the senate in that way. so i think he's made adjustments putting the eye word on this process doesn't add anything on the side of the democrats. because they can do as much investigation. they can demand justice just as much in terms of documents . they can hold him in contempt and etc. as much. and yes him a process he can portray as your they are yet again coming against me. knowing that he will be acquitted down the line. i'll say this one caveat which is all we have now are
reports about this whistleblowers complaints which we haven't actuallyseen . depending on what wesee , things can change, absolutely but given where we are now, it doesn't seem to me to make sense to put a big eye word on the process and had him in a way a kind of gift for the election of 2020. >> i think she's worried about the weaker members of congress, the people who are in districts where they barely made it over and possibility that there could be some flying back if their people are galvanized. if the republicans are galvanized and so is a political calculation and i think she's trying to hold, he feels the primary responsibility to her members in trying to keep them in office . it's one thing if you're from the state where it doesn't matter what natalie does. he's much more likely to get in trouble or not doing that doing it inso he's not really a
good litmus test for all of thisif you're thinking about it politically . >> transplant. >> .. it doesn't seem to be a way for people to make principled judgments. great britain, uk is in the mess, but it's interesting to see the difference between the conservatives the way they handled their situation and they said we love you but this is a bridge too far, and left. we don't see that here and i think it's structural problem here, the structural of the government. >> and that, you mentioned your
thinking often about founding fathers and i thought we could talk about the historical precedents. you wrote a marvelous book but the first ever impeachment of an american president which happened at not tranquil moments, right after the civil war, 4 billion people are just been freed from slavery and 700,000 killed in battle. lincoln was assassinated and vice president andrew johnson took the office. could you speak to the overlap between johnson and j trump? i read marvelous notion that johnson himself talked about being a martyr. he compared himself to jesus christ being persecuted. >> it seems to work all the time. he also said he would be the most is for african-americans. >> exactly. >> and charleses sumner said jut don't be there pharaoh, which it seemed to be in the particular case. the parallels are kind of striking, frighteningly so in many ways because andrew johnson
was accused, rightly in my of abuse of power, of obstruction of justice, of flouting the laws of congress, of, you know, just been kind of breaking norms as as a net was saying, although at the time they were really norms in the making because, as emily said, the war had just ended and there was a piece to be fought over and it was actually fought on the streets and in the countryside because so many people, particularly black people and union loyalists were being murdered. johnson turned a deaf ear to the christ there were coming into him. what was -- two things that are interesting. there are enormous number parallels, almost frightening. was almost as if i was, what i
finished the book i thought, writing about trump or writing about johnson? so similar in so many ways, but the other similarities have to do with the timing, because johnson was facing an election, or the country was facing an election and impeachment start in februaryfe of 1868 and some f the last days of impeachment occurreded just as republican national convention was taking place in may. there are salient differences though at the same time, which is to say that the republicans who are not the same republicans is today, they were the party of lincoln, they were hoping to t t and they did get grant nominated and it was no way either party,, whether it was democrat or republican, was going to nominate johnson even though he thought he was going to be. so a very important difference is the factt that yes, you have an election but you also have somebody waiting in the wings who theoretically could unite
thean republican party and defet the democrats, and then sort of an act the military and other reconstruction acts that congress had been trying to carry through to execute. the other important thing is congress. even though the republican self majority in congress, they were very low to impeach president johnson. it took several times and it took johnson actually violating a law that had been passed to hamstring him. not to entrap him as some people said to me, but actually to make sure he didn't fire people close to him in his cabinet that were trying to execute the laws of the land that it just been passed.y law, congress, that is the house, voted overwhelm throwing impeach him. you can impeach a president,
conviction is something else again. and conviction didn't happen in the senate, and as many reader odd profiles in courage, john kennedy or ted sorensen's book of 1966, depending on you pointed of view, think of the person casting the deciding book as a hero, profile in courage, and red e.r.a.s today, probably everything in the panel and anybody in the room who knows anything abouted mopped ross knows he's not a profile in courage by any stretch. so, it was very close. and i think the lessons to be learn is, one, how difficult it is to impeach a president, even a president who is desperately loathed. that's number one. number two, because the house really tried and failed. they had launched, which is interesting to me these impeachment investigations and the judiciary committee and when
people talk today but we're having an impeachment inquiry, an impeachment investigation, nobody whos what that means. in 1867 it was a way of trying get the goods on andrew johnson but also a way of putting impeachment to the side. people didn't really want to alienate people. it and was only when johnson actually made a specific act vice-president vie lited and was clear violation, understands. >> it wasn't something like abuse of power which is hard to prove that it voted. the second thing is that they senate, even though republicans have majority, you need two-thirds, it failed in the senate so i think thoser very important lessons but there's a third lesson, too, for those who are hoping for an impeachment and that is, i don't think -- i understand where everybodying coming front -- i don't think politics and principle are necessarily different from one
