Facts on Impeachment

A history reminder:

  • Number of US Presidents that have been impeached: 2
  • Number that have been removed: 0

Impeach ≠ You’re fired (Further reading here.)

An impeachment is technically synonymous with indictment. It is simply the U.S. House of Representatives charging a public official with a crime. Just because one is charged does not mean they must resign or are in any way impeded from carrying out their duties. I think people get confused because of Former President Richard Nixon who resigned before the impeachment process was done. Former President Bill Clinton (one of the two above), for instance, was impeached for committing perjury. The Senate declined to hold a trial on the charges and, well, that was that.

Removing a sitting President is a constitutional mechanism without precedent. There is an Article that outlines the reasons a President can be forcibly removed but the bar is pretty high. It, also, would likely be a long process (The impeachment, the Senate hearings/trial, the legal battles, the challenges, etc.) We don’t know, it has never happened. Therefore there is no precedent with which to gauge it.

My eyes are just tired from rolling whenever I hear folks talking about impeachment being the answer. It’s barely a question, historically. So, if that’s what you are hoping for in regards to the current or a future President, please understand what you are actually asking for. What you are likely hoping for is an “Article 2; Section 4 Removal” which simply begins with an impeachment.

I hope this information helps you and others in future conversations regarding this.