The process of impeachment explained
(WFXG) - The possibility of a Trump impeachment is a major topic nationwide, after Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, formally announced an investigation is underway. That investigation is the beginning stage of the impeachment process. To keep you informed, FOX 54 looked into what impeachment is and how it’s carried out.
Impeachment is a political process that is part of Congresses oversight powers, as laid out in the constitution. The process can move quick or slow, depending on how things go in the House of Representatives. Right now, the first stage of the impeachment process is underway: the investigation. During this time, evidence is gathered. The investigation will conclude with either nothing happening, or items of impeachment being brought to the House for a vote. The House of Representatives will vote on each item of impeachment that is brought forth, and there must be a majority vote for the impeachment to pass.
Once someone has been impeached, the next stop of the process is to take it to the Senate. The Senate has the power to give a consequence, or remove the person from office. Senators vote on each individual item of impeachment, and a two-thirds majority vote on any one item would remove someone from office. Someone can be impeached for bribery, treason or high crimes and misdemeanors. Gregg Murray, Augusta University Political Science Professor, said, “Because it is such a highly charged political event and process, there’s no telling how it’s going to work out, and what it comes down to is public opinion.”
Historically, only two United States Presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither of them were removed from office. Murray explained, “Bill Clinton was impeached, and he stayed in office. Andrew Johnson was impeached, and he stayed in office. So, you can be impeached and still remain in office.”
Someone who is impeached also still has the option to run for re-election. Impeachment does not mean a crime was committed, and in some cases, it has even led to more popularity for the impeached person. Murray explained, “Again, it’s a political process. It comes down to, what’s the interpretation? President Clinton -- after he was impeached -- his support from the public went up.”
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