Per the U.S. Constitution, any Civil Federal Officer may be Impeached for "Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." This means the President of the United States, the Vice President, Representatives, Senators, Cabinet Members, and even Supreme Court Justices may be Impeached.
The Impeachment Process is initiated in the House of Representatives with the Passage of a Resolution Listing the Charges or “Articles of Impeachment” against the Official being Impeached.
If Passed by the House, the Articles of Impeachment are considered by the Senate in a Trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, with the 100 Senators serving as the Jury.
If the Senate Votes in Favor of Conviction by a 2/3 Supermajority Vote (67 votes), the Senate will then Vote to Remove the Official from Office.
The Impeachment Process is Political, rather than Criminal in Nature. Congress has No Power to impose Criminal Penalties on Impeached Officials.
After Impeachment or the Person Leaves Office, there is No Double Jeopardy, and the Convictive Person can be Tried in Criminal Courts for the Crimes that caused Impeachment.
The Impeachment Process:
The impeachment Process Plays out in Congress and requires Critical Votes in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is often said that the “House impeaches and the Senate Convicts,” or not. In essence, the House First decides if there are Grounds to Impeach, and if it does, the Senate holds a Formal Impeachment Trial.
The House Judiciary Committee decides whether or Not to Proceed with Impeachment:
- The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee will Propose a Resolution calling for the Judiciary Committee to Begin a Formal Inquiry into the Issue of Impeachment.
- Based on their Inquiry, the Judiciary Committee will send another Resolution Composed of One or More "Articles of Impeachment" to the Full House stating that Impeachment is Warranted and Why or that Impeachment is Not called for.
- The Full House, Operating under Special Floor Rules, set by the House Rules Committee, will Debate and Vote on each Article of Impeachment.
- Should any one of the Articles of Impeachment be Approved by a Simple Majority Vote, the Person will be "impeached."
However, being Impeached is sort of like being Indicted for a Crime. The Person will remain in Office pending the Outcome of the Senate Impeachment Trial.
The Senate - The Articles of Impeachment are received from the House:
- The Senate Formulates Rules and Procedures for Holding a Trial.
- The Trial will be held with the Person Represented by their Lawyers. A Select Group of House Members serves as "Prosecutors." The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, currently John G. Roberts, Presides with all 100 Senators Acting as the Jury.
- The Senate meets in Private Session to Debate a Verdict.
- The Senate, in Open Session, Votes on a Verdict. A 2/3 Supermajority Vote of the Senate will Result in a Conviction.-
- The Senate will Vote to Remove the Person from Office.
- The Senate may also Vote, by a simple Majority, to Prohibit the Person from Holding any Public Office in the Future.
Once Impeached Officials are Convicted in the Senate, their Removal from Office is Automatic and may Not be Appealed.
In the 1993 Case of Nixon v. United States, the Supreme Court Ruled that the Federal Judiciary Cannot Review Impeachment Proceedings.
According to Constitutional Lawyers, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" are:
(1) Real Criminality, Breaking a Law,
(2) Abuses of Power.
(3) "Violation of Public Trust" as defined by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers.
Historically, Congress has issued Articles of Impeachment for Acts in Three General Categories:
- Exceeding the constitutional Bounds of the Powers of the Office.
- Behavior Grossly Incompatible with the Proper Function and Purpose of the Office.
- Employing the Power of the Office for an Improper Purpose or for Personal Gain.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker