With Donald Trump achieving the milestone of becoming the first President to be impeached twice, let us look at what impeachment is, what led to the one of Trump, as well as its former cases.
Crux of the Matter
On 13 January 2021, Donald Trump became the 1st US president to be impeached twice and only the 3rd US President to be impeached.
The House of Representatives formally charged him with “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters sieged the Capitol and committed violence.
What Is Impeachment?
- Impeachment is the formal charging of President with certain crimes.
- Impeachment is a part of the process of officially removing the President for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”.
- Impeachment is done by the House (lower house).
Impeachment is succeeded by the Senate (upper House) trial, where 2/3rd majority is required to convict and remove the President. However, no President in history has been removed by the Senate.
Impeachment After Trump Leaves?
As per experts, late impeachment (after Trump leaves the office) is also possible.
- Notably, impeachment may also be used to “disqualify” from office in future.
- Meaning: Trump’s impeachment may prohibit him from contesting in the 2024 Presidential election as well as deny ex-President benefits.
Previous Instances Of Impeachment
Donald Trump (2019)
- Impeached on charges of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress”.
- Trump reportedly pressurized the Ukrainian President to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son Hunter to aid him in 2020 elections.
Bill Clinton (1998)
- Impeached on charges of “lying under oath to a federal grand jury” and “obstruction of justice”.
- Clinton lied about having “sexual relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
- Impeachment not for the extramarital affair, but for perjury (lying about the issue under oath) and using power to hide the matter.
Andrew Johnson (1868)
- Impeached on charges of “violating the Tenure of Office Act”.
- Done so by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office.
- Dilma Vana Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th president of Brazil. She was the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency. On 31 August 2016, the Senate voted 61–20 to impeach, finding Rousseff guilty of breaking budgetary laws and removed her from office.
- The charge of high crimes and misdemeanours covers allegations of misconduct by officials. The impeachment of the King’s Chancellor, Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk in 1386 was the first case to use this charge.
- Other than impeachment, no other penalty can be given to a president in position for the violation of the Constitution under Article 361 of the Indian constitution. No Indian President has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the provisions for impeachment have never been tested.
- The Indian Express – Explained: Trump has been impeached a second time. What happens next?
- The New York Times – The Impeachment Proceedings That Came Before
- BBC – Trump impeachment: A very simple guide
- United States House Of Representatives – List of Individuals Impeached by the House of Representatives