What is “impeachment?”
The term is commonly used to mean removing someone from office, but it actually refers to the filing of formal charges, which is then followed by a Senate trial. @PeteWilliamsNBC explains. https://nbcnews.to/2XecVRp
The House impeaches. The Senate then holds a trial on those charges to decide whether the officer — a president or any other federal official — should be removed and barred from holding federal office in the future.
The House has impeached 19 people, mostly federal judges. Two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were impeached, but the Senate voted not to convict either of them. Richard Nixon resigned rather than have to face impeachment. https://nbcnews.to/2XecVRp
Any member of the House could seek to start the impeachment process by proposing a resolution of impeachment. It would be referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which decides whether to investigate the allegations.
The Constitution provides that a president can be impeached for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The Constitution does not further define "high crimes and misdemeanors." https://nbcnews.to/2XecVRp
When Gerald Ford was a member of the House, he famously defined an impeachable offense as "whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."
The Supreme Court has said because the Constitution gives the Senate "the sole power to try all impeachments," a conviction on impeachment cannot be appealed to any court.
In US history, only 8 people have been convicted after Senate impeachment trials; all were federal judges.
You can follow @NBCNews.
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