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Explaining The Impeachment Process- Cause It’s Complicated

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

It’s only the first month of 2021, but it’s already showing to be a tiring year. At the time of this documentation, Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. With this being the case, he is the president of a country where division is imminent. The fact of division in this country couldn’t have been more obvious than what was observed at the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021. 


Hundreds of Trump supporters participated in a protest that quickly turned violent as they raided the federal building, in an attempt to halt the counting of the electoral votes to establish the winner of the 2020 Presidential election. As supporters stormed the Capitol, toppling furniture, breaking windows, and stealing precious valuables. The horrendous display of total lack of authority in the capital spoke volumes to our citizens. After the dust settled and the people were arrested, many Representatives made it painfully clear that the actions shown on that day will not go unnoticed. 


The days following the riot, the House of Representatives announced that they would be writing up articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump, on charges claiming that he incited the riot on the capitol, and falsely claiming that he won the election when there is no evidence of that occurring. It caused a big stir in the media since this is the first time a president has ever been impeached twice in our nation’s history. But a lot of people were confused. 


What does impeachment mean? Can a president be impeached twice?  What does that mean for the future of our country?  


Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body addresses legal charges against a government official. It also is possible for disqualification from holding any future office. Although some may think otherwise, impeachment isn’t meant to be a personal punishment. Instead, its purpose is to maintain constitutional government. 


In short, it protects the integrity of our federal offices. Impeachment is first either written up by the House or the Senate. Both houses debate and vote on whether the charges are legit for termination. The only way the charges are carried on is if both parties have a majority vote to move along with the impeachment. So that would be 218 or more votes in the House of Representatives and 50 or more votes in the Senate. 


Although it has never been done before, a president can be impeached more than once. If the first impeachment doesn’t result in the termination of the official’s duty. Only two other presidents have formally been impeached before Donald Trump. First was Andrew Johnson, the 17th president, and Bill Clinton, the 42nd president. Andrew Johnson was the successor to Abraham Lincoln after he was murdered in 1865. Johnson’s impeachment was due to 11 charges brought before him. One of the charges was violating the Tenure of Office Act by suspending Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Johnson suspended him because Stanton opposed his Reconstruction policies to unit the South and the North after the Civil War. The second president was Bill Clinton, the 42nd president. His impeachment was due to the infamous national scandal about his affair with 21-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinksy.

Hello there! I am Yalines Medrano and I am a Forensic Science major at Lasell University with the class of 2024. I am from Peabody, Massachusetts and I love to read, watch anime, and hang out with friends! I am so excited to be involved in HER Campus!
Ariana is the Editor In Chief for Her Campus Lasell. She is a senior at Lasell double majoring in Business Management and Marketing. When she's not editing for HC Lasell, she's binge-watching Netflix or buried in a good book.