Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS
- The US Constitution states that a sitting president can be impeached for treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.
- What constitutes "high crimes and misdemeanors" is very broad, and can include non-criminal acts.
- If the House votes to impeach President Donald Trump, he would be the third president in US history to be impeached. Both previously impeached presidents were acquitted by the Senate.
- Trump could be impeached for a range of alleged wrongdoing, including bribery, conspiracy, witness intimidation, and illegally soliciting campaign help from a foreign government.
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The US Constitution states that a sitting president can be impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
What constitutes "high crimes and misdemeanors" is very broad, and can include non-criminal acts. The definition of impeachable acts is designed to be broad and vague because impeachment is a political act. Constitutional scholars say there are virtually no limits on what Congress can include in articles of impeachment.
If the House votes to impeach President Donald Trump, he would be the third president in US history to be impeached. Both previously impeached presidents were acquitted by the Senate.
In former President Bill Clinton's case, the House charged him with four articles of impeachment: obstruction of justice, abuse of power, lying under oath to a grand jury, and lying under oath in a civil court case.
In former President Andrew Johnson case, the House voted on 11 articles of impeachment, mostly over his alleged violation of the Tenure of Office Act when he removed the secretary of war.
The key alleged crimes for which experts say Trump could be impeached:
- Bribery. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused the president of committing bribery in his alleged effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponents in exchange for US security assistance and a White House meeting. She appeared to refer to the $391 million in promised security aid, which Trump withheld for 55 days, as the bribe.
- Conspiracy. Trump could be accused of conspiring with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General William Barr, and others to illegally pressure the Ukrainian government to do political favors for him.
- Witness intimidation. Democrats on Friday accused Trump of illegally intimidating Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, by attacking her on Twitter while she testified before Congress.
- Illegally soliciting campaign help from a foreign government. Trump's conduct with Ukraine isn't the first time he's been accused of violating campaign finance laws to help him win an election. He was named as an unindicted co-conspirator, listed as Individual-1 in court documents, in the case against his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
If the House Intelligence Committee passes articles of impeachment, they go to the full floor of the House and require a simple majority vote of 218 members to pass. Members vote on each article individually, meaning Trump could be impeached on some articles but not others.
For Trump to be removed from office, two-thirds of the US Senate — 67 members — must vote to convict him of articles of impeachment.
Sonam Sheth and Grace Panetta contributed to this report.