Impeachment in the United States is the process by which the lower house of a legislature brings charges against a civil officer of government for crimes alleged to have been committed, analogous to the bringing of an indictment by a grand jury. At the federal level, this is at the discretion of the House of Representatives. Most impeachments have concerned alleged crimes committed while in office, though there have been a few cases in which officials have been impeached and subsequently convicted for crimes committed prior to taking office. The impeached official remains in office until a trial is held. That trial, and their removal from office if convicted, is separate from the act of impeachment itself. Analogous to a trial before a judge and jury, these proceedings are (where the legislature is bicameral) conducted by upper house of the legislature, which at the federal level is the Senate.
At the federal level, Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the Constitution grants to the House of Representatives "the sole power of impeachment", and Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 grants to the Senate "the sole Power to try all Impeachments". In considering articles of impeachment, the House is obligated to base any charges on the constitutional standards specified in Article II, Section 4: "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." (Full text of clauses )
The number of federal officials impeached by the House of Representatives includes two presidents: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton; both were later acquitted by the Senate. Additionally, an impeachment process against Richard Nixon was commenced, but not completed, as he resigned from office before the full House voted on the articles of impeachment. To date, no president has been removed from office by impeachment and conviction.
Impeachment proceedings may be commenced by a member of the House of Representatives on his or her own initiative, either by presenting a list of the charges under oath or by asking for referral to the appropriate committee. The impeachment process may be initiated by non-members. For example, when the Judicial Conference of the United States suggests a federal judge be impeached, a charge of actions constituting grounds for impeachment may come from a special prosecutor, the President, or state or territorial legislature, grand jury, or by petition.
The type of impeachment resolution determines the committee to which it is referred. A resolution impeaching a particular individual is typically referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. A resolution to authorize an investigation regarding impeachable conduct is referred to the House Committee on Rules, and then to the Judiciary Committee. The House Committee on the Judiciary, by majority vote, will determine whether grounds for impeachment exist. If the Committee finds grounds for impeachment, it will set forth specific allegations of misconduct in one or more articles of impeachment. The Impeachment Resolution, or Articles of Impeachment, are then reported to the full House with the committee's recommendations.
The House debates the resolution and may at the conclusion consider the resolution as a whole or vote on each article of impeachment individually. A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article for the resolution as a whole to pass. If the House votes to impeach, managers (typically referred to as "House managers", with a "lead House manager") are selected to present the case to the Senate. Recently, managers have been selected by resolution, while historically the House would occasionally elect the managers or pass a resolution allowing the appointment of managers at the discretion of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. These managers are roughly the equivalent of the prosecution or district attorney in a standard criminal trial.
Also, the House will adopt a resolution in order to notify the Senate of its action. After receiving the notice, the Senate will adopt an order notifying the House that it is ready to receive the managers. The House managers then appear before the bar of the Senate and exhibit the articles of impeachment. After the reading of the charges, the managers return and make a verbal report to the House.
The proceedings unfold in the form of a trial, with each side having the right to call witnesses and perform cross-examinations. The House members, who are given the collective title of managers during the course of the trial, present the prosecution case, and the impeached official has the right to mount a defense with his or her own attorneys as well. Senators must also take an oath or affirmation that they will perform their duties honestly and with due diligence. After hearing the charges, the Senate usually deliberates in private. The Constitution requires a two-thirds super majority to convict a person being impeached. The Senate enters judgment on its decision, whether that be to convict or acquit, and a copy of the judgment is filed with the Secretary of State. Upon conviction in the Senate, the official is automatically removed from office and may also be barred from holding future office. The trial is not an actual criminal proceeding and more closely resembles a civil service termination appeal in terms of the contemplated deprivation. Therefore, the removed official may still be liable to criminal prosecution under a subsequent criminal proceeding. The President may not grant a pardon in the impeachment case, but may in any resulting Federal criminal case.
