Syndicated columnist George Will argues an occasional impeachment encourages presidents to understand there are consequences.
"One of the reasons for an impeachment is not just to punish for deeds already done as with Nixon's criminality or the lying under oath of Bill Clinton. There is such a thing as a prophylactic impeachment, and Congressman Schiff laid this out. That is to prevent continuing behavior of a sort that is predictable from a miscreant president," Will argued Saturday on MSNBC.
"There is a deterrent effect of simply having been put through this," Will told MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell. "Presidents tend to have an inflated sense of their prerogatives for lots of reasons, and both parties are complicit in creating the imperial presidency. But, therefore, an occasional impeachment does concentrate their minds on the fact that there can be consequences, that an abuse of power can be conjured up, can be asserted. And so a nervous president is probably a good thing to puncture the presidential swagger that we've been living with under both parties."