Graphic shows the steps in the impeachment process.


U.S. impeachment process

By Duncan Mil

November 1, 2019 - The U.S. Constitution permits Congress to remove a president before his or her term is up if enough senators vote to say that they committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours.”

Article Two, Section 4 of the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach a federal official, including the president.

On October 31 the House voted to approve and proceed with its impeachment inquiry. The resolution, passed on a mostly party-line 232-196 vote, sends a clear signal that a vote to impeach President Donald Trump, and a trial in the Senate, is all but inevitable.

A two-thirds majority in the Senate is required to convict and remove a president from office -- which has never successfully happened.

While the Constitution sets out that if the House impeaches an official, the next step is for the Senate to hold a trial, there is no precise enforcement mechanism.

Article One of the Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice of Supreme Court -- currently John Roberts -- should preside over any Senate trial.

Trump becomes just the fourth president to be subject to a formal impeachment effort. Two of them, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, were impeached in the House but weren’t convicted in the Senate. Richard Nixon, facing likely conviction, resigned before the House could vote to approve articles of impeachment.

PUBLISHED: 01/11/2019; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press
Graphic News Standards