another. i think we think of politics as being something that is -- that borders on the seamy if it's not spirally seamy. people say you're doing that for political reasons. the implication is you don't have high-minded principles. i think in fact certainly in the 19th century in 1868, for many, many of those who wanted to get rid of andrew johnson, politics and principle were the same thing, they were acting politically which to them meant principally and they failed, and they were willing to take that risk, but also i say the risks were different because you have a grant waiting in the wings and that changes everything. so it's very important. >> they're different as well because johnson followed lincoln, martyred president. he was elected in this situation you have -- he was an accidental president. people called him an accidental
president. people asked me did he have a base? and there wasn't the same at all. he wasn't able to dot that even though hoe eighted very much the way trump acts at his rallies. so they're really very interesting parallels but one has to be careful making them too close. >> here we have a pence waiting in the wings. >> in a sense that's the good news because i don't think he would be elected. >> does seem worth note that two american presidents have been impeached and neither removed from office. >> it's a tough thing because people see itself as undoing an election, even though it's not in the johnson -- there's the notion that he is kind of with lincoln and people vote for that and she about there, and that's kind of hard to too when there's a remedy and the remedy is to, as -- to vote the person out if you don't think they're
psychologically i think it's a very difficult thing to do. and i think that's important in terms of not just the people in congress but the more general people that david and annette were talk about, people on the margins who may vote one way or another, the people who aren't necessarily in the progressive wing of the democratic party and i think that is really very important as well, to consider that because it does seem like a usurpation of power. that's no doubt in my mind by either of them to impeach seems a very radical act. as mark twain says, sound the toxin, i don't note what a toxin is but you better sound it anyway. >> annette i wanted to quote a beautiful piece you wrote for the new york review. a couple of years ago but the white supremacy violence in
charlottesville. you knew i knew instant low why anyone holding tick i torches felled their need to make the case cor white supremacy but wake toward the statue of jefferson. he founded. do you have sense beer going back in history? >> going back in history? >> i don't think you can go back in history. >> apologize for my phrasing. back in history. >> these -- in terms while e white supremacy. >> perhaps that there was all this talk under president obama of the kind of post racial -- >> oh, yeah. think these are feelings and thoughts that never went away. they've been there from the very beginning and i do think to some degree to a great degree because we had the first african-american president, this is a backlash against that, and what happened in reconstruction, we saw afterwards anytime
there's an advance for african-americans, there's a retrenchment and people want to try to take things back, and a lot of what we're seeing is a response to having had a black president. i know that people say, well, there are folks who voted for obama and then voted for trump later on, but that's a sort of i think a very primitive understand offering the way race works, that it's possible for people to have vote for them and then opposite he becomes president and they see a black first lady and black family and their cousins and everybody, wait a minute, we didn't vote for this. this is different. i don't think those feelings ever went away. they come in cycles, and when you have the two steps -- what we took be forward having an from from president, there's going be a move to go back. so i do think that people are trying to turn the clock back. felt uncomfortable what if happened and this is a reboot of
ideas that have been out there, sentiments out there that people felt ashamed perhaps to voice but now don't feel asometime voice them. >> so it's not back. it's just a continuation a cycle. >> a very measured response we're seeing in journalism and magazines. there's a real struggle to find ways to discuss the sort of -- to not sound historical or heber bolick, i have a sense this is sometimes behavioral like we have never seen before. >> i grew up in texas. so i've seen this behavior before. you're right. there's a -- >> the language this president uses and there's still you see democrats clinging to a kind of notion or decorum and -- >> and a time that is not very
-- i see what you're saying, it's different because we -- it seems different because we just haven't been used to it. people talk about dog whistling and now the frequency is not so high. you can hear it loud and clear and that's the difference. the feelings have always been there. the willingness to express them have not always been there, in the past, in the past 10 or 20 years, they we there are in the 19th century its what the first era of reconstruct was fought about and actually the language that people spoke was horrendous, and violent, and the acts were violent. people were being killed during peacetime everywhere, basically. so, it was white supremacy or
steroids and wasn't until that grant got in office and began to break the back of the klu klux klan but that was white supremacy and these mr. mill -- mill litats organizedded in south and the west of white mobs who were bent on killing white and black people particularly black but white as well. ... >> but black people were
supposed to exist in america not as citizens.this was a this is a white man's country. he wouldn't even allow civil rights. would not even talking about the vote. were talking civil rights. civil rights legislation campaigned and went on sort of a rally against it, against passing what then became the 14th amendment but with civil rights legislation that actually both moderate, liberal and radical republicans were united on. >> so the question of citizenship basedon upon race is pretty much back, back back ine fore, you know, who can be an american. can you be an american if you're not white? certainly johnson put that on the table. even jackson, it's been on the table since the beginning. >> tu. we hope.
