President Donald Trump is currently facing a process that could eventually see him removed from office. It all comes down to whether he inappropriately sought help from Ukraine to boost his chances of re-election in 2020. Things are still at a very early stage and no one can tell what will eventually happen. However, this scandal has introduced us to a very old political and legislative process that most of us weren’t familiar with: impeachment. Impeachment is a tool used to oust a sitting U.S. president from power. More accurately, any official convicted by the Senate faces immediate removal from office, not just the president. But how does this thing work? If you want to know everything about it, this list of the 20 Things You Need To Know About Impeachment that follows will help you get an idea of what’s currently going on with the country’s political scene. Last Updated on December 17, 2019

What is impeachment?

The full definition or explanation of impeachment would probably need a list in itself. To cut it short, though, impeachment is the congressional ability to remove a president from office in case he has committed “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Surprisingly, no president has ever been removed from the office in this way.

What are “high crimes and misdemeanors”?

The inclusion of “other high crimes and misdemeanors” gives the legislative branch flexibility to investigate an array of allegations. However, the exact definition of the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not defined in the Constitution itself.

How does an impeachment work?

A president cannot be impeached if the full House doesn’t vote first for the approval of the articles of impeachment. Then, one article of impeachment has to be drafted for each alleged offense. In the House, if a simple majority votes in favor of impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove a president from office.

How does impeachment begin?

This has been one of the most perplexing aspects of the current debate over impeaching Trump. In past presidential impeachments, the House would formally vote to authorize the Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings. However, this step has been skipped on occasion in the impeachment of judges. So, how exactly does an impeachment begin, you ask? It might depend on how much the media likes (or does not like) a certain president. (But this is only a guess.)

British influence

The Founding Fathers modeled the impeachment clause after a system in Britain. That system authorized Parliament to investigate royal advisers and other higher officials.
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