The Great Courses, The Teaching Company

The president of the United States of America can shape not just a nation but the entire world. But what limits are there—if any—on presidential power? How do we keep such awesome authority in check? And who do we trust to shoulder this responsibility?

In the centuries since the founding of the republic, there have been notable challenges to presidential authority. Among these are investigations, designed to seek out and uproot abuses of executive power. They are built on a system of institutions, laws, and policies that govern how our nation protects itself from corruption and tyranny. Even today, we see this system at work in controversies and scandals that appear in the media almost daily.

The potential corruption of presidential power isn’t a new feature of American democracy—and it’s likely not going away anytime soon. How should citizens—not only of the U.S. but of the world—think about and understand investigations into such abuses?

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