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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 ?
Robredo, who belongs to the erstwhile ruling Liberal Party, stressed that strong institutions insulated from political interference were important in a democracy, alluding to accusations by impeachment critics that the case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was politically motivated.
Patunay naman ito na gumagana ang ating mga proseso na nakasaad sa saligang batas lalo na yung proseso ng impeachment, na proseso para mapanagot ang pinakamataas na mga opisyales ng ating bansa [This is proof that our processes stated in the Constitution especially the impeachment process to hold accountable the country's top government officials are working]," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
Voting 38-2, members of the justice committee voted that there is probable cause in the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno.
Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon hurled these allegations against the country's top magistrate in an impeachment complaint he filed at the House of Representatives late last year.
The Senate will only begin with the impeachment proceedings against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista once the House of Representatives (HOR) transmits the articles of impeachment to the upper chamber, Sen.
com/realDonaldTrump/status/881503147168071680) misguided tweet  at CNN by posting a doctored video, protesters rallied in dozens of cities across the United States to call for his impeachment.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa's impeachment of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake has shaken the foundations of an already fragile Sri Lankan government.
An Overview of the Impeachment Process in the House and Senate
Bulgaria's conservative "Order, Law and Justice" (RZS) party has removed its support for the impeachment of President Georgi Parvanov.
By Elizabeth Holtzman For the first time since the Bush administration took office, three members of the House Judiciary Committee, Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), are calling for hearings on the impeachment of Vice President Richard Cheney.
There currently is a bill proposing three articles of impeachment against Cheney, but only twenty members of Congress support it, no hearings have been held, and the news media haven't taken notice.
Steve Novick on Monday became the first Democrat running for Oregon's Senate seat to call for impeachment investigations.