Quick Overview of the Impeachment Process
1. An impeachment can open in many ways in the House- as long as it begins somewhere in the House. Often the House Judiciary Committee becomes involved at an early stage.
2. Before taking a final vote on whether to impeach a president, the House can vote to authorize its Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment inquiry.
3. The Judiciary Committee may at this stage conduct hearings and draw up the articles of impeachment.
4. Under the Constitution, the House must vote on articles of impeachment. A simple majority vote can impeach the president-"impeachment" is more of an indictment than a conviction- and send the case to the Senate for trial.
5. The Senate conducts the trial. A prosecution team assembled by the House prsents the evidence for conviction. which requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate. A legal defense team represents the president. The chief justice presides over the trial Normally the vice president presides over the Senate, but he must step aside under the Constitution because he would replace the president if senators vote for conviction. At the end of the trial, the Senate probably would allow senators to debate each article of impeachment before taking a vote.
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