do you find there are any democratic presidential candidates who are addressing this particular shrewdness? >>. [indiscernible] >> i - - you know, i'm of two minds about the election. depends on the day. the one mind i have, which i've had basically since the day trump was elected. is that trump could not have gotten elected almost any day before november 8 of 2016. and probably could not have gotten elected anything after. he just lucked out that the election was on november 8, 2016.what do i mean by that? until comey came out with the clinton email thing. the focus was on the "access hollywood" tape and he was going down. people were separating from
themselves in drones. without question, hillary clinton would have won the election. why on any date after november 8? because trump didn't win the election. democrats lost the election. trump got the same number of votes essentially, this is rough. the same number of votes as romney and mccain in the two prior elections but they lost. he won. it wasn't that there was some surge of support for the republican candidate above where romney and mccain were. it's the same number. that's how many of the the president republican presidential candidate gets.
what happened was, hillary clinton got less than obama did. so he won and she lost. immigrants didn't turn out to vote. some of them were turned off by her connections to wall street and a lot of people thought it was a done deal. of course she was going to win. i was recruited to take the aclu john by the director on the premise, you've been litigating constitutional rights. under a conservative supreme court. i signed on the bottom line. we all thought hillary was going to win. donald trump thought hillary was going to win. collects i didn't think that. >> everybody but - - and i don't think that will happen again. so i think obama - - in this sense, democrats will not stay home. obama was an incredible get out
the vote person for democrats. absolutely. but he will not be as good. a get out the vote person for democrats as donald trump. to vote against donald trump, oh my god. look what happened in the midterms. i am confident and we can put anyone of us against donald trump. then the next day, look at all those candidates and i think they all seem vulnerable. >> it's interesting that you think he shouldn't be impeached. is that because you think democrats can win?>> absolutely. >> if he was going to win, then maybe - - i don't - - if he was going to win, then he clearly wouldn't be impeached. i am quite confident that democrats will turn out.
this is the lesson of 2016. if you stay home and think, oh my god, they're both bad. i like to bernie. i'm not going to vote. this is what happens. you pay the cost and we will for a long time. but i don't think democrats will make that mistake again. >> i hope you're right. seriously, you can ask my husband actually been i was very convinced that trump was going to win. you are right. he lost the popular vote but he won the electoral though. he is in office. i felt once you leave new york city and the new york area and even in massachusetts where i was spending a lot of time in the industrial northeast of massachusetts. which is very depressed. people would be going to the rallies and they were very excited about trump because he seemed to be thumbing his nose at established norms as you were saying before.
and it was really terrifying. also, i think the power at the time, particularly fox news. we are people were getting their information, can't be ignored. i hope you're right. but i do know people stay home if they don't like x or y. when you say either of us can be elected. i say cynically, not me or emily because there still a resistance to women running for hire office. the highest office. all of those issues concerned me. which really make me feel very much like david. that we better watch out for impeachment cousin of the
backfiring. even though i do believe you can impeach. donald trump will be impeached, he just will be convicted. you think of what the value of that is. i'd like to ask the question. - - if the ãi should say, god forbid, trump is be elected in 2020, wouldn't he be impeached then? there's no time limit on impeachment. the list of abuses that david read earlier that are going to continue if not get worse are not going to disappear. so it seems to me, we talk about impeachment online right now as if it's do or die moment. has to happen right now or it's never going to happen. but i'm wondering, it may be that nancy pelosi actually is right and playing a longer game
than any of us have any awareness. so i just threw that out there. >> you're absolutely right that you could in theory do it after. i think it would be tougher because at that point, his actions would have been ratified by the american people by reelecting him. the second time? so it's hard to imagine a world in which he is sufficiently popular that he gets reelected. >> could be an electoral situation. i think you're absolutely right but it's something that plagues me, really. >> it's theoretically possible that it could happen. i didn't think he would win but i thought he might win because i thought the media really likes trump. one thing i saw, i go to laguardia and i'd look at the television and he would be - -
waiting for him to go on, showing him. talking about what he said afterward. i'd get off my flight and there he would be. i never saw bernie or hillary. there is a love-hate relationship. in terms of their business model or whatever, they love him. he puts eyeballs on the screen. on the page, whatever. on this notion of everybody thinking it's a done deal or begin to doubt. if you see someone who's on television all the time, just an incredible amount of free advertising. he does the media and he does this very well. he knows narrative. how to sell a story and they respond to that. if he has that in the bath and even people claim they don't like him, it's going to be difficult i think.
