What is impeachment?



Paige O'Dell, Independent Writer

With recent news on an ongoing impeachment inquiry on President Trump, it leaves American’s across the nation with mixed views following the cases. However, many of us don’t even know exactly what impeachment is, or how it happens. So what exactly is it?

First, we have to define impeachment inquiry. If the current president of the United States is suspected to be committing treason, bribery, or any other High crimes or misdemeanor, The House of Representatives will begin an inquiry to attempt to impeach him or her. To begin, the house will make sure that there is enough evidence against the current president to create a case against them. The Constitution gives the house this right to propose a case against a president in an impeachment inquiry. If the house finds enough evidence to move forward with the case, and the house votes to find him or her guilty, then the case will move to the Senate. If the president is found guilty again, the Senate can remove him or her from office immediately.

So how does this relate to the current news with President Trump? First, we have to look at why the inquiry began in the first place. An anonymous complaint was filed in August concerning President Trump and Ukraine, which has been a suspicion for many across the nation since his election. According to the complaint, President Trump pushed the president of Ukraine to look into Joe Biden, the former Vice President who is currently running for president, and his son for any wrongdoings. If the Democrats choose Joe Biden as one of their nominees he will compete against Trump in the 2020 election. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, launched the impeachment inquiry on the 24th of September stating it shows “a betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.” Trump fired back saying he did nothing wrong, naming the inquiry a witch hunt and a hoax.

Impeachment is a lengthy process that requires articles of impeachment put forth by the house after an investigation. If the house agrees with the articles that are put forth, and votes on it, the president will be impeached, which is similar to being charged with a crime. Then, the Senate holds a trial. The Senate will add primarily as the jury as the house makes a case against the president. The trial is overseen by the chief of justice in the Supreme Court in order to make sure the trial is done fairly. The House of Representatives is likely to vote on the impeachment articles because it is held by Democrats, however the Senate is held by Republicans in the case is likely to be dismissed by them

Both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House of Representatives, however they were found not guilty of the crimes by the senate and not removed from office.