Impeachment is the true power of the congress to remove a president from its office. Fortunately, out of all the presidencies that step foot in the oval office, no one was forced evacuated in such a way. Although in the case of Richard Nixon, he opted to resign instead of facing the near certainty that he’ll be removed from the office. If you don’t believe that, then search the web using your modem and router combo and you’ll be surprised with what you will find.
As far as impeachment goes, the House had already impeached 19 people, majority of which are federal judges. Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached though, the senate voted not to convict any of them. Nixon then resigned after the approval of Judiciary Committee to the three articles of impeachment.
The Constitution states that a president could be impeached for a number of reasons which include:
- High forms of crime
- Bribery or
The last two are well understood but the Constitution doesn’t define what it specifically means by misdemeanor and high crimes.
The Congress identified three different kinds of conduct that is constituting the grounds for impeachment and this includes using the office for financial gains. However, misdeeds do not have to be a crime.
A president may be impeached if they are proven to abuse the power of his or her office or for acting in a way that’s considered incompetent or incompatible with the office.
What are the Grounds for Impeachment?
Founders have kept the term misdemeanor and high crimes to become vague intentionally. This is because impeachment is designed to become a political act and not as a legal one. Compared to criminal law, there is no clear rule to evaluate when does a president stepped over that line.
Founders have also deflected the term maladministration as one of the grounds for impeachment. They did not want the president to be tossed in the office just because the Congress did not think he or she was not doing the job expected from him/her. According to Alexander Hamilton, impeachable offenses were those that are involving the abuse of public trust.