Beginning in the 1980s with Harry E. Claiborne, the Senate began using "Impeachment Trial Committees" pursuant to Senate Rule XI. These committees presided over the evidentiary phase of the trials, hearing the evidence and supervising the examination and cross-examination of witnesses. The committees would then compile the evidentiary record and present it to the Senate; all senators would then have the opportunity to review the evidence before the chamber voted to convict or acquit. The purpose of the committees was to streamline impeachment trials, which otherwise would have taken up a great deal of the chamber's time. Defendants challenged the use of these committees, claiming them to be a violation of their fair trial rights as this did not meet the constitutional requirement for their cases to be "tried by the Senate". Several impeached judges, including District Court Judge Walter Nixon, sought court intervention in their impeachment proceedings on these grounds. In Nixon v. United States (1993), the Supreme Court determined that the federal judiciary could not review such proceedings, as matters related to impeachment trials are political questions and could not be resolved in the courts.
In the United Kingdom, impeachment was a procedure whereby a member of the House of Commons could accuse someone of a crime. If the Commons voted for the impeachment, a trial would then be held in the House of Lords. Unlike a bill of attainder, a law declaring a person guilty of a crime, impeachments did not require royal assent, so they could be used to remove troublesome officers of the Crown even if the monarch was trying to protect them.
The monarch, however, was above the law and could not be impeached, or indeed judged guilty of any crime. When King Charles I was tried before the Rump Parliament of the New Model Army in 1649 he denied that they had any right to legally indict him, their king, whose power was given by God and the laws of the country, saying: "no earthly power can justly call me (who is your King) in question as a delinquent ... no learned lawyer will affirm that an impeachment can lie against the King." While the House of Commons pronounced him guilty and ordered his execution anyway, the jurisdictional issue tainted the proceedings.
With this example in mind, the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention chose to include an impeachment procedure in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution which could be applied to any government official; they explicitly mentioned the President to ensure there would be no ambiguity. Opinions differed, however, as to the reasons Congress should be able to initiate an impeachment. Initial drafts listed only treason and bribery, but George Mason favored impeachment for "maladministration" (incompetence). James Madison argued that impeachment should only be for criminal behavior, arguing that a maladministration standard would effectively mean that the President would serve at the pleasure of the Senate. Thus the delegates adopted a compromise version allowing impeachment for "treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors".
The precise meaning of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" is somewhat ambiguous; some scholars, such as Kevin Gutzman, argue that it can encompass even non-criminal abuses of power. Whatever its theoretical scope, however, Congress traditionally regards impeachment as a power to use only in extreme cases. The House of Representatives has actually initiated impeachment proceedings 62 times since 1789. Two cases did not come to trial because the individuals had left office.
The standard of proof required for impeachment and conviction is also left to the discretion of individual Representatives and Senators, respectively. Defendants have argued that impeachment trials are in the nature of criminal proceedings, with convictions carrying grave consequences for the accused, and that therefore proof beyond a reasonable doubt should be the applicable standard. House Managers have argued that a lower standard would be appropriate to better serve the purpose of defending the community against abuse of power, since the defendant does not risk forfeiture of life, liberty, or property.
Actual impeachments of 19 federal officers have taken place. Of these, 15 were federal judges: thirteen district court judges, one court of appeals judge (who also sat on the Commerce Court), and one Supreme Court Associate Justice. Of the other four, two were Presidents, one was a Cabinet secretary, and one was a U.S. Senator. Of the 19 impeached officials, eight were convicted. One, former judge Alcee Hastings, was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives after being removed from office.
The 1797 impeachment of Senator William Blount of Tennessee stalled on the grounds that the Senate lacked jurisdiction over him. No other member of Congress has ever been impeached. The Constitution does give authority to the Senate and House, so that each body may expel its own members. (see List of United States senators expelled or censured and List of United States Representatives expelled, censured, or reprimanded). Expulsion removes the individual from functioning as a representative or senator because of their misbehavior, but unlike impeachment, expulsion cannot result in barring an individual from holding future office.
