Constitutional Law

The Executive Branch

What is “impeachment”?

Impeachment refers to proceedings brought against certain federal public officials for offenses, abuse of office, or other misconduct while the official holds public office. The impeachment process involves both bodies of Congress—the House of Representatives and the Senate. Under Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the House has the “sole power of impeachment.” This means that the House brings formal charges against an official. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution provides that “the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”

Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that “The President, the 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.” Members of the House and Senate are not subject to impeachment. The House and Senate can expel their own members in a different process other than impeachment.


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