Richard Nixon: Resigned In 1974
People read about President Nixon’s resignation outside the gate of the White House in August, 1974.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
Despite being complicit in one of the greatest political scandals in U.S. presidential history, Richard Nixon was never impeached. He resigned before the House of Representatives had a chance to impeach him. If he hadnt quit, Nixon would likely have been the first president ever impeached and removed from office, given the crimes he committed to cover up his involvement in the Watergate break-ins.
On July 27, 1974, after seven months of deliberations, the House Judiciary Committee approved the first of five proposed articles of impeachment against Nixon, charging the president with obstruction of justice in an effort to shield himself from the ongoing Watergate investigation. Only a handful of Republicans in the judiciary committee voted to approve the articles of impeachment, and it was unclear at the time if there would be enough votes in the full House to formally impeach the president.
But everything changed on August 5, 1974, when the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to release unedited tapes of his Oval Office conversations with White House staffers during the Watergate investigation. The so-called smoking gun tapes included Nixon proposing the use of the CIA to obstruct the FBI investigation, and paying hush money to the convicted Watergate burglars. The transcript included the following:
NIXON: How much money do you need?
Impeachment At The State Level
In addition to federal impeachment, state legislatures are also granted the power to impeach elected officials in 49 of the 50 states, with Oregon being the lone exception.
At the state level, the process of impeachment is essentially the same as at the national level: typically, the lower state legislative chamber is charged with levying and investigating formal accusations before ultimately voting on articles of impeachment should there be evidence of possible misconduct.
If the lower body approves any article of impeachment, the upper chamber conducts a hearing or trial on the charges, during which both the legislators and the accused may call witnesses and present evidence.
Once the evidence and testimony has been presented, the upper chamber of the state legislaturemuch like the U.S. Senate at the federal levelmust vote on whether the charged official is guilty or innocent.
Usually, a supermajority is required for conviction and removal from office.
And just like at the federal level, impeachment at the state level is extremely rare. For example, the state of Illinois has impeached only two officials in its entire historya judge in 1832-33 and a governor in 2008-09.
Donald Trump 2019 Impeachment
On September 24, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump regarding his alleged efforts to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate possible wrongdoings by Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The decision to authorize the impeachment inquiry came after a whistleblower complaint detailed a July phone conversation between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump allegedly tied Ukrainian military aid to personal political favors. The White House later released a reconstructed transcript of the phone call, which many Democrats argued demonstrated that Trump had violated the Constitution.
On December 18, 2019, Trump became the third U.S. president in history to be impeached as the House of Representatives voted nearly along party lines to impeach him over abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Only two Democrats opposed the article on abuse of power and a third Democrat opposed the second article on obstruction of justice. No Republican voted in favor of either article of impeachment. On February 5, 2020, the Senate voted largely along party lines to acquit Trump on both charges.
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House Impeaches Trump For Second Time Senate Must Now Weigh Conviction
WASHINGTON The House impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday for a second time, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent riot by a pro-Trump mob in the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead and terrorized lawmakers as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The vote to impeach passed the Democratic-controlled House by 232-197, with 10 Republicans voting against Trump. It was the most bipartisan vote on a presidential impeachment in history, doubling the five Democrats who voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998.
The House is expected to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate, requiring it to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any federal office again.
Bill Clinton: Impeached In 1998
President Clinton walking to the podium to deliver a short statement on the impeachment inquiry, apologizing to the country for his conduct in the Monica Lewinsky affair and that he would accept a congressional censure or rebuke.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Clinton was plagued by legal troubles and scandals from the moment he entered the White House. In 1993, Clinton and his First Lady, Hillary, were the subject of a Justice Department investigation into the so-called Whitewater controversy, a botched business deal from their days in Arkansas. And in 1994, Clinton was sued for sexual harassment by Paula Jones, who claimed Clinton exposed himself to her in a hotel room in 1991.