|#||Date of Impeachment||Accused||Office||Accusations||Result[Note 1]||References|
|1||July 7, 1797||William Blount||United States Senator (Tennessee)||Conspiring to assist Britain in capturing Spanish territory||Senate refused to accept impeachment of a Senator by the House of Representatives, instead expelling him from the Senate on their own authority[Note 2]|||
|2||March 2, 1803||John Pickering||Judge (District of New Hampshire)||Drunkenness and unlawful rulings||Convicted; removed on March 12, 1804|||
|3||March 12, 1804||Samuel Chase||Associate Justice (Supreme Court of the United States)||Political bias and arbitrary rulings, promoting a partisan political agenda on the bench ||Acquitted on March 1, 1805|||
|4||April 24, 1830||James H. Peck||Judge (District of Missouri)||Abuse of power||Acquitted on January 31, 1831|||
|5||May 6, 1862||West Hughes Humphreys||Judge (Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Tennessee)||Supporting the Confederacy||Convicted; removed and disqualified on June 26, 1862|||
|6||February 24, 1868||Andrew Johnson||President of the United States||Violating the Tenure of Office Act||Acquitted on May 26, 1868|||
|7||February 28, 1873||Mark W. Delahay||Judge (District of Kansas)||Drunkenness||Resigned on December 12, 1873|||
|8||March 2, 1876||William W. Belknap||United States Secretary of War||Graft, corruption||Acquitted after his resignation on August 1, 1876.|||
|9||December 13, 1904||Charles Swayne||Judge (Northern District of Florida)||Failure to live in his district, abuse of power||Acquitted on February 27, 1905|||
|10||July 11, 1912||Robert Wodrow Archbald||Associate Justice (United States Commerce Court)
Judge (Third Circuit Court of Appeals)
|Improper acceptance of gifts from litigants and attorneys||Convicted; removed and disqualified on January 13, 1913|||
|11||April 1, 1926||George W. English||Judge (Eastern District of Illinois)||Abuse of power||Resigned on November 4, 1926, proceedings dismissed on December 13, 1926|||
|12||February 24, 1933||Harold Louderback||Judge (Northern District of California)||Corruption||Acquitted on May 24, 1933|||
|13||March 2, 1936||Halsted L. Ritter||Judge (Southern District of Florida)||Champerty, corruption, tax evasion, practicing law while a judge||Convicted; removed on April 17, 1936|||
|14||July 22, 1986||Harry E. Claiborne||Judge (District of Nevada)||Tax evasion||Removed on October 9, 1986|||
|15||August 3, 1988||Alcee Hastings||Judge (Southern District of Florida)||Accepting a bribe, and committing perjury during the resulting investigation||Removed on October 20, 1989|||
|16||May 10, 1989||Walter Nixon||Chief Judge (Southern District of Mississippi)||Perjury||Removed on November 3, 1989[Note 3]|||
|17||December 19, 1998||Bill Clinton||President of the United States||Perjury and obstruction of justice||Acquitted on February 12, 1999|||
|18||June 19, 2009||Samuel B. Kent||Judge (Southern District of Texas)||Sexual assault, and obstruction of justice during the resulting investigation||Resigned on June 30, 2009, proceedings dismissed on July 22, 2009|||
|19||March 11, 2010||Thomas Porteous||Judge (Eastern District of Louisiana)||Making false financial disclosures||Removed and disqualified on December 8, 2010|||
While the actual impeachment of a federal public official is a rare event, demands for impeachment, especially of presidents, are common, going back to the administration of George Washington in the mid-1790s.
While almost all of them were for the most part frivolous and were buried as soon as they were introduced, several did have their intended effect. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon and Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas both resigned in response to the threat of impeachment hearings, and, most famously, President Richard Nixon resigned from office after the House Judiciary Committee had already reported articles of impeachment to the floor.
