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    Friday, 10 March 2017

    Procedure of Impeachment under US Constitution

    1. MEANINGS OF IMPEACH

    According to Black's Law Dictionary
    To impeach means, "To charge with a crime or misconduct; especially to formally charge (a public official) with a violation of the public trust."

    "Impeaching a federal official, such as the President, the Vice President, or a Judge, requires that a majority of the U. S. House of Representatives vote to return at least one article of impeachment to the U.S. Senate, itemizing the charges and explaining their factual grounds. Even if an official is impeached, removal from office does not occur unless two-third of the Senators votes for conviction."

    2. IMPEACHABLE OFFENCE

    According to Black's Law Dictionary
    Impeachable offence means, "an offence for which a public , official may legally be impeached, during the first step in a 'two-step process that may, depending on the vote in the U. S. Senate, lead to the official's removal from office."

    The U.S. Constitution states that the President, Vice-President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes, and Misdemeanours'. The meaning of this language was much debated during the impeachment and trial of President Bill Clinton, against whom two articles of impeachment were returned by the House of Representatives. The question arose what type of misdemeanor will suffice, and whether the high in high crimes modifies misdemeanors as well. No definitive answer resulted from the proceedings."

    3. IMPEACHMENT

    According to Black's Law Dictionary
    "Impeachment is the act (by a legislature) of calling for the removal from office of a public official, accomplished - by presenting a written charge of the official's alleged misconduct; especially the initiation of a proceeding in the U.S. House of Representatives against a federal official, such as President or a Judge."

    "Congress's authority to remove a federal official stems from Article II, section 4 of the Constitution which authorizes' the removal of an official for "Treason, Bribery, 'or other high crimes and Misdemeanors". The grounds upon which an official can be removed do not; however, have to be criminal in nature. They usually involve some type of abuse of power or breach of the public trust. Articles of impeachment which can be approved by a simple majority in the House serve as the charging instrument for the later trial in the Senate. If the President is impeached, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Senate trial. The defendant can be removed from office by a two-thirds majority of the senators who are present".

    4. IMPEACHMENT OF U.S PRESIDENT
    Under the Constitution, no president can be removed from during his term of office expect by impeachment, if charged of a breach of Constitution.

    5. GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT
    The Congress can remove the president by impeachment the grounds of gross misconduct involving treason, bribery or other high crimes.

    6. PROCESS OF IMPEACHMENT
    Impeachment process begins against the President in the House Representatives. If sufficient evidence is produced, the house will draft a "Bill of Impeachment", and is then presented before the Senate, which takes the trial as High Court, with the Chief Justice as the judge.

    7. PROCEDURE OF IMPEACHMENT
    According to the procedure, the House prepares a list of allegations leveled against the President and appoints a person to plead the case. The President has a right to be represented at such investigation. If the president does not submit the resignation himself, the Senate conducts the prosecution. A two-thirds vote of the members present is necessary for conviction and it shall have the effect of removing the President forthwith.

    Note
    (i) The penalty, as a result of impeachment, cannot extend to more than the removal of the President from office and disqualification to hold any office of trust and responsibility under the Government of United States. It is also pertinent to note that in case of removal by impeachment, the President shall I continue to enjoy all other privileges as a citizen.


    No President has been removed, so far, by impeachment. A move against President Johnson in 1868 was initiated but he was acquitted. Similarly, an impeachment motion was initiated against President Bill Clinton in the House: it could not be carried due to lack of support in the Senate.
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    Item Reviewed: Procedure of Impeachment under US Constitution Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Usman Ali
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