Impeachment: how does it work? what do people think about it?

Alexander Bowman, Police reporter

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With all the news about the Trump impeachment inquiry, the topic might seem a bit confusing.

So, what is impeachment? 

Basically, the Constitution allows Congress to remove presidents before their terms are over if they can get enough lawmakers to vote that the president has committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. A high crime is an abuse of power by a high-level public official.

How does the process work?

  1. There must be an impeachment resolution introduced by a member of the House of Representatives. 
  2. The Speaker of the House must direct the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the resolution to decide whether to put the measure to a vote by the full chamber and when to hold such a vote.
  3. The majority of the committee must approve the resolution.
  4. If the majority approves, the resolution is moved to the House floor for a full vote.
  5. If the simple majority of those present who vote for the House floor approve the article of impeachment, the president is impeached.
  6. The procedure is moved to the Senate where a trial is held to determine if the president committed the crime. The Senate leadership sets up how the trial will proceed.
  7. During the trial, members of the House present evidence against the president.
  8. The president would have counsel representing him during the Senate process.
  9. The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presides over the trial.
  10. Senators listen to the presented evidence from both sides and retire to take careful consideration of the evidence and make a decision.
  11. Lastly, the Senators reconvene and vote on whether or not the president is guilty of the crimes he is accused of. It takes two-thirds of the Senate to convict. If found guilty, the president is removed from office and the vice president is sworn in.

On Tuesday, UNF’s Public Opinion Research Lab released a poll taken of  Florida voters that demonstrated a split between approval and disapproval in regards to the formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. In addition to the impeachment inquiry, the poll also asked for a vote on approval or disapproval of Trump’s presidential performance.

The poll showed that 37% of florida voters strongly approve of the House of Representatives formally starting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump and 38% strongly disapprove. The poll also showed that 37% of Florida voters support Trump being impeached and removed from office while 42% are opposed to it.The poll also demonstrated that 29% of Florida voters strongly approve of the way Trump has handled his job as President of the U.S. and 42% strongly disapprove.

There are more details regarding the poll on the Public Research Lab website.

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