State legislatures can impeach state officials, including governors, in every State except Oregon. The court for the trial of impeachments may differ somewhat from the federal model—in New York, for instance, the Assembly (lower house) impeaches, and the State Senate tries the case, but the members of the seven-judge New York State Court of Appeals (the state's highest, constitutional court) sit with the senators as jurors as well. Impeachment and removal of governors has happened occasionally throughout the history of the United States, usually for corruption charges. A total of at least eleven U.S. state governors have faced an impeachment trial; a twelfth, Governor Lee Cruce of Oklahoma, escaped impeachment conviction by a single vote in 1912. Several others, most recently Missouri's Eric Greitens, have resigned rather than face impeachment, when events seemed to make it inevitable. The most recent impeachment of a state governor occurred on January 14, 2009, when the Illinois House of Representatives voted 117–1 to impeach Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges; he was subsequently removed from office and barred from holding future office by the Illinois Senate on January 29. He was the eighth U.S. state governor to be removed from office.
The procedure for impeachment, or removal, of local officials varies widely. For instance, in New York a mayor is removed directly by the governor "upon being heard" on charges—the law makes no further specification of what charges are necessary or what the governor must find in order to remove a mayor.
|1804||William W. Irvin||Associate Judge, Fairfield County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas||Removed|
|1832||Theophilus W. Smith||Associate Justice, Illinois Supreme Court||Acquitted|
|February 26, 1862||Charles L. Robinson||Governor of Kansas||Acquitted|
|John Winter Robinson||Secretary of State of Kansas||Removed on June 12, 1862|
|George S. Hillyer||State auditor of Kansas||Removed on June 16, 1862|
|1871||William Woods Holden||Governor of North Carolina||Removed|
|1871||David Butler||Governor of Nebraska||Removed|
|February 1872||Harrison Reed||Governor of Florida||Acquitted|
|March 1872||George G. Barnard||Supreme Court (1st District)||Removed|
|1872||Henry C. Warmoth||Governor of Louisiana||"Suspended from office," though trial was not held|
|1876||Adelbert Ames||Governor of Mississippi||Resigned|
|1888||James W. Tate||Kentucky State Treasurer||Removed|
|1901||David M. Furches||Chief Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court||Acquitted|
|Robert M. Douglas||Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court||Acquitted|
|August 13, 1913||William Sulzer||Governor of New York||Removed on October 17, 1913|
|July 1917||James E. Ferguson||Governor of Texas||Removed|
|October 23, 1923||John C. Walton||Governor of Oklahoma||Removed|
|January 21, 1929||Henry S. Johnston||Governor of Oklahoma||Removed|
|April 6, 1929||Huey P. Long||Governor of Louisiana||Acquitted|
|May 1958||Raulston Schoolfield||Judge, Hamilton County, Tennessee Criminal Court||Removed on July 11, 1958|
|March 14, 1984||Paul L. Douglas||Nebraska Attorney General||Acquitted by the Nebraska Supreme Court on May 4, 1984|
|February 6, 1988||Evan Mecham||Governor of Arizona||Removed on April 4, 1988|
|March 30, 1989||A. James Manchin||State treasurer of West Virginia||Resigned on July 9, 1989 before trial started|
|January 25, 1991||Ward "Butch" Burnette||Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture||Resigned on February 6, 1991 before trial started|
|May 24, 1994||Rolf Larsen||Associate Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court||Removed on October 4, 1994, and declared ineligible to hold public office in Pennsylvania|
|October 6, 1994||Judith Moriarty||Secretary of State of Missouri||Removed by the Missouri Supreme Court on December 12, 1994|
|November 11, 2004||Kathy Augustine||Nevada State Controller||Censured on December 4, 2004, not removed from office|
|April 11, 2006||David Hergert||Member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents||Removed by the Nebraska Supreme Court on July 7, 2006|
|January 8, 2009
|Rod Blagojevich||Governor of Illinois||95th General Assembly ended|
|January 14, 2009
|Removed on January 29, 2009, and declared ineligible to hold public office in Illinois|
|February 11, 2013||Benigno Fitial||Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands||Resigned on February 20, 2013|
|August 13, 2018||Robin Davis||Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia||Retired on August 13, 2018. Despite her retirement, the West Virginia Senate refused to dismiss the articles of impeachment and scheduled trial for October 29, 2018 although the trial is currently delayed by court order.|
|Allen Loughry||Resigned on November 12, 2018. Possible trial before the West Virginia Senate delayed by court order.|
|Beth Walker||Reprimanded and censured on October 2, 2018, not removed from office.|
|Margaret Workman||Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia||Trial before the West Virginia Senate delayed by court order after originally being scheduled for October 15, 2018.|
In action so rare it has been carried out only 14 times since 1803, the House on Friday impeached a federal judge—imprisoned U.S. District Court Judge Samuel B. Kent...CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Though a Republican, he moved to impeach President Herbert Hoover in 1932 and introduced a resolution to bring conspiracy charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
The House voted unanimously Friday to impeach the agriculture commissioner six days after he began serving a one-year sentence for a payroll violation.
