President Donald Trump set to become the third president to face impeachment following President Andrew Johnson and President Bill Clinton.
Third Impeachment in American History on the Way
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and our heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with the articles of impeachment,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday morning.
Speaker Pelosi also said, “The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution.”
She added that President Donald Trump “leaves us no choice but to act.”
The decision to act comes after Democrats led an impeachment inquiry into an alleged quid pro quo between President Trump and the Ukraine.
Allegedly, Trump refused to release military aid to Ukraine until the new president of the country President Volodymyr Zelenskiy investigated Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s board of trustees job with the company Burisma in the Ukraine.
If true, Trump attempting to get a foreign country to investigate a political rival and meddle in the 2020 presidential election would violate the emoluments clause of the Constitution of the United States.
Earlier in his presidency, Trump faced an investigation into whether his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to dig up dirt on his then opponent Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Mueller Report showed that while the Trump campaign did not actively collude with Russia, they were willing to accept dirt on Secretary Clinton.
The Mueller Report concluded that Russia systematically interfered with the 2016 presidential campaign by abusing social media to sow discord amongst the American electorate.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and the Judiciary Committee will draft the specific articles of impeachment.
Nadler and his committee hosted three constitutional law professors and experts on Wednesday.
Although the three Democratic witnesses said that Trump committed impeachable offenses, the president bashed the three witnesses on social media.
“The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day (Wednesday) in the House,” Trump tweeted. “They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy.”
Despite the impeachment, it is unlikely to lead to a conviction in the United States Senate because of the Republican majority.
Trump said that the Senate would call Pelosi and the Bidens to testify.
On Monday, the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the evidence obtained during the impeachment inquiry.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted that “we look forward to a fair trial in the Senate.”
However, many Republicans have stated that the entire impeachment process has been unfair and unnecessary.
“Democrats are too busy hosting a panel of law professors to criticize President Trump on television instead of the things the American people actually need to address,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday.
However, Pelosi disagreed with Sen. McConnell’s assessment.
“The Grim Reaper says all we’re doing is impeachment,” said Pelosi referring to McConnell’s nickname. “No. We have 275 bipartisan bills on your desk.”
Pelosi added that some of the bills are bills that he and his supporters have championed.
One bill deals with strengthening background checks for people trying to purchase guns.
Trump’s impeachment will be the third in American history.
Former President Andrew Johnson got impeached.
Former President Bill Clinton got impeached.
Former President Richard Nixon resigned from office before he could face impeachment.
In 1868, President Johnson became the first United States president to face impeachment.
During Johnson’s impeachment, the United States House of Representatives voted 11 articles impeachment, nine of which centered on Johnson’s removal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
Removing Secretary Stanton from office violated the Tenure of Office Act.
In 1867, Johnson tried to test the constitutionality of the Tenure of Office Act by replacing Stanton with General Ulysses S. Grant.
Future President Grant turned the office back over to Stanton after the United States Supreme Court refused to rule on the case and the Senate passed a measure voicing their displeasure with the dismissal.
Although Grant had the respect and admiration of congressmen and the general American public, when Johnson tried to test the Tenure of Office Act again with the less popular General Lorenzo Thomas, Stanton responded by barricading himself in his office.
The House, which had already contemplated impeachment proceedings because of Johnson’s violation of the Tenure of Office Act, officially impeached Johnson on March 13, 1868.
Johnson’s trial took place in the Senate ending on May 26, 1868, with Johnson narrowly escaping removal from office.
Removing a sitting president via impeachment requires a majority two-thirds vote in the United States Senate.
President Clinton got impeached after allegedly perjuring himself and obstructing justice in testimony about an affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
ABC13.com reported, “The Republican-controlled House voted in October 1998 to begin impeachment proceedings against Clinton after months of controversy over his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
“That vote was triggered by two rounds of testimony given by Clinton earlier in the year. In January, he denied having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky; in August, under questioning from independent counsel Kenneth Starr before a federal grand jury, he testified that he engaged in an appropriate relationship with Lewinsky.”
On Dec. 19, 1998, Clinton was impeached, with the Senate trial beginning on Jan. 7, 1999.
The trial took four months.
In order to impeach Clinton, the Senate needed 67 votes for the two-thirds majority.
On the perjury charge, 45 senators voted for conviction.
And on the obstruction of justice charge, 50 senators voted for conviction.
President Nixon would have faced impeachment, and maybe even conviction, for his role in the Watergate scandal.