because he is good on television. he knows how to do it. >> i want to leave time for q and a. you are right about the role of artists and writers in politics. because we are at the brooklyn book festival here. the brooklyn courtroom that feels disheartening to an extent. mark twain and the - - are all in your book. >> and walt whitman. >> what do you think the role of artists and writers is today? >> it's very similar actually been those people, particularly mark twain is fascinating because we think of a later twain. this is an early twain when he was a political journalist and one of the most farseeing and insightful political journalists that there was. covering what was going on in
washington in the early part of the trial until he got so disgusted, he left. washington altogether. i think journalists like twain and artists have a bigger role to play, precisely because of what annette was just saying. because the media is so prevalent. because there is so much social media. because people can talk and write and organize and also breast from the 24-7 coverage of trump. they can - - covers themselves which i think would be enormously helpful. so i think, definitely. >> any questions? let's start with you, sir. where to begin? >> the question is what happens if trump is defeated and refuses to leave office? i think if trump is defeated -
- i would say this, he has lost lots of battles. and he has gone on with those losses. he hasn't given up fighting but he's gone along. if the court joins what he does, he seeks review and goes up to his supreme court which he thinks will always role for him because he put gore search and brett kavanaugh on. and sometimes it doesn't sometimes it doesn't. and it doesn't, he abides by that decision. in the asylum them case. when we got the injunction, they went to the supreme court and the judge denied the request for a stay of the injunction. chief justice roberts joining the four liberals to vote in our favor. and he didn't violate the terms of the court order. he followed the terms.
if the people reject him, i think he has to leave. i don't think he can stick it out if the people reject him. the big question is will the people reject him? that's where we should be focused. and then if we have that problem, we will see him in court. >> i wanted to go back to the conversation that david and brenda were having about law, politics and principal. of course it's politics in the sense that it's not reviewable in the job of the political branches. but they do still have to enforce the constitution. there's a question that's been cropping up lately. is there some actual obligation to say, if this is not an impeachable offense, then nothing is.
then really there's no purpose in having impeachment in the constitution at all unless we do this. is there a dorm creation or obligation for congress in making that point? emphasizing brenda's point. talking about the impeachment as a separate issue from the conviction. >> it's very complicated. one of the people i frankly admire was a representative from pennsylvania in the house. before the civil war and after. his name was thaddeus stevens. when he was accused both in his own time and later of being just political point he would say look, impeachment is just a
political process. not a legal process. it's a principled process. but he wasn't nacve about it and he realized there were risks. and one of the risks or to the party that he wanted and other republicans wanted to stay in power. when he was accused of just wanting down, he said of course you want power. to execute laws that will be in concert with why we fought to this war. which was not just to abolish slavery but the pernicious effects of slavery which is white supremacy and racism. so that's what i mean about that. your point about making a principled stand is idealistic and wonderful and i love it very much. at the other side of that political principled question
is how to save really, the country and the ideals of the country. it may be in this particular case in 2019, with an election coming up, that impingement is not the way to do that. even though it may be a principled action. even though i hear what you say. one have to think of, as david within, backlash, basically. >> i think what is critical is that there be accountability. when a president violates norms, that there be accountability so that the lesson we take is that this is not how a president should act. accountability can come in many forms. think about george w. bush who authorized torture. seen as one of the 3-4 worst things a government official can do. up there with genocide.
torture. a lot worse than obstruction of justice. he wasn't prosecuted. no one was prosecuted. but there was accountability in the sense that people engaged as citizens. people put tremendous pressure on the president and ultimately he had to suspend that program because it was not sustainable once it became public. because of a soft, informal accountability. sometimes we focus on, he should be in jail or impeached for them. there are lots of ways to hold someone accountable and what's critical is the lesson of history is, you don't act like president trump or president bush. it's determined not by impeachment or jail sentence,
but by us as citizens point whether we accept it, sit back and let happen or whether we engage and push back. through writing, through organizing with various resistance efforts. but engage. i think the thing that gives me hope. i have not seen the level of engagement on the side of civil rights, civil liberties and constitutional norms. i've never seen this in my lifetime and that is what gives me hope. he's now what sparked it but it can end it and make sure we have the right lesson collects - - >> thank you so much. i don't think we have any more time. thank you so much to my esteemed panelists. [applause]
>> brenda, matt and david will be signing their books at signing table 1 outside the building. barnes and noble is selling the book. brings bring your name cards to the table.the next issue will have pieces by 2-3 folks appear so please check it out and thank you again. [applause] and thank you again. [inaudibleon conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> your some programs to watch out for this weekend.
>> booktv attends hundreds of author event every year. here's a preview of the recent event where jared diamond discussed how the united states could learn from the past successes and failures of other nations. >> i develop my books by teaching the material at ucla to my undergrads year after you enter the book is ready for publication. the material of this book i first thought to my undergraduates in 2013 and i have taught it each year since then. the story i'm about to tell you