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Obstruction of justice, presidential immunity, impeachment: What you need to know

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Richard Nixon in the Oval Office. (National Archives)

Unlike the judicial system, impeachment is ultimately a political process. A majority of lawmakers, rather than a jury or a judge, is charged with determining what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor. And given that Republicans control both chambers for now, any impeachment of Trump seems unlikely.

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Louis Jacobson, John Kruzel, PolitiFact


http://static.politifact.com.s3.amazonaws.com/politifact/photos/Trump_fires_comey_letter.jpg The termination letter from President Donald Trump to FBI Director James Comey is photographed in Washington, May 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 | Americans are hearing a lot of comparisons these days between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, particularly after news reports revealed the existence of contemporaneous notes taken by soon-to-be-fired FBI director James Comey during his conversations with Trump.

The news reports hinted at further notes that could be subpoenaed by either Congress or law enforcement, fueling speculation that these materials could help lay out a case that Trump committed obstruction of justice by seeking to quash probes  into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

Louis Jacobson is the senior correspondent for PolitiFact and a staff writer for the Tampa Bay (FL) Times.

John Kruzel  is a staff writer at PolitiFact. He previously covered politics at ABC News, where he received an Emmy nomination for his work on 2016 presidential debates. He has written about politics, law and national security, and contributed to numerous outlets, including Slate and The New Yorker.

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