What Does Impeaching the President Really Mean?
Impeachment within the United States is a process in which a civil government official, including the president, is formally charged with a crime while in office. The types of crimes an official may be charged with can range from perjury and sexual misconduct, to taking bribes or becoming an obstruc-tion in court. When a president is charged with a crime, they face both a trial for the crimes and the possibility of being impeached. Both of these processes are conducted separately.
The Basic Process of Impeachment
If it is found that the president may have committed a crime while in office, the house judiciary com-mittee decides whether or not the allegations being held against the president in question warrants the process of launching a formal inquiry for impeachment.
The entire House of Representatives gets a vote for or against a formal investigation and if the majori-ty votes yes, the house judiciary committee go to work determining whether or not there is enough actual evidence that can be used to create articles of impeachment against said president.
If it is determined that there is enough evidence, the impeachment case is then brought to trial within the senate. From there, the president is then either impeached, meaning that he is removed from office and the vice president takes his place.
Examples of Impeached Presidents
There are many examples of impeachment throughout all types of civil service offices, but few presi-dents have had to go through impeachment hearings. Here are some examples:
President Andrew Johnson- Eleven articles of impeachment were brought against President Johnson before the Senate decided to impeach him, most serious was a violation of the Tenure of Office act.
President Richard Nixon- President Nixon actually resigned before an impeachment trial could take place due to secret tapes that recorded unsavory discussions in his office. Once re-signed, he accepted a pardon from his successor.
President Bill Clinton- President Clinton was impeached for perjury and for obstruc-tion of justice.
Time will only tell if other presidential impeachments will be necessary, but with such a good track rec-ord so far, we can safely say that they’ll probably be few and far between.