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Constitutional Connection: Impeachment and the Constitution

20 min

Review the impeachment process established in the Constitution:

  1. Formal accusation of “high crimes and misdemeanors” by the House of Representatives
  2. Trial before the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding
  3. Conviction and removal from office only if at least two-thirds of Senators find the President guilty
  4. If convicted, the President’s punishment could be only removal from office and ineligibility to serve in any future position in the federal government.
  5. Once removed from office, the former President could still be brought to trial in the ordinary courts for any offenses he may have committed.

Distribute Handout A: Impeachment and the Constitution. Have students complete the Handout in pairs or trios, and then reconvene the class to share responses as a large group.

Debrief the class on the discussion. Was there general agreement on each scenario? If not, why? What sources should be used to determine if a presidential action warrants impeachment?