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Under the US Constitution, the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment, that is, of indicting a President, Vice President, or other Executive Branch official on charges of Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Only a majority is needed to impeach. The Senate then tries the impeachment, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court rather than the Vice President presiding. On conviction, the Senate can remove the accused from office, and bar the accused from any further government position. A two-thirds majority is needed to convict an official on any impeachment charge.

The playersEdit

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced at the beginning of the 110th Congress that "Impeachment is off the table."
  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers was once a leader in the drive for impeachment, but is currently following Speaker Pelosi's direction. He has been quoted as saying about impeachment, "You have to make me," that is, he cannot go against Pelosi without a public groundswell in favor of impeachment.
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren has asked the Judiciary committee to republish the 1974 report Constitutional Basis for Impeachment, and to hold hearings on it. She is thus not calling for impeachment hearings directly, only hearings on having hearings.

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