Ever since Donald Trump has taken charge of the office, people have been talking about impeaching him. For those of you who don’t know, impeachment is a tool to oust a sitting president from the power. As per the Constitution of the United States, a president can be impeached if he has been found guilty of bribery, treason, misdemeanors, obstruction of justice, abuse of power and other major crimes.
In case you are wondering if any president has ever been impeached from the office then the answer would be yes and no. Wondering what it means? Well, keep reading.
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Presidents Who Have Been Impeached
In the history of the United States, out of the 44 people who have served as the president of the country, only two have been impeached so far. Those two are:
#1. Andrew Johnson
The first President of the United States ever to be impeached from the office was Andrew Johnson, who took charge after Abraham Lincoln was shot to become the 17th person live in the White House. Ever since his appointment, he was facing opposition from Radical Republicans who wished to provide suffrage to the freed slaves, which the new president openly ridiculed.
Mr. Stanton, a member of Johnson’s cabinet who openly supported the Radical Republicans was then fired from his position even when the Tenure of Office Act kept the presidents from dismissing the appointed officials without Congress’ consent. Johnson, who believed that the legislation was unconstitutional, sought to contest it in the court legally; however, ended up being tried himself.
Even though the House of Representatives impeached Johnson on 24 February 1868, the case still had to go through the Senate. The two-month trial ended with 35 guilty votes and 19 not guilty votes, one short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. Therefore, he went on to complete his term as the president.
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#2. Bill Clinton
The 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton was impeached on 19 December 1998 by the House of Representatives. The second-term president had allegedly misled a grand jury about his affair with the 22-year old White-House employee Monica Lewinsky as well as persuading others to lie about the same. The charges he faced were obstruction of justice and perjury.
However, Clinton was acquitted of both the charges by the Senate on 12 February after a 21-day trial the following year. Therefore, he went on to complete his second term in the office even after he admitted in the public that the affair, in fact, happened.
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Amusingly, both the presidents who have been impeached were later acquitted by the Senate. Also, there were also attempts to impeach Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States often regarded as the worst president in the history of the US and he was on the verge of succumbing to it. However, he resigned from the office before the entire House could vote on the matter. The trial against him officially began on 6 February 1974, and by the end of July, obstruction of justice, contempt of Congress and abuse of power were zeroed in as the three articles of impeachment.
But before the trial could reach the House floor, Nixon signed his resignation on 9 August 1974 and transferred the presidency to Gerald Ford. In a way, some might say that impeachment led to Nixon’s departure from the White House as it forced him to resign.
(Image Courtesy: ABC News)
Well, we hope to have answered all your questions regarding the presidents who have been removed from the office. Do you think Donald Trump should be impeached or given a chance to prove himself since the US citizens have shown faith in him? Tell us through your comments below.