Impeachment Definition

Learn what impeachment is, how it works, famous examples, case studies, and statistics. Explore the process of holding government officials accountable.

What is Impeachment?

Impeachment is a legal process in which a government official, such as the President or a judge, is accused of misconduct and may be removed from their position. It is a way to hold elected officials accountable for their actions and ensure that they are serving in the best interest of the public.

How Does Impeachment Work?

Impeachment typically begins with an investigation by the House of Representatives, which can lead to articles of impeachment being brought against the official in question. The House then votes on whether to impeach the official, with a simple majority needed to pass. If impeached, the case is then sent to the Senate for a trial, where a two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove the official from office.

Examples of Impeachment

One of the most famous examples of impeachment in the United States is the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998. He was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, but was acquitted by the Senate and remained in office.

Case Studies

In recent years, there have been several high-profile impeachment cases around the world. In 2016, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached on charges of budgetary mismanagement. In 2019, President Donald Trump faced impeachment in the United States on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Statistics on Impeachment

According to data from the Congressional Research Service, there have been 20 impeachment proceedings in the history of the United States, with only three resulting in conviction and removal from office. Impeachment is a rare and significant process that is reserved for cases of serious misconduct.

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