Presidential Scandals

“Watergate. Iran-Contra. The Clinton impeachment and the Trump impeachment. Major scandals have been a recurring feature of several modern American presidencies, and studying them as a group can provide insight into the following key questions: how do we define a presidential scandal? How have presidents used the powers of their office to respond to them? How have changes in political norms, technology, the media environment, and other factors influenced scandals in recent years? What impact do presidential scandals have on our political system? This course will focus on several examples of important recent presidential scandals, considering the behavior of the major actors from the perspectives of presidential leadership, executive power, presidential-congressional relations,and the legal system.

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