Impeachment

 

Presidential Seal - Out of many One

Definition and Summary of Impeachment
Summary and Definition: The definition of impeachment is to "accuse a public officer of misconduct". The word 'impeach' derives from a combination of Latin words meaning to accuse, hinder, shackle or catch.

Impeachment at Federal Level
According to the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach an official, but the Senate has the sole right to try an impeachment case at Federal level. The division of responsibility guards against potential abuse of the impeachment power. The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority for conviction (67 senators). When an impeachment process involves a U.S. President, the Chief Justice of the United States is required to preside during the Senate trial.

Impeachment at State Level
The process of Impeachment can also occur at the state level, according to the individual state constitutions, so there are variances in the court process for a state trial of impeachment. State legislatures are empowered to impeach state officials, including governors.

Impeachment
Discover the history surrounding impeachment, the names of people who have been impeached, the crimes they were accused of, who was found guilty and who was acquitted.
Two presidents have been impeached. President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 and President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998. Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted. President Richard Nixon never faced the process of impeachment because he resigned before this type of action could be taken.

 

Impeachment: Questions and Answers
Discover the history surrounding impeachment, the names of people who have been impeached, the crimes they were accused of, who was found guilty and who was acquitted.

  • Two presidents have been impeached. President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 and President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998. Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted.

  • The reason that President Andrew Johnson was impeached was for his removal of Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War and member of his cabinet, in violation of the law called the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson was acquitted by just one vote

  • The reason that President Bill Clinton was impeached was due making false statements about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, lying to the public, obstructing justice and invoking Executive Privilege.

  • President Richard Nixon never faced the full process of impeachment because he resigned prior to the full-House vote for impeachment

Bill Clinton Impeachment: Senate Trial

President Clinton Impeachment Senate Trial

Impeachment Facts for kids: The Process of Federal Impeachment
The process of Federal impeachment, as in the case of presidents is as follows:

Process of Federal Impeachment

Stage 1 Impeachment Process:

Impeachment resolutions are made by members of the House of Representatives

  
Stage 2 Impeachment Process:

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 Impeachment Process:The House of Representatives vote for or against a formal impeachment inquiry.
  
Stage 4 Impeachment Process:

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 Impeachment Process:

The House Judiciary Committee then drafts articles of impeachment, with specific charges and evidence.

  
Stage 6 Impeachment Process:

Articles of Impeachment are passed to the House of Representatives for approval and the President is impeached.

  
Stage 7 Impeachment Process:

The trial of the President is held in the Senate with the Chief Justice of the Unites States Supreme Court presiding.

  
Stage 8 Impeachment Process:

The Impeachment trial is conducted in the same way as a court with witnesses and cross-examinations.

  
Stage 9 Impeachment Process:

The Senate votes whether to acquit or convict the President. The final decision requires a two thirds majority (67 Senators).

  
Stage 10 Impeachment Process:The verdict of the Senate is final and there is no right of appeal.

Process of Federal Impeachment

Impeachment Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Impeachment for kids.

Impeachment Facts for kids

Impeachment Facts - 1:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 2:

Removing a federal official from office requires two steps:

  • The first step is a formal accusation, or impeachment, by the House of Representatives

  • The second step is a trial and conviction by the Senate

  
Impeachment Facts - 3:

The Impeachment process requires a majority vote of the House; conviction is more difficult, requiring a two-thirds majority vote by the Senate.

  
Impeachment Facts - 4:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 5:The Constitution: According to Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
  • 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.
  
Impeachment Facts - 6:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 7:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 8:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 9:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 10:

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.

  
Impeachment Facts - 11:

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.

Impeachment Facts for kids

 

 

The Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson

Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson

 

Facts about Impeachment: Federal Impeachment Timeline
Over the course of American history, up to 2016, a total 19 individuals have been impeached, including 15 federal judges, 13 district court judges, a court of appeals judge, a Supreme Court Associate Justice, a senator, a Cabinet member and two presidents. The Senate convicted 8 of the 19 impeached federal officials. The charges included bribery, income tax avoidance, perjury and treason.
 

Federal Impeachment Timeline of Main Dates and Events

Federal Impeachment Timeline1797

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1803

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1804

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1830

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1862

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1868

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1873

On February 28, 1873 Judge Mark W. Delahay (District of Kansas) was impeached on charges of drunkenness and resigned on December 12, 1873

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1879

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1904

On December 13, 1904 Judge Charles Swayne (Northern District of Florida) was impeached for abuse of power. He was acquitted on February 27, 1905

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1912

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1926

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1933

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1936

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1986

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1988

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1989

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline1998

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.

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline2009

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

   
Federal Impeachment Timeline2010

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

Federal Impeachment Timeline of Main Dates and Events

 

 

Impeachment
 
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History and Origins of Impeachment
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History timeline of Impeachment and impeached officials

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