How to Impeach a President

The current word on the street is all about impeachment: a charge of misconduct made against someone in public office. If tried and confirmed treasonous, that person will be removed from office. Impeachment is not just the removal of the president — it is an extreme process of investigations, indictments, and trials that must take place before removal becomes a possibility. 

Currently, we are in the midst of the hearing process of the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Public opinion and media coverage have been huge aspects throughout the development of this case. Basically, it is being questioned whether Trump improperly sought help from Ukraine to increase his chances of being re-elected in 2020. 

He is being accused of pressuring the Ukrainian president into revealing any damaging information he may have against one of Trump’s main challengers, Joe Biden. This all began with a complaint from a so-called “whistleblower”— an unnamed intelligence official who reported concerns about a phone call between Donald Trump and Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky. At the time, it is not known if all of this is enough to confirm impeachment, but here are the steps that the government is currently taking towards the process.

The first step involves Congress deciding to open an impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee. This is to determine whether impeachment is able to be in question or not. The House can vote to formalize this inquiry by calling an entire investigation, but they are not required to do so. 

Next, House committees put together cases for impeachment and then the Judiciary Committee decides whether there is enough evidence against the president to move to a vote over the whole House of Representatives. 

Lastly, the Senate tries the president on his alleged crimes. This is where the vote of removal actually comes into play. The conviction requires a two-thirds vote, aka 67/100 senators, to vote for or against the impeachment charges. If the president is found guilty and convicted, he will be immediately removed from office and the vice president would take his place as President of the United States. 

There have only ever been two presidents impeached in America’s history: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Now, we have to wait and wonder if Donald Trump will be the third. It is a very intense and trying time for any country, as we should trust that our leaders will do the best at upholding justice, but if they do not then the people deserve better. 

For more updates about the impeachment process, check out your favorite news services and stream the actual hearings on services like CBS News.

 

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