How does impeachment work? – Alex Gendler

For most jobs, it’s understood
that you can be fired, whether for crime, incompetence, or just poor performance. But what if your job happens to be
the most powerful position in the country, or the world? That’s where impeachment comes in. Impeachment isn’t the same
as actually removing someone from office. Like an indictment in criminal court, it’s only the formal accusation
that launches a trial, which could end in conviction
or acquittal. Originating in the United Kingdom, impeachment allowed Parliament to vote for
removing a government official from office even without the king’s consent. Although this was an important check
on royal power, the king couldn’t be impeached because the monarch was considered
the source of all government power. But for the founders
of the American Republic, there was no higher authority
beyond the people themselves. And so impeachment was adopted in
the United States as a power of Congress applying to any civil officers,
up to and including the president. Although demands for impeachment
can come from any members of the public, only the House of Representatives has the
power to actually initiate the process. It begins by referring the matter
to a committee, usually the House Committee on Rules and the House Committee on the Judiciary. These committees review the accusations, examine the evidence, and issue a recommendation. If they find sufficient
grounds to proceed, the House holds a separate vote
on each of the specific charges, known as Articles of Impeachment. If one or more passes
by a simple majority, the official is impeached
and the stage is set for trial. The actual trial that follows impeachment
is held in the Senate. Selected members of the House,
known as managers, act as the prosecution, while the impeached official
and their lawyers present their defense. The Senate acts as both judge and jury, conducting the trial and deliberating
after hearing all the arguments. If it’s the president or vice president
being impeached, the chief justice
of the Supreme Court presides. A conviction requires a supermajority
of two-thirds and results in automatic removal
from power. Depending on the original charges, it can also disqualify them
from holding office in the future and open them to standard
criminal prosecution. So what exactly can get someone impeached? That’s a bit more complicated. Unlike in the United Kingdom, impeachment in the U.S.
pits an elected legislature against other democratically
elected members of government. Therefore, to prevent the process
from being used as a political weapon, the Constitution specifies that
an official can only be impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes
and misdemeanors. That still leaves a lot of room
for interpretation, not to mention politics, and many impeachment trials
have split along partisan lines. But the process is generally understood to
be reserved for serious abuses of power. The first official to be impeached was
Tennesse Senator William Blount in 1797 for conspiring with Britain to cease
the Spanish colony of Louisiana. Since then, the House has launched
impeachment investigations about 60 times, but only 19 have led to actual
impeachment proceedings. The eight cases that ended
in a conviction and removal from office were all federal judges. And impeachment of a sitting president
is even more rare. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for attempting to replace Secretary of War
Edwin Stanton without consulting the Senate. Over a century later, Bill Clinton
was impeached for making false statements under oath
during a sexual harassment trial. Both were ultimately acquitted
when the Senate’s votes to convict fell short of the required
two-thirds majority. And contrary to popular belief, Richard Nixon was never actually impeached
for the Watergate scandal. He resigned before it could happen knowing he would almost certainly
be convicted. Theoretically, the U.S. government is
already designed to prevent abuses of power, limiting different branches
through a system of checks and balances, term limits, and free elections. But impeachment can be seen
as an emergency brake for when these safeguards fail.

100 thoughts on “How does impeachment work? – Alex Gendler”

  1. Looks like google knew someone would need to know the actual reason to impeach someone other than hurting feelings.

  2. Hilary, barack, biden are the three corrupt stooges. Either trump will be impeached or the three stooges are going to jail. Thats why hilary deleted all those emails. Clinton foundation and real collusion with russians.

  3. Democrats will try any tricks included this one for put down the president Trump……despite is voted by the people's

  4. Is the President animated with a toe for a head because the current President is β€œtow-headed” (having light coloured and/or messy hair)?
    I choose yes.

  5. read the transcript and decide for yourself. if you can't beat him then impeach him.

  6. and remember, trump is sending a letter to the house stating that they won't cooperate with the rules and judiciary committees. he must be sooooooo innocent. pfft.

  7. Too funny cartoon can be fooled and I am wanted trump out there by oval office I still waited for Impeach trump very soon

  8. Will Trump be impeached or not what your view? And can he be able to run again in 2020 or not? And will Trump win again as a impeached president in 2020 election And win again?I didn't think Trump Will be impeached but what is your view do you think Trump will be impeached or not?

  9. A vote must take place to "initiate the process" @ 1:22. Pelosi refuses to call a vote, and never will, because she knows her hand is weak and she simply doesn't have the votes.
    Instead, she wants the Pretense of Impeachment to loom. Like the Russia Hoax, this is just a stunt by the Democrats, and we all know it.
    This childish stunt will backfire in a Major Way.

  10. Coincidence: 2:22 Orange thumb?


  11. Wow, this video was hilariously insane but I was able to learn more from it than from my relatives. Thanks ted ed!

  12. Am i the only one who came here searching for this video after reading the news in order to renew my memory? πŸ˜‚

  13. Find someone you don't like…say anything you like to make them look bad…remove them from office. Steal the majorities vote. The end…

  14. And of course youtube recommends. Seriously, who really controls the narrative Russia or these handful of corporations?

  15. English 101

    Peach: fruit name
    Im-: prefix, putting sth. inside
    -ment: suffix, noun.

    Therefore impeachment means putting somebody or something into a peach.

  16. It works so good they've tried like 500 times for totally legit reasons in less than 4 years and the guy's still sitting in the Oval Office.
    Either it works damn horribly or something isn't right. Pick your poison. Pick carefully.

  17. This explanation makes it impossible for Trump's impeachment cos there is no basis at all but just media stories for demeaning him.

  18. It is uncomfortable to use the Rising Sun flag at 4:18. From this, I assume TED-Ed channel will use Swastika in the near future.

  19. Just love how the animation has made the whole process looks like a comedy filled with clowns and exaggerations πŸ˜€

  20. 4:45 term limits? Tell that to congress. We have had the same congress for decades and the same problems for decades.

  21. I mean, the majority of us just want Trump out because he is focusing on building a wall…. Seems somebody hasn't learnt anything in History class…. The Berlin Wall people

  22. Stop disgracing Kermit the frog at the beginning of the video and stop insulting USA's government officials at the very end. I can tell you are implying that there are clowns running in different branches of the US government at the end of the video

  23. Stop disgracing Kermit the frog at the beginning of the video and stop insulting USA's government officials at the very end. I can tell you are implying that there are clowns running in different branches of the US government at the end of the video

  24. So Nancy Pelosi can start an inquiry without a single vote in the House of Representatives and not allow for the President to have a defense team. It is unfair for the Democrats in the majority to be the only ones make their case for impeachment, But yet they claim that it has to happen. I guess it has to happen but not the way it has been done for years. That’s tough.

  25. Ok, are there any Right Wing/Conservative people here?
    Or will my comment get deleted to make me be silent??? Because I refuse to be silent.

  26. In todays world liberals theowing temper tantrums cause they lost. Violate our constitution and look for any way for there communist party to get back in power. Then the voters pick up arms and clean the swamp.
    The only reason they are continuing is they are being found as the corrupt party. Trying to cover their corrupt tracks. Time for a militart coop to talke out the invasion of the left.

  27. Tell me why impeachment doesn't work towards the federal reserve? Even though they are a private agency they cannot be impeached.

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