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How the Impeachment Process Works

News media explains the process and UCOMM Blog readers need to read this

Posted on
Sep 26, 2019

This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment investigation into Trump. Find out what the process will be going forward.

Who has been impeached?

Nineteen people have been impeached in U.S. history, mostly federal judges but also presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Johnson and Clinton were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned under the threat of impeachment.

How is this process different?

Pelosi has instructed that the six House committees already probing Trump — the Judiciary, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Oversight and Foreign Affairs panels — continue their investigations “under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.” The committees are expected to contribute to any articles of impeachment drafted by the Judiciary Committee.

What could Trump be charged with?

According to the Lawfare blog, impeachable offenses alleged against Trump could include obstruction of justice and abuse of law enforcement institutions and personnel, attempts to leverage the power of the presidency to cause investigation and prosecution of political opponents, and lying to the American public.

What are the standards and rules in an impeachment process?

The Constitution doesn’t offer much guidance. The interpretation of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is up to the sitting House members. And the procedures for a Senate trial are up to sitting members of that chamber. Additionally, the Constitution does not set a standard of proof in the way that criminal or civil courts call for “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” for conviction.

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