Interestingly, it was a combination of both legal cases that would ultimately lead to Clintons impeachment. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr was appointed by the Justice Department to investigate the Whitewater affair, but he couldnt find any impeachable evidence. Meanwhile, lawyers for Jones got a tip that Clinton had an affair with a 21-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky, a claim that both Lewinsky and Clinton denied under oath.
When the story went public, Clinton was forced to address the accusations on national television.
I want you to listen to me, Clinton famously said. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never.
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Campaign Against Marie Yovanovitch
As early as April 2018, and his associates and had apparently decided to assist President Trump’s re-election efforts and they identified the as being a difficulty. Yovanovitch had spent her thirty-year career working as a diplomat and was announced as the nominee for U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace . Yovanovitch was respected within the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption, and during her tenure had sought to strengthen the Ukrainian , which had been created to bolster efforts to fight .
On April 24, 2019, after complaints from Giuliani and other Trump allies that Yovanovitch was undermining and obstructing Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and candidate Joe Biden, Trump ordered Yovanovitch’s recall. She returned to , on April 25, with her recall becoming public knowledge on May 7, and her mission as ambassador being terminated on May 20, 2019. In a July 25, 2019 phone call with Ukrainian president , Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and disparaged Yovanovitch to his foreign counterpart, calling her “bad news”.
After The 2018 Midterm Elections
On March 11, 2019, Nancy Pelosi said, “I’m not for impeachment, Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it. No. I don’t think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States.” She then scolded herself for “coming across too negatively”.
With the Democrats in control of the House, and with a direct impeachment inquiry deemed somewhat toxic, the work of investigations into Trump’s possible crimes were divided into several committees while waiting for some outside force, such as the Mueller probe or the Southern District to force the Democratic leadership’s hands.
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What Does An Impeachment Vote Mean For A Sitting President And For A Former President
A president can continue governing even after he or she has been impeached by the House of Representatives.
Trump continued to govern after his impeachment in December 2019, and of course, ran for reelection in 2020. After Clinton was impeached on Dec. 19, 1998, he finished out his second term, which ended in January 2001, during which time he was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial. While Clinton continued governing, and the impeachment had no legal or official impact, his legacy is marred by the proceeding.
Presidents Who Faced Impeachment
President John Tyler.
VCG Wilson/Corbis/Getty Images
Three U.S. presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives while others have faced formal impeachment inquiries. Each case saw different results.
John Tyler was was the first president to face impeachment charges. Nicknamed His Accidency for assuming the presidency after William Henry Harrison died after just 30 days in office, Tyler was wildly unpopular with his own Whig party. On January 10, 1843, Representative John M. Botts of Virginia proposed a resolution that would call for the formation of a committee to investigate charges of misconduct against Tyler for the purposes of possible impeachment.
Botts took issue with Tylers handling of the U.S. Treasury and what he described as the presidents arbitrary, despotic, and corrupt abuse of veto power. After a short debate, however, the House of Representatives voted down Botts resolution.
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Hearings And Investigations: Februaryapril 2019
- Cohen testifies in private before the House Intelligence Committee.
- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announces requests for over sixty documents from the White House and other sources in his oversight investigations.
- The House Judiciary issues requests to 81 people for documents and testimony in a pre-impeachment investigation into obstruction of justice and other alleged threats to the rule of law.
- Cohen finishes testimony at the HIC.
- Mueller Report is delivered to Attorney General William Barr.
- According to Barr, the investigation did not find evidence to charge other Americans in conspiring with Russia in 2016, and did not come to a conclusion about obstruction of justice.
- While the Congress is waiting for the Mueller report to drop, Rep. Rashida Tlaib introduces another resolution, H.Res. 257, calling for a formal impeachment investigation of the president, which was referred to the Committee on Rules.
- The Mueller Report is made public. In it, Mueller lists multiple actions by Trump that could be considered obstruction of justice, but chooses for several reasons not to accuse the president of any crime, indicating that Congress should make that decision.
