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High Crimes and Misdemeanors


High Crimes and Misdemeanors  

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  1. 1. Which of the following would you consider a high crime and misdemeanors?

    • Having an extramarital affair
    • Cheating on income taxes
    • Drunken or reckless driving
    • Covering up a crime to protect self or others
    • Alcoholism
    • Soliciting or accepting illegal campaign contributions
    • Using illegal drugs
    • Lying while under oath (perjury)
    • Other

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We are doing American Government and need help with a high crimes and misdemeanors project.  Which of the following do you consider a high crime or misdemeanor?  If there is another activity that you would consider a high crime and misdemeanor, but it's not listed, please specify.

This is my first attempt at a poll.  Thanks!


I think the assignment is basically asking, what do most people consider an impeachable offense.  I agree not of those listed in the poll are criminal offenses.  Those were the choices listed in the assignment.  Feel free to add what you feel is an impeachable offense.

Edited by KarenC
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I think you need to clarify if you mean based on the existing laws a person is expected to abide by where they live or their own moral compass regardless of existing laws.


Also, what do you mean by high crime? Legal term or do you just mean do you consider this a very serious crime versus a minor offense within you own moral standards?


And alcoholism and drug addiction are illnesses.


If you can clarify some things I think more people will take the poll.


Good luck and best wishes.

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We are kind of going through this in our state.  Our governor had an extramarital affair.  His wife divorced him.  Legislators are working on his impeachment.  They are investigating whether he used state resources to cover up the affair (he would take the wife in one vehicle and the mistress in another type of thing).  He also fired the head of the Law Enforcement Department apparently because he wanted him to lie or not testify in a criminal case about corruption.  They have put aside the impeachment investigation because apparently the Attorney General has convened a grand jury about something to do with the governor.


in terms of extramarital affairs, I think it is something else altogether if the other person is an employee and that usually it isn't the extramarital affair itself which is the biggest problem but the cover-ups and lies that happen because of it.  

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Is your student trying to decide which are crimes and which are not?

Several of these are depend on the circumstances and the local laws. For example, an extramarital affair may only be illegal if one party is underage. Same with drunkenness. Drunkeness is not a crime by itself if of legal drinking age and the place one is in has no laws against public intoxication if one is in public rather than a private setting.


Alcoholism is considered a disease, not a crime.

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From Wikipedia:

The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, and refusal to obey a lawful order.


I'm assuming then high crimes relate strictly to the office. In which case I only see a couple of your choices being high crimes. (Covering up a crime, perjury, illegal campaign contributions). I see the rest as a mix of misdemeanors and morally wrong (excepting alcoholism, which unless you meant public drunkenness)

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