Impeachment: Only the Facts


Will England, Staff

If you have read the news, you have probably heard that there is an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s Ukrainian affairs. If you have paid attention in history class, you have probably heard the same thing. Naturally questions have arisen. What is impeachment? Have any presidents been impeached. Does Hillary Clinton become president if Trump is impeached? 


The technical definition of impeachment is “A charge of misconduct against a holder of public office.” Impeachment does not necessarily mean the offender will be thrown out. The offender may be thrown out, but not necessarily. Impeachment is a long tedious process.


Two Presidents have been impeached. Andrew Johnson, and Bill Clinton. Andrew Johnson was impeached (long story made short) because he fired President Lincoln’s secretary of war. He was saved from conviction by one vote. Bill Clinton (husband of Hillary Clinton) was also impeached. He was accused of lying under oath about an affair. 


Many think Richard Nixon was impeached. This is half true half false. He was going to be impeached, and probably would have been convicted and subsequently removed from office. He just resigned before that happened. So technically he wasn’t impeached. 


One common myth about the current impeachment inquiry is that if Donald Trump is removed from office, Hillary Clinton becomes president. This is false! Assuming the vice president is not guilty of the same charges The Vice President will become President. This means Mike Pence become President of the United States.


Impeachment is a very complicated process. The history of it can be very murky. Hopefully this clears up some of the big questions.