What is ‘impeachment‘? This term in English refers to the process of removal from a president, vice president or any public office. In Peru, we know first hand this vacancy process that we could see when trying to vacate the former president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, but he resigned before the opinion of the Congress. However, in the United States, there is the chamber of representatives or parliamentarians and the Senate, so the figure changes slightly.
But how does this process work in the United States?
To begin with, the impeachment functions as a political trial where charges similar to those that could be proposed in a court are filed. The House of Representatives has the «exclusive power to prosecute politically.» It will discuss and vote if charges are presented by the simple majority of its 435 members. Here, the camera serves as a grand jury that charges an officer.
The Senate is in charge of prosecuting all political trials and therefore has the power to condemn the defendant. In the case of a president like Donald Trump, it is the Supreme Court who presides over this process. To dismiss the acting president, a two-thirds majority in the 100-seat Senate must condemn.
In the history of the United States, only two presidents have been accused: Andrew Jhonson and Bill Clinton. However, none was replaced by the Senate. After this process, Richard Nixon was the only one who resigned to avoid the political trial vote in the House of Representatives.
The ‘Impeachment’ has been carried out more than 60 times. Only one-third of the cases resulted in a total trial. As a result, a total of 8 federal judges have been convicted and dismissed.
The advantage that the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, has over the process is that he has a surprising majority in his favor in the Senate, the instance in which he will be condemned for or against his actions. The charges against the current president, such as obstruction and abuse of power, have gained strength after accusations of having bought the silence of two women with whom he apparently would have had extramarital affairs. He is also accused of the Ukrainian scandal.