From the moment Donald Trump took the oath of office, talks of impeachment have been running rampant. For the most part, many people do not understand that in order to impeach the president, a lengthy process must take place. The United States Constitution discusses what powers Congress has in regard to impeachment.
What Is The Impeachment Process?
An impeachment is essentially a high-profile trial. The Constitution states that “the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States” are eligible for impeachment. The formal charges are known as the articles of impeachment.
The impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives. According to Article I Section 2 of the Constitution, the House of Representatives “shall have the sole power of impeachment.” Any member of the House can begin the process by bringing forth the articles of impeachment against the person they want to be removed from office. Once this is done, members of the House Judiciary Committee begin to investigate the charges and see if there is any merit to them. A vote is taken in the House. The vote only needs a simple majority of 218 votes in favor of impeachment in order for the process to continue.
Once the House of Representatives has voted to impeach, members of the House are selected to go to the Senate with their case, which is where the trial is held. If a Unites States president is the official on trial for impeachment, the judge presiding over the case is the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Once the impeachment trial is completed, a vote in the Senate takes place. This vote requires two-thirds (67) of the members of the Senate to be in favor of impeachment. If this occurs, the official is removed from office.
What Can Cause Article Of Impeachment To Be Drafted?
Article II Section 4 of the Constitution states that impeachable offenses are “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Which Past Presidents Have Been Impeached?
Throughout the history of the United States, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton have been the only presidents to have articles of impeachment drafted against them.
According to History.com, Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act and had 11 articles of impeachment drafted against him. The vote in the House to impeach Johnson took place on February 24, 1868. The trial in the Senate began on March 13, 1868. The impeachment trial lasted until May 26, 1868, and resulted in the Senate failing to get the two-thirds vote needed to remove Johnson from office.
History.com states that Bill Clinton was impeached on the charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a federal grand jury. Clinton only had two articles of impeachment drafted against him. The vote in the House took place on December 19, 1998. The trial phase of Clinton’s impeachment began in the Senate on January 7, 1999. On February 12, the Senate voted and failed to get the number of votes needed for impeachment. Like Johnson, Clinton remained in office after being impeached.
Richard Nixon would have had articles of impeachment brought against him had he not resigned from office due to his role in the Watergate scandal.
Across social media, it is easy to find people who want to see Donald Trump impeached.
The Donald Trump Impeachment Clock Is Ticking – https://t.co/aIQBjNLpn7
— mark schade (@Mschade2020) May 16, 2017
Donald Trump Impeachment Odds Increase As Ranking Republicans Begin Shift From POTUS https://t.co/RllWcV5r9G
— Digitally Contented (@DContented) May 16, 2017
The talk of impeachment for Donald Trump has increased due to the latest news stating Donald Trump shared classified information with Russia. To many, this is considered to be treason, which is an offense where impeachment is possible.
Do you think Donald Trump will finish out his term as president or will he be impeached?
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]