Democracy Defender

There have been four presidential impeachment efforts in modern U.S. history. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 has participated in all of them.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 is the only politician to have participated in four presidential impeachments.

Lofgren, a Democrat representing most of Santa Clara County, started the streak as a Santa Clara Law student when she helped the House Judiciary Committee draft charges against President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Twenty-four years later, she was a member when the committee approved articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.

In 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Lofgren to serve on the team prosecuting the House’s case against President Donald Trump in the Senate.

Zoe Lofgren 1974
While attending Santa Clara Law, Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 worked as a staff member for Congressman Don Edwards, who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the 1974 Richard Nixon impeachment. Photo courtesy Office of Zoe Lofgren.

“I must be clear that this is not something I sought or relish,” she said at the time. “Impeachment is a grave and solemn matter. It’s a stress test for our democracy. I hope every senator is prepared to seriously consider and vote honestly with an open mind for the future of our democracy.”

Less than a year after the Senate acquitted the president, Lofgren voted to impeach Trump for a second time for inciting an attempted insurrection. On January 13, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump—with 10 Republicans joining the effort—for his role in the violent January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead. The Senate did not convict.

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