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in Great Britain and United States, formal accusation issued by a legislature against a public official charged with crime or other serious misconduct. In a looser sense the term is sometimes applied also to the trial by the legislature that may follow. In other countries, impeachment may refer to the removal of a public official from office instead of the accusation. Impeachment developed in England, beginning in the 14th cent., as a means of trying officials suspected of dereliction of duty. The English procedure was for the House of Commons to prosecute by presenting articles of impeachment to the House of Lords, which rendered judgment. Any penalty, including death, might be inflicted. The impeachment (1787) and trial (1788–95) of Warren HastingsHastings, Warren,
1732–1818, first governor-general of British India. Employed (1750) as a clerk by the East India Company, he soon became manager of a trading post in Bengal.
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 was among the last of the English cases.

In the United States impeachment of public officials is provided for in the federal government and in most states. In federal matters the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to impeach civil officers of the United States, including the President and Vice President, but not including members of Congress. Impeachments are tried by the Senate, with the concurrence of two thirds of the members present needed for conviction. The sole penalties on conviction are removal from office and disqualification from holding other federal office; however, the convicted party is liable to subsequent criminal trial and punishment for the same offense.

There have been 19 impeachments tried by the Senate and eight convictions. Three of the best-known cases, which did not result in conviction, were those of Supreme Court Justice Samuel ChaseChase, Samuel,
1741–1811, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1796–1811), b. Somerset co., Md.
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, President Andrew JohnsonJohnson, Andrew,
1808–75, 17th President of the United States (1865–69), b. Raleigh, N.C. Early Life

His father died when Johnson was 3, and at 14 he was apprenticed to a tailor.
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, and President Bill Clinton (see Lewinsky scandalLewinsky scandal
, sensation that enveloped the presidency of Bill Clinton in 1998–99, leading to his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives and acquittal by the Senate.
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). In 1974 the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives voted to bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon (see Watergate affairWatergate affair,
in U.S. history, series of scandals involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon; more specifically, the burglarizing of the Democratic party national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
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), but Nixon resigned before the House took action.


See studies by I. Brant (1972), R. Berger (1973), C. L. Black, Jr. (1974), J. R. Labovitz (1978), R. A. Posner (1999), and C. R. Sunstein (2018).

References in periodicals archive ?
On October 5 last year, the House Committee on Justice voted 25-2 and found sufficient ground to impeach Sereno.
Similarly, President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier denied having a hand on the impeachment complaint against Sereno, as the Chief Justice hinted that the Chief Executive could be behind the impeach bid against her.
ISLAMABAD -- A US billionaire and political activist has received nearly four million signatures in three months on his petition to impeach President Donald Trump, according to POLITICO.
Dogara said in developed countries, 'when they want to impeach the president, the lower house indicts the president while the upper house impeaches the president without referring it to any committee.
The US Constitution stipulates that a president can be impeached for committing "high crimes and misdemeanors," but a majority vote in the House of the Representatives, currently controlled by Republicans, is required to impeach a president.
Thousands march in downtown Los Angeles for Congress to impeach President Donald Trump, by far the largest of dozens of similar, smaller marches planned in dozens of U.
Online searches for " How to impeach a president" surged hours after the result, with the question seeing a 4,850 per cent rise on Google.
House would be prepared to impeach Clinton if a renewed FBI investigation turned up incriminating evidence over the former secretary of state's email server.
DAKKA (CyHAN)- Ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance has called a countrywide dawn-to-dusk strike for Monday to protest the latest constitutional amendment empowering parliament members to impeach apex court judges.
In a recent commentary in the Sunday Telegram, Gail Collins ridiculed Sarah Palin for suggesting that Congress should impeach President Obama.
Binay said these calls to impeach Aquino are "unproductive and divisive.
President Benigno Aquino defended himself from critics who said he released funds that were saved by government agencies, to allegedly bribe senators who voted to impeach former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona last year.