Kentucky's commissioner of agriculture, serving a one-year jail sentence for felony theft, resigned Wednesday hours before his impeachment trial was scheduled to begin in the state Senate.
A State Supreme Court justice convicted on drug charges was impeached today by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Rolf Larsen yesterday became the first justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to be removed from office through impeachment. The state Senate, after six hours of debate, found Larsen guilty of one of seven articles of impeachment at about 8:25 p.m, then unanimously voted to remove him permanently from office and bar him from ever seeking an elected position again.
The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to impeach Secretary of State Judith K. Moriarty for misconduct that "breached the public trust". The move, the first impeachment in Missouri in 26 years, came at 4:25 p.m. in a hushed House chamber.
In a unanimous opinion Monday, the Missouri Supreme Court convicted Secretary of State Judith K. Moriarty of misconduct and removed her from office.
With the last vote and by the slimmest of margins, the Legislature did to University of Nebraska Regent David Hergert Wednesday what it hadn't done in 22 years—move to unseat an elected official.
University of Nebraska Regent David Hergert was convicted Friday of manipulating campaign-finance laws during his 2004 campaign and then lying to cover it up. The state Supreme Court ruling immediately removed Hergert, 66, from office.
The articles of impeachment are the set of charges drafted against a public official to initiate the impeachment process. The articles of impeachment do not result in the removal of the official, but instead require the enacting body to take further action, such as bringing the articles to a vote before the full body
In the United States, the articles of impeachment are drafted by the House of Representatives for cases involving federal officials. Once drafted, a supermajority of the United States Senate is required to convict based on the articles.
A person of a high office can be impeached if they have committed a high misdemeanor, a felony, or treason. An impeachment trial is carried out in the Senate, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding if the impeachment involves the President. Impeachment can expand beyond senior members of the White House. A Supreme Court of the United States Justice may be impeached for committing a high misdemeanor, treason, or a felony. Impeachment charges must be drafted in the House of Representatives. The trial for the person undergoing such occurs in the Senate, requiring two thirds of the members present (currently 67 out of 100 senators, assuming all present) to successfully remove a public official from office.Efforts to impeach Barack Obama
During Barack Obama's tenure as President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, certain Republican members of Congress, as well as Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich, stated that Obama had engaged in impeachable activity and that he might face attempts to remove him from office. Rationales offered for possible impeachment included false claims that Obama was born outside the United States, that he allegedly allowed people to use bathrooms based on their gender identity, an alleged White House cover-up after the 2012 Benghazi attack, and failure to enforce immigration laws. No list of articles of impeachment was ever drawn up and proposed to the Judiciary Committee.
Multiple surveys of U.S. public opinion found that the clear majority of Americans rejected the idea of impeaching Obama, while a majority of Republicans were in favor; for example, CNN found in July 2014 that 57% of Republicans supported efforts while about two thirds of adult Americans in general disagreed.Efforts to impeach Dick Cheney
In April 2007, United States Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed an impeachment resolution (H.Res. 333) against Vice President Dick Cheney, seeking his trial in the Senate on three charges. After months of inaction, Kucinich re-introduced the exact content of H. Res 333 as a new resolution numbered H.Res. 799 in November 2007. Both resolutions were referred to the Judiciary Committee immediately after their introduction and the Committee did not consider either. Both resolutions expired upon the termination of the 110th United States Congress on 3 January 2009.Efforts to impeach Donald Trump
Efforts to impeach Donald Trump were initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats, in 2017, the first year of his presidency. Other people and groups have asserted that Donald Trump has engaged in impeachable activity during his presidency. Talk of impeachment had begun before Trump took office. Grounds asserted for potential impeachment have included violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign dignitaries, allegedly in return for special treatment; alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election campaign; alleged obstruction of justice with respect to investigation of the conclusion claim; and "Associating the Presidency with White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism and Hatred", which formed the basis of a resolution for impeachment brought on December 6, 2017.
