Presidential Impeachment


Presidential Impeachment is a serious matter and the US Congress regards impeachment as a power to be used exclusively in extreme cases. In the history of America only two Presidents, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, have ever been impeached and both were acquitted.

The impeachment and removal of a President from office was provided for by the founders of the United States in the Constitution. Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution deals specifically with the grounds for impeachment and states:

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.


Impeachment is a two-step process including both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5 of the US Constitution grants sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives:

The House of Representatives shall chuse (choose) their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.


In the House of Representatives, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by the ranking member of majority party, draw up a formal list of allegations called the "Articles of Impeachment." If the charges are approved by a majority of Judiciary Committee members the "Articles of Impeachment" are then sent to the full House of Representatives where a simple majority vote is needed to continue the process. Upon this passage, the President has been officially been "impeached" and the impeachment is sent to the Senate for trial. Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6 of the US Constitution grants the sole power of trial to the Senate:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.


In the Senate, trial proceedings are initiated with the Chief Justice of the United States presiding. To convict the President, a two-thirds majority of senators present is required. A conviction in the Senate automatically removes the President of the United States from office.

Recently, advertising billboards and political accusations supporting an Obama impeachment have arisen. Do you believe that President Obama has done anything that may be grounds for impeachment?

Remember, a US President is not impeached on grounds of political opposition to policies or values. Here is the law, once again, as it states in the US 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.

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