Impeachment of the President of USA

Impeachment

Since Donald Trump took over as the President of the USA, there have been several rumours of misconduct, which have called for the Impeachment of the President. These rumours turned true on 24th September 2019, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered a formal impeachment inquiry of the US president.

Allegations against the President:

  • A phone call between Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky (President of Ukraine) has revealed that Trump has used his position to try to coerce Ukrainian President into investigating Trump’s 2020 political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • It is also alleged that Trump purposely withheld almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to pressurize the Ukrainian President to investigate Hunter Biden (Son of Joe Biden).
  • Joe Biden, the Ex-Vice President of USA is a democratic party contender for 2020 Presidential Election and by implicating his son through a foreign country, Trump was trying to influence the upcoming Presidential Elections.

Constitutional Provisions of Impeachment:

  • Article II, Section IV of the US 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 and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
  • Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the US constitution states that The House of Representatives (Lower house of the United States Congress) shall choose their Speaker and other Officers and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
  • By the Constitution, the House of Representatives has “the sole power of impeachment,” and the Senate “the sole power to try all impeachments.”
  • Any member of the legislature can introduce an impeachment resolution like an ordinary bill if she/he believes that the President has committed, “Treason, Bribery and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
  • The Motion is then sent to the Judiciary Committee, which carries an investigation based on the evidence.
  • If the allegation is found to be true, the committee frames the articles of impeachment and sends them to the lower house.
  • The House then passes the resolution by a simple majority and sends the resolution to the Senate (Upper House of Parliament).
  • The Senate starts a trial, which is presided by the Chief Justice. The representatives from the house act as Prosecutors.
  • The President is defended by her/his attorney.
  • The concurrence of two-thirds of the members present is necessary to convict.
  • If the President is convicted, she/he is removed from the office and the Vice President takes oath as the President.

Previous Instances: –

  • The impeachment proceedings have been opened more than 60 times in U.S. history.
  • Only 8 cases have led to the Senate removing the impeached officials (All eight were U.S. judges).
  • Two presidents, Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998), have been impeached by the House, but neither was removed from office by the Senate.
  • Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 to avoid being Impeached from Office.

Related sources: The 47th Chief Justice of India, Police Commemoration Day

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