-To learn about the process of impeachment it is first recommended that you understand the history of impeachment, to develop the full picture when reading the text below.
Many of us know what the word impeachment mean, but you may not know how impeachment works. By understanding the impeachment process you will learn that to be convicted for impeachment does not necessarily mean that you will be removed from office. The impeachment process can be found in a tiny corner of the U.S. Constitution, known as Article II, Section 4. The procedures used to impeach any government official dates back to the origin of the Constitution, in the 18th-century. First of all who calls for impeachment?
Capital Building (Home of Senate and the House)
The Power of the House of Representatives
The impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives. The House is a place where each state can send a representative, to speak on behalf of the state, according to the population of the state. Today there is about one representative for every 750,000 people. Anyway, the House has the sole power of impeachment. This means that unlike the Senate, the House has the power to convict a government official for impeachment. This also means that any representative in the House can decide whether or not they feel like impeaching a government official for any cause of misconduct in office. If the rep. has decided that they want to impeach the official they must openly speak about their concerns to the rest of the reps. and determine whether or not to impeach by a casted vote. If the vote turns out for impeachment, then the House can send its Judiciary Committee to investigate the charges against the government official. Once the investigation is complete, a Congress member must take the second step to impeach the official. To do this, all other work by the Committee must stop as the committee resolves the impeachment. They also cast a vote that determines which articles of impeachment will be used against the official and sent to the House. However if the Committee decides to drop the charges against the official then process is terminated. Lastly, the articles of impeachment are sent to the House where they are voted for; if any of the articles are approves they are then sent to the Senate.
The Trial in the Senate
Unlike the House, the Senate has only the power to try impeachments, meaning they cast the trial which determines whether or not the government official will be removed from office. Until now the so called government official has been impeached, but it still doesn't mean that they will be removed from office. Once the articles of impeachment are approved by the House, the matter is then settled in the Senate. The Senate is made up of 100 senators, these senators come in pairs from one of the fifty states. During the impeachment trial the Senate must sit as the jury, listening to everything the House has to say. The Senate is the only body that decided whether or not to cast a trial. In the case of a Presidential Impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial. The House becomes the prosecutor, trying to remove the official from office, while the official and their attorney become the defendants. When the trial comes to an end the Senate votes whether or not to remove the official from office. A 2/3 majority vote must be casted in order for the official to be removed from office.