impeachment

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How Does The Impeachment Process Actually Work?

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Sep. 30 2019, Updated 9:51 p.m. ET

The impeachment has been all over the news lately, and everyone is talking about it. The hype around it might have piqued your curiosity – What does impeachment actually do? And how does the impeachment process work? Here at Bombshell by Bleu, we have prepared for you a simple little lecture. (We hate to reinforce gender stereotypes, but in order to make things easier for all of us, “the president” here will be a “he.”)

Firstly, some grounds: the impeachment process starts as an inquiry into the conduct of a government official – such as, if he misused the power and authority vested in him to pursue a personal and/or political agenda. But impeachment does NOT in itself remove him from office; it is only parallel to the statement of charges against him. And while Congress looks into the official in question’s misconduct, he remains in office. According to Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:

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“Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.”

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“Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.”

In the case of President Donald Trump’s impeachment: as of now, six committees of the House of Representatives are investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses. They will send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee. Then, if the findings are determined to be sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, the Judiciary will send one or more articles of impeachment to the full House where a floor vote will be held. The House is currently controlled by Democrats.

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As the House members vote on the recommended articles of impeachment, only one article needs to get a “simple majority” vote for the president to be impeached, but only by the House. The decision will then be passed on to the Senate where they COULD hold a majority vote to dismiss the articles of impeachment. And if that doesn’t happen, the Senate will determine the rules for trial proceedings. The U.S Chief Justice will be the Judge to that trial and the Senate will act as the Jury. Don’t forget: The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans.

After the Senate Trial, at least two-thirds of members MUST be present to vote for conviction in order for Trump to be removed from office. This results in the Constitution’s permission for Congress to officially remove him from office before the end of his term. It states in Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution that,

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“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

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“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Two presidents have been impeached in the history of the United States: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 – neither was convicted by the Senate. There were also efforts to impeach John Tyler and Richard Nixon; Nixon resigned before proceedings began. Go to our other article for details on these impeachments.

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