Trump’s defenders say that he committed no actual crime. Professor Frank O. Bowman III it the University of Missouri Law School says that the Founding Fathers debated the issue of impeachment and purposely chose language that does not require an ordinary crime (like shooting someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue, the sort of crime that Trump’s lawyers now say he can’t be prosecuted for).

Bowman analyzes the meaning of the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” to demonstrate that the Founders has a much broader concept than ordinary criminal actions.

He writes:

There are two strong arguments against the idea that the phrase requires criminal behavior: a historical one and a practical one. The history of the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” and of how it entered our Constitution establishes beyond serious dispute that it extends far beyond mere criminal conduct. The practical reasoning is in some ways more important: A standard that permitted the removal of presidents only for indictable crimes would leave the nation defenseless against the most dangerous kinds of presidential behavior.

Read his essay to understand the history and meaning of this crucial term.