The Constitution of the United States
gives the House of Representatives sole power to impeach the President
, and all civil officers of the United States
by a numerical majority only.
It also gives the Senate sole power to try all impeachments.
The Senate then sits as a court, organizing anew, Senators
taking a special oath or affirmation applicable to the proceeding.
From their decision there is no appeal.
A vote of two-thirds of the Senate is necessary to convict.
When the President
is tried the chief-justice presides.
The punishment is limited by the Constitution
(1) to removal from office; (2) to disqualification from holding and enjoying any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States government.
Important cases: (1) William Blount
, United States
Senator from Tennessee
, for conspiring to transfer New Orleans from Spain
to Great Britain
, 1797-98; acquitted for want of evidence. (2) John Pickering
, judge of the district court of New Hampshire
, charged with drunkenness, profanity, etc.; convicted March 12, 1803.
（3) Judge Samuel Chase
, impeached March 30, 1804; acquitted March 1, 1805.
（4) James H. Peck
, district judge of Missouri
, impeached Dec. 13, 1830, for arbitrary conduct, etc.; acquitted. (5) West H. Humphreys
, district judge of Tennessee
, impeached and convicted for rebellion, Jan. 26, 1862.
（6) Andrew Johnson
of the United States
, impeached “of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Feb. 22, 1868; acquitted. (7) W. W. Belknap
, Secretary of War
, impeached for receiving money of posttraders among the Indians, March 2, 1876; resigned at the same time; acquitted for want of jurisdiction.