When Was Donald Trump’s First Impeachment Trial
Donald Trump could be facing a second impeachment, which would be the first time in history a US president has faced impeachment twice.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019.
Trump was the third US president to have been impeached by Congress – joining Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton in the list – however no president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.
The House intends to consider the article of impeachment when it reconvenes on January 13, 2021 at 9am.
However, a House resolution for Pence to give Trump the boot was blocked on Monday, January 11, by Republicans.
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Drafted Articles Of Impeachment
Within hours of the Capitol attack, members of Congress began to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump as president. Several representatives began the process of independently drafting various articles of impeachment. Of these attempts, the first to become public were those of Representative Ilhan Omar ” rel=”nofollow”> DMN-5) who drafted and introduced articles of impeachment against Trump.
Representative David Cicilline ” rel=”nofollow”> DRI-1) separately drafted an article of impeachment. The text was obtained by CNN on January 8. On Twitter, Cicilline acknowledged the coauthorship of Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin, and said that “more than 110” members had signed on to this article. “Article I: Incitement of Insurrection” accuses Trump of having “willfully made statements that encouragedand foreseeably resulted inimminent lawless action at the Capitol”. As a result of incitement by Trump, “a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol” and “engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts”. On January 10, it was announced that the bill had gathered 210 cosponsors in the House.
Where Does The Senate Come In
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial, which is presided over by the chief justice of the United States in the case of sitting presidents. However, in this unusual case, since Trump is not a sitting president, the largely ceremonial task has been left to the Senate pro tempore, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chambers most senior member of the majority party.
The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents, Leahy said in a statement in January. When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor at present 67 if all 100 senators are present and voting.
If the Senate fails to convict, a president is considered impeached but is not removed, as was the case with both Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnsons case, the Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office on all three counts.
In this trial, since the president has already left office, the real punishment would come if the president were to be convicted, when the Senate would be expected to vote on a motion to ban the former president from ever holding federal office again.
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Constitutionality Of Senate Trial Of Former President
The question of whether the Senate can hold a trial for and convict a former president is unsettled. Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides:
|The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.|
|Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution|
Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution, also states the following:
|Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.|
|Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, of the U.S. Constitution|
J. Michael Luttig, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 25 years, said that such a trial would be unconstitutional. He interpreted the language of Section 4 to refer to an official in office.
Luttig said, “The very concept of constitutional impeachment presupposes the impeachment, conviction and removal of a president who is, at the time of his impeachment, an incumbent in the office from which he is removed. Indeed, that was the purpose of the impeachment power, to remove from office a president or other ‘civil official’ before he could further harm the nation from the office he then occupies.”
Graham Phone Call To Raffensperger
During the hand recount of all ballots of the state of Georgia between November 11 and 20, 2020, Republican Senator of South Carolina, , privately called Raffensperger about the audit. Raffensperger concluded that Graham intended to ask him to throw out all legal mail-in ballots and described that he felt “threatened” during the conversation, which Graham denied.The Washington Post reported in February 2021 that the district attorney was examining Graham’s phone call to Raffensperger as part of a criminal investigation into possible efforts to overturn the Georgia election results.
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Impeachment Of Donald Trump 2021
|Cabinet White House staff Transition team|
|Polling indexes: Opinion polling during the Trump administration|
On February 13, 2021, former President Donald Trump was acquitted of incitement of insurrection. Fifty-seven senators voted to convict and 43 voted to acquit. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote of senators present.
On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump by a vote of 232-197 for incitement of insurrection. The resolution followed the January 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, which disrupted a joint session of Congress convened to count the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. Ten Republicans supported the impeachment.
The resolution alleged that Trump attempted to subvert and obstruct the certification of the election results and incited a crowd to breach the Capitol, leading to vandalism, threats to members of the government and congressional personnel, the death of law enforcement, and other seditious acts. to read the resolution.
On January 12, 2021, Trump called the impeachment resolution the “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.” He added, “For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger.”
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