Process of Impeachment—7 Steps


I. Impeachment

         A. Being formally accused of unlawful activity, committing a crime

         B. Not necessarily being kicked out of office


II. Who can be Impeached?  Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution

         A. “President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States”

         B. Civil Officers include people appointed by the President (cabinet

              members and judges)

         C. Members of Congress are NOT civil officers


III. Process of Impeachment

         A. 7 Steps of Impeachment:

                  1.  Justice Department or an independent council investigates charges & presents them to the House Judiciary Committee


                  2. House Judiciary Committee (HJC) reviews evidence


                  3. HJC drafts Articles of Impeachment


                  4. HJC debates Articles of Impeachment (Nixon)


                  5.  Entire House of Representatives debates Articles of Impeachment & votes on them (Simple Majority)

                           a. If this happens, President is considered Impeached


                  6.  Senate holds the Trial "Will the official be kicked out of office"

                           a. House Judiciary Committee acts as the prosecution-- presents evidence against the accused

                           b. Accused chooses own lawyers to present defense

                           c. Chief Justice of Supreme Court acts as Judge and rules on admissibility of evidence

                           d. Senate acts as the Jury


                  7. A 2/3 majority of the Senate must vote against accused to remove the person from office (Andrew Johnson, Clinton)