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Constitutional FAQ Answer #79

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Q79. "Does perjury fall into the category 'high crimes and misdemeanors?' i.e. could the president be impeached for lying to the Supreme Court?"

The definition of high crimes and misdemeanors is not supplied specifically by the Constitution. It is left, then, to the House to determine if a president, or other official, should be impeached for any offense. Perjury is certainly an offense, and perjury in front of the Supreme Court is as bad as you could likely get, so if it were proven that a president lied in a Supreme Court hearing, it is likely impeachment would proceed (remember, though, that there is usually not testimony of witnesses in front of the Court, so it is unlikely anyone would have the opportunity to perjure themselves in front of the Court). It is pretty subjective, but tempered with the super majority in the Senate needed to convict.

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