Since the Republicans controlled the House and the Senate, the likelihood of impeachment during 2017 and 2018 was remote. A December 2017 resolution of impeachment failed in the House by a 58–364 margin. The Democrats gained control of the House in 2019, but it remains uncertain if they will launch an effort toward impeachment.Efforts to impeach George W. Bush
During the presidency of George W. Bush, several American politicians sought to either investigate Bush for possibly impeachable offenses, or to bring actual impeachment charges on the floor of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The most significant of these efforts occurred on June 10, 2008, when Congressman Dennis Kucinich, along with co-sponsor Robert Wexler, introduced 35 articles of impeachment against Bush to the U.S. House of Representatives. The House voted 251 to 166 to refer the impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee on June 11, where no further action was taken on it. Bush's presidency ended on January 20, 2009, with the completion of his second term in office, rendering impeachment efforts moot.Expulsion from the United States Congress
Expulsion is the most serious form of disciplinary action that can be taken against a Member of Congress. Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." The processes for expulsion differ somewhat between the House of Representatives and the Senate.Censure, a less severe form of disciplinary action, is an official sanction of a member. It does not remove a member from office.Impeachment in New Hampshire
Impeachment in New Hampshire is an expressed Constitutional power of the House of Representatives to bring formal charges against a state officer for "bribery, corruption, malpractice or maladministration, in office." Upon the impeachment of a state officer, the Senate acts as "a court, with full power and authority to hear, try, and determine, all impeachments made by the house of representatives." Upon conviction, the Senate can impose a punishment that "does not extend further than removal from office, disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honor, trust, or profit, under this state."
Unlike at the Federal level where an impeachment conviction requires 2/3 of the United States Senators present to vote in the affirmative, the New Hampshire Constitution does not mention the burden of proof needed to impeach or convict an official, thus each house is left to decide the standard it will use.Impeachment investigations of United States federal officials
Numerous federal officials in the United States have been threatened with impeachment and removal from office. The majority of impeachment investigations that have taken place have not resulted in convictions.Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, was impeached on February 24, 1868, when the United States House of Representatives resolved to impeach the President, adopting eleven articles of impeachment detailing his "high crimes and misdemeanors", in accordance with Article Two of the United States Constitution. The House's primary charge against Johnson was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in March 1867, over the President's veto. Specifically, he had removed from office Edwin McMasters Stanton, the Secretary of War—whom the Act was largely designed to protect—and attempted to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas. (Earlier, while the Congress was not in session, Johnson had suspended Stanton and appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as Secretary of War ad interim.)
The House approved the articles of impeachment on March 2–3, 1868, and forwarded them to the Senate. The trial in the Senate began three days later, with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding. On May 16, the Senate failed to convict Johnson on one of the articles, with the 35–19 vote in favor of conviction falling short of the necessary two-thirds majority by a single vote. A ten-day recess was called before attempting to convict him on additional articles. The delay did not change the outcome, however, as on May 26, it failed to convict the President on two articles, both by the same margin; after which the trial was adjourned.
This was the first impeachment of a President since creation of the office in 1789. The culmination of a lengthy political battle between Johnson, a lifelong Democrat and the Republican majority in Congress over how best to deal with the defeated Southern states following the conclusion of the American Civil War, the impeachment, and the subsequent trial (and acquittal) of Johnson were among the most dramatic events in the political life of the nation during the Reconstruction Era. Together, they have gained a historical reputation as an act of political expedience, rather than necessity, which was based on Johnson's defiance of an unconstitutional piece of legislation, and which was conducted with little regard for the will of a general public which, despite the unpopularity of Johnson, opposed the impeachment.
