The History of Impeachment
By Rebecca H
It was recently announced by the United States House of Representatives that they are opening an official impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump. This decision was made after a whistleblower’s complaint became public regarding a phone call with Ukraine, in which President Trump asked the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as his son Hunter Biden, for corruption. No matter your opinion on Trump’s presidency, we can all agree this is a historic moment in American history.
Only three U.S. Presidents have been subject to impeachment and none of them were officially removed from office. Former Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached in the House of Representatives by a majority vote, however Johnson and Clinton were both acquitted in the Senate. Former President Richard Nixon resigned his position as President as Articles of Impeachment were introduced in the House.
Impeaching a President is a lengthy process. The initial step is taken by the House of Representatives, who decide to open an inquiry and investigate until enough evidence is known to officially bring charges on the President. If a majority of the House vote in favor, the President is impeached in the House and the Senate then begins a trial. At the trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Senate and if the Senate believes the President committed an impeachable offense, a two-thirds vote is required to officially remove the President from office. From there, the Vice President would take over duties as President of the United States.
As more information is revealed and the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump continues, it is sure to be a historic moment for America, no matter the outcome.
“Trump Ukraine Call: What’s This Story All about?” BBC News, BBC, 26 Sept. 2019.
Crary, David. “How Rare Is an Impeachment Inquiry? Trump Joins Small Group of Presidents.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 25 Sept. 2019.