If history has taught us anything, it’s that efforts to impeach the president may not always work, but can resolutely end up in his resignation. So whereas impeachment may not be achieved, the ultimate goal has been reached. When concentrating your efforts on something of this magnitude it is essential that legalities be followed to the letter. One slip-up can result in not only failing at your attempted impeachment but possible repercussions at a higher level.
No president has been successfully impeached. That is not to say that no president has successfully been discouraged from maintaining his position as president of the United States. Some presidents, of course, don’t care if the majority of the population is against them or not. They will simply go on doing what it is they do each and every day, more or less forcing the hand of the parties pushing for the impeachment. And, as just stated, that has not successfully been undertaken. Talked about – yes. Achieved? Absolutely not.
What Would It Take To Impeach a President?
The reasons for removal of the president must be found to coincide with misdemeanors, “high crimes”, bribery, or treason. As has been evidenced recently, a special prosecutor with credentials beyond question would need to be assigned to an investigatory commission which is completely independent. What facts will truly be uncovered and presented depend largely (but not solely) on the capabilities of the investigatory team. Depending on how much faith you have in government and government-related investigatory teams in general, other detrimental possibilities could have an effect on this type of investigation.
Presidential Impeachment Method Number One
A vote must take place to impeach the president and have a majority in the House Of Representatives. This resembles an indictment process. If impeachment is approved, the jury is actually the Senate. To remove the president, a two-thirds vote is needed. Oddly enough, it is not a requirement that the Congress members be impartial. Evidence in one of these trials also differs greatly from evidence in criminal or civil trials. The appeal process is nonexistent. What’s done is done.
Just because a crime may have been committed, however, does not necessarily warrant an impeachment. Remember, the judgment of Congress (which may or may not be impartial) is what determines the final verdict here.
Presidential Impeachment Method Number Two
Two words – ambiguity and fraught. Much like a ship mutiny, the cabinet majority and vice president can remove a president temporarily if he is deemed “unable or unwilling” to carry out the duties and powers of the office of President of the United States. That means that the acting president will now be the vice president. Once again, however, if the president decides to fight it Congress is going to have the final say. This method has yet ever to be attempted or applied.
Clearly, there are a lot of gray areas in this entire process whether you choose method number one or method number two. It seems largely (if not solely) dependent on Congress.
Why Did Past Attempts at Impeachment Fail?
To date, there have been only three impeachment proceedings, during two of which the process was misapplied.
- ‘ Disobeying a Congressional act’ was the charge against President Andrew Johnson. It was determined, however, that because of differences in post-Civil War politics, his opponents had set him up.
- President Bill Clinton, it was determined, did not actually abuse his presidential powers (though he may have given questionable testimony in a case involving sexual assault and acted unscrupulously concerning personal ethics).
- And, of course, Richard Nixon was facing a near certain impeachment but, instead, beat everyone to the punch by resigning over misuse of the IRS, CIA, and FBI and criminal investigation obstruction of justice.
It remains to be seen whether or not there will be a fourth attempt in the very near future and, even if there is, whether or not the end result will be fairly judged/determined. Anyone facing legal challenges of such a monstrous nature will need the best legal representation that money can buy. Again, it remains to be seen who will flip that bill.