A revealing, behind-the-scenes examination of how Congress twice fumbled its best chance to hold accountable a president many considered one of the most dangerous in American history.Â The definitiveâ€”and onlyâ€”insider account of both Trump impeachments, as told by the two reporters on the front lines covering them for The Washington Post and Politico. In a riveting account that flips the script on what readers think they know about the two impeachments of Donald Trump, Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian reveal howâ€”and whyâ€”congressional oversight failed when it was needed most. Unchecked weaves a vivid narrative of how House Democrats under the lead of a cautious speaker, Nancy Pelosi, hesitated for months to stand up to Trumpâ€”and then pulled punches in their effort to oust him in a misguided effort to protect themselves politically.
What they left on the cutting room floor would come back to haunt them, as Republicans seized on their missteps to whip an uneasy GOP rank-and-file into line behind Donald Trump, abandoning their scruples to defend a president who some privately believed had indeed abused his power. Even after Trump incited a mob to violently attack the Capitolâ€”a day the authors recount in minute-by-minute, stunning detail â€” Democrats pressured their own investigators to forego a thorough investigation in the name of safeguarding the Biden agenda. And Republicans, fearful of repelling a base they needed for re-election, missed their best moment to turn their backs on a leader they secretly agreed was destructive to democracy. Sourced from hundreds of interviews with all the key players, the authors of Unchecked pull back the curtain on how both parties pursued political expediency over fact-finding.
The end result not only emboldened Trump, giving him room for a political comeback, but also undermined Congress by rendering toothless their most powerful check on a president: the power of impeachment.
A dramatic and at times crushing work of investigative reporting, Unchecked is both a gripping page-turner of political intrigue and a detailed case study for historians and political scientists searching for answers about the unravelling of checks and balances that have governed American democracy for centuries.Â