Johnson is one of only three presidents against whom articles of impeachment have been reported to the full House for consideration. In 1974, during the Watergate scandal, the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, who resigned from office, rather than face certain impeachment and the prospect of being convicted at trial and removed from office. In 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached; he, like Johnson, was acquitted of all charges following a Senate trial.Impeachment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, 2018
The Impeachment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the highest court in that state, is a unique event in American history. While demands for such action are relatively common throughout the United States, and the removal of state judges by other means is not uncommon throughout the Union, the scandal of this proportion and the reaction to it is something new.Impeachment process against Richard Nixon
An impeachment process against Richard Nixon was formally initiated on February 6, 1974, when the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution, H.Res. 803, giving its Judiciary Committee authority to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States of high crimes and misdemeanors, primarily related to the Watergate scandal. This investigation was undertaken one year after the United States Senate established a select committee to investigate the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. and the Nixon Administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement.
Following a subpoena from the Judiciary Committee, in April 1974 edited transcripts of many Watergate-related conversations from the Nixon White House tapes were made public by Nixon, but the committee pressed for full tapes and additional conversations. Nixon refused, but on July 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered him to comply. On July 27, 29, and 30, 1974, the Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon, for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress, and reported those articles to the House of Representatives. Two other articles of impeachment were debated but not approved. Before the House could vote on the impeachment resolutions, Nixon made public one of the additional conversations, known as the "Smoking Gun Tape", which made clear his complicity in the cover-up. With his political support completely eroded, Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974. It is widely believed that had Nixon not resigned, his impeachment by the House and removal from office by a trial before the United States Senate would have occurred.
Nixon is one of only three U.S. presidents against whom articles of impeachment have been reported to the full House for consideration. The other two–Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998–were both impeached; however, both were also acquitted from all charges following a Senate trial, and thus allowed to remain in office. The impeachment process against Nixon is the only one resulting in the departure from office of its target.List of Booknotes interviews first aired in 1992
Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.New York Court for the Trial of Impeachments
The Court for the Trial of Impeachments, and the Correction of Errors was established by the New York State Constitution of 1777. It consisted then of the Lieutenant Governor of New York (who is ex officio President of the State Senate), the Chancellor, the justices of the New York Supreme Court and the members of the New York State Senate. It had two distinct jurisdictions: the trial of State officers who had been impeached by the New York State Assembly, and it served as a court of last resort in which decisions of either the New York Supreme Court or the Chancellor could be reversed.
The Court for the Correction of Errors was abolished by the State Constitution of 1846, and its jurisdiction on appeals transferred to the succeeding New York Court of Appeals. Hiram Denio published the records of the cases which were tried in the Court for the Correction of Errors from 1830 to 1847.
The Court for the Trial of Impeachments, in the newspapers often referred to as the Impeachment Court or sometimes as the High Court of Impeachment, still exists. Since 1847, it consists of the Lieutenant Governor, the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the associate judges of the Court of Appeals, and the members of the State Senate.
