Impeachment: Meaning, Overview, Examples

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Definition of 'Impeachment: Meaning, Overview, Examples'

Impeachment is the process by which a public official is charged with and removed from office. In the United States, impeachment is a two-step process that begins in the House of Representatives and ends in the Senate.

**The House of Representatives**

The House of Representatives is responsible for initiating impeachment proceedings. To do so, a simple majority of members must vote to approve articles of impeachment. The articles of impeachment must allege that the official has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors."

**The Senate**

Once the House of Representatives has approved articles of impeachment, the case is sent to the Senate for trial. The Senate must then vote to convict the official by a two-thirds majority. If the Senate convicts the official, they are removed from office.

**Impeachment in the United States**

The United States Constitution provides for the impeachment of federal officials, including the president, vice president, and members of Congress. However, impeachment is a rare occurrence. Only three presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. In all three cases, the Senate acquitted the president.

**Impeachment in Other Countries**

Impeachment is also a feature of the government of many other countries. In some countries, impeachment is used to remove judges from office. In other countries, impeachment is used to remove heads of state.


Impeachment is a serious process that can have far-reaching consequences. It is important to understand the process of impeachment and the implications of impeachment before making a judgment about whether or not an official should be impeached.

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