Schar School Book Talk: Author David Priess, CNN’s Glasser Discuss ‘How to Get Rid of a President’

By Buzz McClain

From left, Susan Glasser and David Priess discuss his book on how presidents are removed from office. Photos by Buzz McClain/Schar School of Policy and Government

Susan GlasserThe new semester’s event schedule at the Schar School of Policy and Government kicked off Thursday night with an enthralling and enlightening discussion about the procedure for successfully removing the president of the United States from office.

No, not that president, as was made clear at the outset by David Priess, author of the book “How to Get Rid of a President” (Hachette), and moderator Susan Glasser, staff writer of the New Yorker and the global affairs analyst for CNN. Instead, the discussion, and Priess’ well-received book, considered all the methods 44 previous presidents have been removed from office in the history of the country.

About 100 spectators turned out for the talk, held at the Founders Hall auditorium at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus. The event was hosted by the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security.

David Priess

When the discussion finally did get around to Donald Trump, as it inevitably would, Priess pointed out that no previous president had been removed from office by impeachment, listing the myriad actions by legislative bodies that must take place for that to occur.

Even Andrew Johnson, the 17th president and “a truly hateful person” respected by very few, Priess said, missed removal by impeachment by a one-vote margin.

To learn about future Hayden Center events, sign up for updates at haydencenter.gmu.com or at hayden@gmu.edu.