Impeachment is the removal of a high ranking official in the United States government. The Constitution states that any official articles it be a member of the President's cabinet or a member of the Senate or House of Representatives. The Process proceeds as follows.
The process begins when formal charges are brought against the official in question. These are examined by an independent prosecutor designated by a House judiciary committee and the Attorney General of the United States. They are then presented to the House of Representatives in a report. If the impeachment process continues to a hearing then this evidence is then called "The Articles of Impeachment".
An impeachment proceeding can begin with a direct impeachment resolution or an inquiry of impeachment resolution. An inquiry of impeachment resolution differs from a direct impeachment resolution in that an inquiry constitutes a preliminary investigation. While a direct impeachment resolution simply call for a vote to impeach the official, an inquiry resolution commences an inquiry into whether an impeachment resolution would be appropriate. It is a prudent first step in the impeachment process.
If the Judiciary Committee finds the grounds for resolution if impeachment exists. It may then submit the articles of impeachment to the House for a vote. The House votes on each article separately and any articles that pass by a majority vote are sent to the Senate for trial.
The Constitution gives to the Senate "the sole power to try impeachment." Like the House, the Senate has also adopted rules for its impeachment proceedings. Once the House has approved the articles it requests that the Senate "order the appearance of the accused to answer the charges and demands a conviction and appropriate judgement, and presents the articles of impeachment." The Senators then try the case according to the Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeacment Trials. A conviction requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate to find that the accused official committed reason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. The Constitution also prescribes the consequences for an impeachment conviction, including removal from Office and the possible disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office, Trust or Profit under the United States.
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