top of page

Here's what you need to know about impeachment

House Democrats leading the prosecution of former President Donald Trump at his Senate impeachment trial concluded their arguments for conviction on the third day of proceedings, zeroing in Mr. Trump's words and actions in the run-up to the January 6 attack on the Capitol to urge senators to find him guilty.

The congressional power to remove a president from office through impeachment is the ultimate check on the chief executive. Congress derives the authority from the Constitution. The term "impeachment" is commonly used to mean removing someone from office, but it actually refers only to the filing of formal charges. If the House impeaches, the Senate then holds a trial on those charges to decide whether the officer — a president or any other federal official — should be removed and barred from holding federal office in the future.

The Constitution provides that a president can be impeached for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Treason and bribery are well understood, but the Constitution does not define "high crimes and misdemeanors." Read more about what constitutes an impeachable offense and the guidance provided in our Constitution in this article.

bottom of page