What You Didn’t Know About Impeachment
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.
Article 2, Section 4 -- United States Constitution
Definition of Impeach: to bring an accusation against: to charge with a crime or misdemeanor.
To charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office.
The House of Representatives brings forth Articles of Impeachment and the Senate holds the trial to determine guilt or innocence. The Senate is the body that has the power to convict.
Three United States Presidents have been impeached.
Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868. The impeachment was over how he handled reconstruction after the Civil War. The Senate did not vote to convict.
Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted in the Senate.
Donald Trump was impeached in 2020 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted in the Senate.
Donald Trump was impeached on January 12, 2021 for insurrection. As a note: there was no opportunity for the President to present a defense. The Speaker of the House has sent the Article of Impeachment to the Senate. The trial is scheduled to start on February 9th. The trial will be held in the Senate after Donald Trump has left office.
Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution states “Judgments in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office.”
There is nothing in the Constitution that states that a private citizen can be found guilty and removed from office when they have already left office.
Diminishing the seriousness of impeachment threatens our system of government and the separation of powers. Impeachment proceedings based on inadequate reasons, speed and dislike for a President means that this will become a method of removing a President the opposing party does not like. Constant changing of the Presidency is a massive threat to the stability of our government. The United States is not alone in the world. Many other nations are watching to determine the strength of the United States and will take advantage of any perceived signs of weakness.