The House impeached Trump on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" related to the deadly Capitol siege on January 6.
Columbia Law School's professor of legislation Richard Briffault explains how the impeachment process works.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Well, the Constitution provides that the president can be impeached for treason, bribery, and what it calls other high crimes and misdemeanors.
The Constitution doesn't actually define what "other high crimes and misdemeanors" means. The historical sense is that it basically means, kind of, serious political crimes, sort of crimes against the state, crimes that involve abuse of office, abuse of power, abuse of trust.
The combination of the scholarly learning and of the handful of impeachments that we've had, suggest that the behavior doesn't actually have to be a crime. We have had some people, mostly judges, who've been impeached for behavior which wasn't technically a crime, and not all crimes would be the basis for impeachment.
If somebody is convicted of speeding or jaywalking, or maybe even on drunk driving, that might not be considered serious enough to justify impeachment.
The process would begin in the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives acts like a grand jury. It has the sole power to start an impeachment. They can do that by a simple majority vote.
They would, in effect, adopt articles of impeachment. They would adopt some number of relatively specific charges that they say is the basis that would justify forcing a president or a judge to forfeit their office.
That would then proceed to the Senate. The impeachment is actually what the House of Representatives does. The conviction is by, would be by the Senate. And the Senate acts as the court, to try the impeachment.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published on February 27, 2017.
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