Any member of this court who has been impeached and is on trial himself, is temporarily excluded from it. Likewise, if the Governor of New York or the Lieutenant Governor are tried, the Lieutenant Governor and the Temporary President of the State Senate are excluded. The impeachment now requires a majority vote of the total of members of Assembly, and a conviction requires a two-thirds majority of the Impeachment Court.The most famous trial held by this court was the impeachment of Governor William Sulzer in 1913.Nixon v. United States
Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224 (1993), was a United States Supreme Court decision that determined that the question of whether the Senate had properly tried an impeachment was a political question and could not be resolved in the courts.Rod Blagojevich corruption charges
In December 2008, then-Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff John Harris were charged with corruption by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. As a result, Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly and removed from office by the Illinois Senate in January 2009. The federal investigation continued after his removal from office, and he was indicted on corruption charges in April of that year. The jury found Blagojevich guilty of one charge of making false statements with a mistrial being declared on the other 23 counts due to a hung jury after 14 days of jury deliberation. On June 27, 2011, after a retrial, Blagojevich was found guilty of 17 charges (including wire fraud, attempted extortion, and conspiracy to solicit bribes), not guilty on one charge and the jury deadlocked after 10 days of deliberation on the two remaining charges. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.The investigation became public knowledge when a federal judge revealed that Blagojevich was the "Public Official A" in the indictment of Tony Rezko. The case gained widespread attention with the simultaneous arrests of Blagojevich and Harris on the morning of December 9, 2008 at their homes by federal agents. Blagojevich and Harris were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes. The case involved sweeping pay to play and influence peddling allegations, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the U.S. Senate as a replacement for Barack Obama, who had resigned after being elected U.S. President (see bribery). U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald noted that there had been no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama.After the arrest, Illinois elected officials began calling on Blagojevich to resign. The 50 members of the U.S. Senate's Democratic caucus called on Blagojevich to not appoint a senator and pledged not to seat anyone he attempted to appoint. Legislators introduced bills in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly to remove the Governor's power to appoint a senator and require a special election; however, no such bill passed. Blagojevich did eventually appoint Roland Burris to the seat. Despite attempts to keep Burris from taking the seat in the U.S. Senate, he was eventually allowed to take the oath of office. Within days of Blagojevich's arrest, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking to declare the Governor "unable to serve" and strip him of the powers of his office. The court denied the request. Meanwhile, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (the Attorney General's father) announced that on December 16 he would begin impeachment proceedings. The state House impeached Blagojevich on January 9, 2009, and the state Senate convicted him 20 days later, thereby removing him; they also disqualified him from holding further office in the state.The Case for Impeachment
The Case for Impeachment is a non-fiction book by American University Distinguished Professor of History Allan Lichtman arguing for the impeachment of Donald Trump. It was published on April 18, 2017, by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. Lichtman predicted to The Washington Post that after ascending to the presidency, Trump would later be impeached from office. He developed this thesis into a set of multiple arguments for Trump's predicted impeachment.Lichtman argues in the book that Trump could face impeachment for reasons including: complicity of conspiracy with foreign governments, crimes against humanity for the U.S. neglecting global warming, and violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the constitution barring the president from taking personal monetary offerings from other governments. He provides the reader with an overview of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and links between Trump associates and Russian officials, asserting such ties could be used in efforts to impeach President Trump. He uses the Watergate scandal as the backdrop to compare Trump's reactions to criticism with those of Richard Nixon during Nixon's impeachment process. The author discusses assertions of sexual misconduct against Trump, and delves into some of the his legal affairs stemming from them. Lichtman places the Donald Trump and Billy Bush recordings within a larger context of public degradation of women.The Financial Times gave The Case for Impeachment a positive review, writing: "Lichtman's powerful book is a reminder that we are only at the start of the Trump investigations." The Washington Post called it "striking to see the full argument unfold". New York Journal of Books recommended it as a resource, "if you are a member of Congress trying to grapple with all that this administration has wrought". CounterPunch characterized the work as "a brilliant analysis of every fraudulent act". The Hill gave the author praise, writing: "Lichtman has written what may be the most important book of the year." CBC News consulted law scholars who said Lichtman's impeachment prediction was unlikely, especially with a Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.United States House Judiciary Task Force on Judicial Impeachment
On June 19, 2008, the Judicial Conference of the United States delivered to the House of Representatives notification certifying "its determination that consideration of impeachment of United States District Judge Thomas Porteous (E.D. La.) may be warranted." After a number of months considering the matter, the House passed Resolution 1448, which authorized the House Judiciary committee to create a task force to investigate the matter. The task force's authority lapsed with the change of Congress, and on January 13, 2009, the House Passed Resolution 13, which renewed it. In May of that year, the Task Force's authority was expanded to include the Case of Samuel Kent, a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, leading to his impeachment by the House of Representatives on June 19, 2009.Witness impeachment
Witness impeachment, in the law of evidence of the United States, is the process of calling into question the credibility of an individual testifying in a trial. The Federal Rules of Evidence contain the rules governing impeachment in US federal courts.
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