Read original article by Sonam Sheth on the Atlantic or read just the key points below;
- The White House has been engulfed in controversy since President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week. The New York Times then published an explosive report that Trump asked Comey in February to drop the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who had resigned the day before triggering discussion of impeachment.
- An impeachment is essentially a formal indictment of a government official. Being impeached does not remove an official from office — rather, it means formal charges are being brought against them.
- At the federal level, the president, vice president, and “all civil officers of the United States” can be impeached for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to Article II of the US Constitution.
- In the case of a presidential impeachment, the onus is on Congress to bring a charge. The House of Representatives drafts an article of impeachment, while the Senate holds the trial.
- Keith Whittington, an expert on presidential impeachment and a professor of politics at Princeton University, said: “It may be that he’s acting completely within his legal authority and yet still has abused his office in ways that might rise to the level of impeachable offenses. “But that would have to be something that would need to be explored through congressional hearings,” he said.