Richard Nixon's son-in-law recently suggested that Nixon's resignation in 1974 was the result of impeachment being used as a political weapon.
Many historians would disagree with that, but on Madam Secretary Season 6 Episode 7, Mark Hanson certainly used the threat of impeachment that way.
His claims were a combination of conjecture and half-truths, all designed to punish Elizabeth for endorsing policies Hanson doesn't like, and now Elizabeth has to hope and pray the Judicial Committee sees through that.
Hanson himself is everything he accuses of Elizabeth of being: corrupt, dishonest, and not above using his position to manipulate circumstances to get what he wants.
Hansen: Have you considered my offer?
Elizabeth: Before I get to that, I want to say that I have made mistakes. I can be too single-minded in my pursuit of what I believe, and the charge that I am not quick to compromise is true.
Hansen: I'm glad you're saying that. Compromise is the key to effective leadership.
Elizabeth: Yeah, but the thing is, you don't want compromise. You want my unconditional surrender.
Hansen: That's a bit over the top, don't you think?
Elizabeth: I'll tell you what's over the top. Months of hearing, persecuting the finest staff I have ever had the pleasure of working with. You are a con artist, nothing but a partisan hack. I'm gonna keep working for the American people.
Hansen: When the end comes -- and it will -- remember that I gave you a chance, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: That's Madam President.
It's too bad Elizabeth can't prove that he demanded her support on measures that benefit big corporations and not the American people to make impeachment go away.
Hanson is the one who deserves to get impeached, and hopefully, he will get exposed by the end of the series.
It was odd, too, that he went to the Senate floor claiming that Elizabeth is the least truthful and transparent President in the history of the country immediately after she made a speech about the importance of honesty and truthfulness to a vibrant democracy.
Surely the pundits are going to put those two clips side by side to make Hanson look ridiculous.
In any case, Hanson is stupid if he thinks Elizabeth is going down without a fight.
Her record as Secretary of State showed she wasn't afraid to stand up to dictators, at home or abroad -- did he think he was going to be easy to bully her into submission?
He keeps harping on the fact that she once punched the Philipino leader in the nose, after all. He's got to be a little scared, no matter how much he puffs himself up.
Elizabeth's decision to stand up to Hanson and her decision to stand up to Iran were perfectly analogous.
Russell even said that Iran was counting on her being too distracted by domestic problems to stand her ground on the foreign crisis, while Hanson claimed that the military action in Iran was meant to distract the American public from the "fact" that she colluded with Iran.
In both cases, Elizabeth proved that she is a principled leader who will put America's best interest ahead of her political career and is not going to be intimidated by threats, empty or otherwise.
Does anyone in this room doubt that interfering in our elections was an act of war? What we do here or don't do has consequences. America is the bellweather of freedom. If we look away, then democracies everywhere are at risk.Elizabeth
People will see that no matter what Hanson does to try to tank her, and he's going to end up looking small and petty.
Madam Secretary only has three episodes left, so they're going to have to fast-track this impeachment.
A House investigation doesn't have to mean anything, and in real life takes months or years to get anywhere. But Madam Secretary doesn't have the luxury of a drawn-out drama when it all has to be wrapped up in less than a month.
You were there from the beginning. You will be with me til the end, whenever that may come.Elizabeth
Elizabeth promised Blake that he would be there until the end -- but let's hope the series doesn't end with Elizabeth getting impeached. That would be a terrible ending to an otherwise fine series.
The worst part about the impeachment is that it seems to be eroding Elizabeth's confidence in her ability to lead.
Elizabeth: You know what pioneers get to accomplish? Being first. That's it.
Henry: Some get more than that.
Elizabeth: Not anyone who matters. Susan B Anthony fought for women's suffrage but died 5 years before it came to be. Martin Luther King didn't live to see many of his dreams come true. People who light the sparks don't often get to sit by the fire.
Thank goodness she has Henry to encourage her. There's no reason to give up pre-emptively, and Elizabeth has proven over and over that she's tougher than she thinks.
I'm not convinced this whole thing is misogynistic as much as it is an ideological battle, though.
Hanson's problem seems to be with Elizabeth's policies being more pro-worker than pro-big business, and it isn't clear that he would act any differently with a male President.
Misogyny is a real thing, and it would be interesting to explore how it plays into the difficulties Elizabeth faces as the first female President.
But so far on Madam Secretary Season 6 , it hasn't done so effectively. Characters complain about it, yet there is little to no evidence that it has anything to do with what's going on.
Hanson's dirty trick did result in the press badgering Elizabeth about several so-called scandals.
It seemed inappropriate for them to be asking her about punching the Filipino President at a press conference dedicated to congratulating the National Spelling Bee winner, especially since the kid was right there.
Breaking a vase in clumsy. Accusing a female writer of misogyny while mentioning that your detail is packing heat is just dumb.Elizabeth
Speaking of inappropriate, let's talk about Jason.
Jason has not grown up one bit since his days as a rebellious teenager who caused all sorts of trouble for himself and Elizabeth's career.
His earlier exploits (even that time he got kicked out of a Quaker school for fighting) could be chalked up to him being a kid, though he always had poor impulse control and didn't use common sense.
But by now he should know better than to paint himself as the victim when he gets called out for threatening a journalist, and his sarcastic apology didn't come off much better than Hanson's nonsense did.
Elizabeth was right to want to let Jason suffer the consequences this time.
It's high time that she and Henry stopped guiding and started letting Jason experience the full consequences of his stupid decisions.
So far, those consequences included nothing but getting roasted at the Correspondents Dinner and his date not wanting to sit next to him. Hopefully, that'll make an impression, but I'm not holding my breath.
Meanwhile, Hanson's dirtiest trick was claiming that Stevie and Dmitri's relationship was proof of corruption.
Stevie already doubted herself and worrying about whether she and Dmitri were going to last, and now their relationship is being used as a political weapon against her mother.
Elizabeth seemed more upset about this than anything else. There's no way to protect Stevie from the fallout from this. Hopefully, it won't make her second guess things with Dmitri.
The weird thing is that a lot of this crap should have come up when Elizabeth was being vetted before her Presidential run.
Her team should have been prepared for it and had a strategy in place in case Hanson or anyone else tried to use it against Elizabeth either during the campaign or after her election.
Even if they didn't know Blake had the flash drive, they should have known about potential skeletons in her closet like her altercation with the Filipino President.
Does anyone in this room doubt that interfering in our elections was an act of war? What we do here or don't do has consequences. America is the bellweather of freedom. If we look away, then democracies everywhere are at risk.
As for the mission in Iran, Elizabeth performed a delicate balancing act on this one.
She didn't want yet another Middle East war that nobody back home supports, but didn't want Iran to get away with its attacks on democracy, and had to choose the best of bad options.
The Iranian mission went off without a hitch, other than Hanson ranting about it in his pre-impeachment speech to the Senate. But since the Iranian President wasn't notified of the action, it's anyone's guess how he might retaliate.
What did you think, Madam Secretary fanatics?
Does Hanson have a legitimate basis for impeachment?
Who does Elizabeth need to fear more: Hanson or the Iranian President?
And what do you think will happen as Madam Secretary wraps up its six-year run?
Share your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget that you can watch Madam Secretary online if you missed anything.
Madam Secretary's final season continues to air on CBS at Sundays at 10 PM EST/PST.