How Does The Impeachment Process Work?


President Donald Trump

Bethany Blackstone

How Does The Impeachment Process Work?


In light of recent events, I have learned that my peers are uneducated about the impeachment process.  One misconception I often see among my peers, is what happens when the President is impeached in the House. Many often believe when that impeachment happens, the President is removed, but the Senate must still vote on the removal. 


Read on to find out how it all works.


The Constitution lays out two specific actions, treason and bribery, which can lead to impeachment and removal of a president. A president can also be charged with and found guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” High crimes and misdemeanors are not specifically defined in The Constitution. 


The first step in the impeachment process is that an impeachment resolution must be made by a member of the House of Representatives. 


Next, The speaker of the House must then direct the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary (or a special committee) to hold a hearing on the resolution to decide whether to put the measure to a vote by the full chamber and when to hold such a vote.


The Judiciary committee most vote on a simple majority on the approval of the resolution.


If the Judiciary Committee approves the resolution, it moves to a full vote on the House floor. If a simple majority in the House of those present and voting approve the article of impeachment, the President is impeached. 


The procedure then moves to the Senate where a “trial” is held to determine if the president committed a crime. There is no set procedure for the trial. How it is conducted would be set by the Senate leadership.


Members of the House serve as “managers” in the Senate

trial. Managers have similar roles as prosecutors in criminal trials, presenting evidence. 


The president would have counsel to represent him at the Senate process.

The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presides over the trial.


Senators listen to the evidence presented, including closing arguments from each side and retire to deliberate. Senators then reconvene and vote on whether the president is guilty or not guilty of the crimes he is accused of.


 It takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict. If the president is found guilty, he is removed from office and the vice president is sworn-in as president.


The hearing in the Senate, along with a charge in the House that the president has committed a crime is not a legal one. No penalty, other than removal from office, is brought against a president in an impeachment hearing.


Information obtained from