Process of Federal Impeachment
Stage 1 : Impeachment resolutions are made by members of the House of Representatives
Stage 2 : The Impeachment resolutions are referred to the House Judiciary Committee who decide whether the case should be referred to the House of Representatives.
Stage 3 : The House of Representatives vote for or against a formal impeachment inquiry.
Stage 4 : The House Judiciary Committee then conducts an investigation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant articles of impeachment against the President.
Stage 5 : The House Judiciary Committee then drafts articles of impeachment, with specific charges and evidence.
Stage 6 : Articles of Impeachment are passed to the House of Representatives for approval and the President is impeached.
Stage 7 : The trial of the President is held in the Senate with the Chief Justice of the Unites States Supreme Court presiding.
Stage 8 : The Impeachment trial is conducted in the same way as a court with witnesses and cross-examinations.
Stage 9 : The Senate votes whether to acquit or convict the President. The final decision requires a two thirds majority (67 Senators).
Stage 10 : The verdict of the Senate is final and there is no right of appeal.
Impeachment at Federal Level
Impeachment at State Level
Impeachment Facts for kids: The Process of Federal Impeachment
Facts about Impeachment
Presidents, vice presidents, federal judges and all civil officers can be removed from office through the process of Impeachment. Many federal officials, most famously President Richard Nixon, have resigned rather than face impeachment.
Removing a federal official from office requires two steps:
The Impeachment process requires a majority vote of the House; conviction is more difficult, requiring a two-thirds majority vote by the Senate.
The vice president presides over the Senate proceedings in the case of all officials except the president, whose trial is presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The Constitution: According to Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
The Constitution: According to Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution: A Judgment in a 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 in the United States. The Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law.
The Constitution: According to Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution 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.
Definition of Treason: The crime of treason covers extreme acts against the nation. Treason refers to conduct that undermines the government or the national security, such as sedition. The crime of treason is the only crime to be specifically defined in the United States Constitution. Article III, section 3 reads as follows:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
What Are "High Crimes and Misdemeanors?" The origin of the word "high" relates to punishable offenses that only apply to high persons (public officials) who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary individuals are not under.
What Are "High Crimes and Misdemeanors?" A "high misdemeanor" refers to acts that justify impeachment but are not necessarily criminal acts. In this context a "high misdemeanor" refers not to a criminal offense but to misbehavior, bad demeanor or the bad conduct of an individual.
What Are "High Crimes and Misdemeanors?" The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct of Federal officials such as scandalous behavior or serious misconduct in an individual's private life, drunkenness, senility, perjury (lying under oath), incitement to revolt, bribery, kickbacks and tax evasion.
Facts about Impeachment: Federal Impeachment Timeline
1797: In 1797 Senator William Blount (Tennessee) was the first person to face five articles of Federal impeachment charges involving conspiracy with the Creek and Cherokee tribes to assist the British in capturing Spanish territory of Louisiana and Florida.
1803: On March 2, 1803 Judge John Pickering (District of New Hampshire) was the first impeached federal official who was convicted, believed to have been insane. Judge Pickering was found guilty of drunkenness and unlawful rulings and removed from office on March 12, 1804.
1804: On March 12, 1804 Samuel Chase, Associate Justice (Supreme Court of the United States) was impeached on charges of political bias and arbitrary rulings, promoting a partisan political agenda on the bench against anti-federalist. Samuel Chase was acquitted on March 1, 1805 when it was established that political differences were not grounds for impeachment.
1830: On April 24, 1830 Judge James H. Peck (District of Missouri) was impeached on charges of abuse of power by causing the suspension of an attorney who had published an article critical of him. Judge James H. Peck was acquitted on January 31, 1831.
1862: On May 6, 1862 Judge West Hughes Humphreys (Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Tennessee) was impeached for inciting revolt and rebellion and supporting the Confederacy He was found guilty on June 26, 1862.
1868: On February 24, 1868 President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act. President Andrew Johnson was acquitted on May 26, 1868 - refer to the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
1873: On February 28, 1873 Judge Mark W. Delahay (District of Kansas) was impeached on charges of drunkenness and resigned on December 12, 1873
1879: On 8 March 2, 1876 United States Secretary of War William W. Belknap was impeached on charges of corruption in the Indian Ring. He was acquitted after his resignation on August 1, 1876. Refer to the Belknap Bribery Scandal.
1904: On December 13, 1904 Judge Charles Swayne (Northern District of Florida) was impeached for abuse of power. He was acquitted on February 27, 1905
1912: On July 11, 1912 Robert W. Archbald Associate Justice (United States Commerce Court) and Judge (Third Circuit Court of Appeals) was impeached on charges of Improper acceptance of gifts and filing false claims for travel expenses. He was removed and disqualified on January 13, 1913
1926: On April 1, 1926 Judge George W. English (Eastern District of Illinois) was impeached on charges of Abuse of power for personal gain. He resigned on November 4, 1926, proceedings dismissed on December 13, 1926
1933: On February 24, 1933 Judge Harold Louderback (Northern District of California) was impeached on charges of Corruption. The Senate failed to convict on all charges and he was acquitted on May 24, 1933
1936: On March 2, 1936 Judge Halsted L. Ritter (Southern District of Florida) was impeached on charges of corruption, tax evasion, practicing law while a judge. He was removed from office on April 17, 1936
1986: On July 22, 1986 Judge Harry E. Claiborne (District of Nevada) was impeached on charges of Tax evasion and was removed from office on October 9, 1986
1988: On August 3, 1988 Judge Alcee Hastings (Southern District of Florida) was impeached on charges of Accepting a bribe, and committing perjury during the resulting investigation. He was removed from office on October 20, 1989.
1989: On May 10, 1989 Walter Nixon Chief Judge (Southern District of Mississippi) was impeached on charges of Perjury and was removed from office on November 3, 1989
1998: On December 19, 1998 President Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice Clinton was acquitted on February 12, 1999 - - refer to Bill Clinton Impeachment.
2009: On June 19, 2009 Judge Samuel B. Kent (Southern District of Texas) was impeached on charges of Sexual assault, and obstruction of justice during the resulting investigation. He resigned on June 30, 2009, proceedings dismissed on July 22, 2009
2010: On March 11, 2010 Judge Thomas Porteous (Eastern District of Louisiana) was impeached on charges of making false financial disclosures. He was removed from office and disqualified on December 8, 2010
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