What is the Meaning of the Term Impeachment?

Impeachment is a serious process by which a legislative body levels charges against a high-ranking public official. Learn more about its meaning, process, examples, case studies, and statistics.

Understanding Impeachment

Impeachment is a term that has been thrown around a lot in recent years, especially in political circles. But what does it really mean? In simple terms, impeachment is a process by which a legislative body formally levels charges against a high-ranking public official. It is a serious undertaking that can lead to the removal of the official from office.

How Does Impeachment Work?

Impeachment typically begins with an inquiry by the legislative body, such as the House of Representatives in the United States. If there is enough evidence to support the charges, the House will then vote on whether to impeach the official. If a majority of the House votes in favor of impeachment, the case is then sent to the Senate for trial.

Examples of Impeachment

One of the most famous cases of impeachment in the United States was that of President Bill Clinton in 1998. He was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, but he was acquitted by the Senate. Another recent example is that of President Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House of Representatives in 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Case Studies

In South Korea, President Park Geun-hye was impeached in 2017 over a corruption scandal involving her close friend. The impeachment was upheld by the Constitutional Court, leading to her removal from office. This case highlights how impeachment can be used to hold public officials accountable for their actions.

Statistics on Impeachment

  • According to data from the Heritage Foundation, there have been a total of 21 impeachments of federal officials in the history of the United States.
  • Only three presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump.
  • No president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.

Overall, impeachment is a powerful tool that can be used to address misconduct by public officials. It is a complex process that requires careful consideration and adherence to constitutional norms.

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