The untold story of Trump’s botched impeachments

It’s hard to imagine a political event that was covered more intensively in real time than Trump’s two impeachments. But only now, 18 months after the Senate acquitted Trump a second time, we are learning crucial new details about what happened behind the scenes of those proceedings. And only now are we starting to reckon with what those two failed impeachments have wrought for Congress, the presidency and the Constitution — and who was responsible.

That reckoning comes courtesy of Playbook’s own Rachael Bade and Washington Post national security reporter Karoun Demirjian, who on Oct. 18 will publish “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.” It’s an unsparing look at the characters, the calculations and, frequently, the cowardice that shaped Congress’s dealings with Trump — and how the results have likely changed impeachment forever.

On this week’s Playbook Deep Dive, Rachael and Karoun talk extensively about their book and its provocative argument with Playbook editor Mike DeBonis. It’s a reunion for the trio, who covered Capitol Hill together at the Washington Post and watched closely as Congress struggled to hold Trump to account. They discuss why “Unchecked” is an unapologetically “both sides” book, how congressional leaders’ public rhetoric rarely matched private reality, and just how many impeachment articles President Joe Biden might be facing if Republicans take the House.

By Mike DeBonis

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