There seems to be a movement from some corners of the Republican party to call for the impeachment of the president.
Most Democrats, of course, would find the idea unfounded and unjustified.
The South Dakota Republican party has called for it, former representative Allen West (FL) has called for it, and Representative Steve Stockman, R-Texas, reportedly gave all House members copies of the book “Impeachable Offenses: The Case For Removing Barack Obama From Office” by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott.
Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), claims that there just may be enough votes in the House to impeach President Obama. (It is not clear where he gets his numbers.)
So, let’s take a look at how impeachment works. How does it work? What hurdles have to be crossed?
Article One of the United States Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power of impeachment. However, impeachment is just one of two stages towards removal from office.
Impeachment is only a legal statement of charges, similar to an indictment.
Impeachment proceedings may be commenced by a member of the House of Representatives on his or her own initiative. This is done either by presenting a list of the charges under oath or by asking for referral to a Judiciary committee.
The Judiciary Committee begins a formal inquiry into the issue of impeachment and would bring it to a vote.
The house must pass at least one article of impeachment with a simple majority.
The second stage towards removal from office is the trial. The Senate has the sole power to try an impeachment, and conviction requires a two-thirds vote. That would be 67 votes.
The trial is not actually a criminal trial. It is simply a trial for removal from office.
So, the situation becomes clear regarding an Obama impeachment. The Republicans do have a majority in the House, so an impeachment may be possible. The vote to actually have him removed from office would then go to the Senate, and must be passed by a 2/3 vote.
Currently, Democrats have a majority in the Senate, so removal from office would be unlikely.
Of course, things could change after the mid-term election.
It is also not clear that Republicans have a “legal basis” for impeachment. However, the “legal basis” for impeachment is quite vague.
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
An attempt to convict the president on charges of Bribery would be unlikely. Treason may be more likely than Bribery.
“High Crimes and Misdemeanors” is more likely, as the definition is vague. It was once defined by Gerald Ford as “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
There are general guidelines, but it is generally up to the House of Representatives to decide what is a high crime and misdemeanor and what isn’t.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/07/02/232163/time-to-impeach-obama.html#storylink=cpy http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/impeachment.htm