What exactly is impeachment? FAQ about the inquiry answered
Washington, Dec 19: Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official.
What is impeachment?
Impeachment proceedings are a rare event in the US and are a final check on the president's power. However, it does not in itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official.
Whereas in some countries the individual is provisionally removed, in others they can remain in the office during the trial. Once an individual is impeached, they must then face the possibility of conviction on the charges by a legislative vote, which is separate from the impeachment but flows from it, and a judgment which convicts the official on the articles of impeachment entails the official's definitive removal from office.
Because impeachment and conviction of officials involve an overturning of the normal constitutional procedures by which individuals achieve high office (election, ratification, or appointment) and because it generally requires a supermajority, they are usually reserved for those deemed to have committed serious abuses of their office.
In the United States, for example, impeachment at the federal level is limited to those who may have committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours".
What happens when a President gets impeached?
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
What's next for Trump?
Donald Trump has become the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, setting up a trial in the Senate after three turbulent years, news agency AFP reported. The House voted on two charges - that the president abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress. Both votes fell along party lines with nearly all Democrats voting for the charges and all Republicans against.
The House action sets the stage for a trial next month in the Republican-controlled Senate - friendlier terrain for Trump - on whether to convict him and remove him from office. The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, has predicted there is no chance his chamber will remove Trump when it holds its trial.
Has it been done before?
Only two Presidents - Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 - have been impeached in the nation's 243-year history.
How impeachment works in India?
Impeachment exists under constitutional law in many countries around the world, including Brazil, France, India, Ireland, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Since 1990, at least 132 different heads of state have faced some 272 impeachment proposals in 63 countries.
In India, the president and judges, including the chief justice of the supreme court and high courts, can be impeached by the parliament before the expiry of the term for violation of the Constitution. Other than impeachment, no other penalty can be given to a president in position for the violation of the Constitution under Article 361 of the constitution. However, a president after his term/removal can be punished for his already proven unlawful activity under disrespecting the constitution, etc.
No president has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the provisions for impeachment have never been tested. The sitting president cannot be charged and needs to step down in order for that to happen.