Which US presidents have been impeached and has anyone else been impeached twice? OLD

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James Crump
·4 min read
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<p>President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House during an event with US mayors on 24 January 2020 in Washington, DC</p> ((Getty Images))

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House during an event with US mayors on 24 January 2020 in Washington, DC

((Getty Images))

The House voted to impeachment President Donald Trump on Wednesday 12 January, in reaction to his incitement of the Capitol riots last week. This is the first time an American president has been impeached twice.

A mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the US Capitol on Wednesday 6 January during the confirmation of electoral college votes, putting a hold to the process to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory for several hours.

The rioters attacked the Capitol after attending a rally led by Mr Trump, who urged his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” and told them: “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

The House was evacuated as numerous politicians and staff members were forced to barricade themselves in offices to hide from the rioters, some of whom were carrying guns and other weapons. Five people died and numerous others were injured in the riots.

Read more: The speech that got Donald Trump impeached

Several politicians have blamed President Trump for the insurrection that took place directly after his rally, and Democratic officials quickly drew up plans for impeachment.

House Democrats have charged the president with “incitement of insurrection” for his speech prior to the riots last Wednesday, and the article of impeachment has at least 218 co-sponsors, including several Republican lawmakers.

The process will move to the Senate for an impeachment trial overseen by John Roberts, the US Supreme Court chief justice. The Senate hearings are not expected to begin until 19 January.

Only three presidents in US history have been impeached by the House, including President Trump in 2019, but they were all acquitted by the Senate in the subsequent trials.

James Buchanan and Richard Nixon were also investigated in 1860 and 1973-1974, respectively, but were not impeached by the House. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached and was acquitted by Gerald Ford, who had served as his vice president.

Which US presidents have been impeached and has anyone been impeached twice?

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson, the 17th US president, was impeached by the House in March 1868 for “high crimes and misdemeanours,” after he was accused of violating the Tenure of Office Act.

The act, which was later deemed to be invalid by the US Supreme Court, restricted the power of the president to remove certain office-holders without Senate approval.

Johnson was deemed by the House to have violated the act by trying to remove the US secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, without receiving approval from the Senate.

He was the first president to be impeached on 2 March 1868 when the House formally adopted the articles of impeachment and forwarded them to the Senate.

Johnson’s Senate trial began just three days later, but he was not convicted, as the motion failed to receive two-thirds of votes in favour of impeachment on three of the 11 articles, before the rest were abandoned without voting.

The Tenure of Office Act was finally repealed in 1887. Johnson remained as president until the end of his first and only term in March 1869.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton, the 42nd US president, was impeached by the House on 8 October 1998, for “high crimes and misdemeanours” on accusations of lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

The accusation related to a lawsuit that was filed by civil servant Paula Jones in 1994, which alleged that he had sexually harassed her, and from his testimony in which he denied that he had engaged in an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky between 1995 and 1997.

Mr Clinton initially denied that he had engaged in an affair with Ms Lewinsky, famously saying: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” however he later admitted that he had lied.

He was the second US president to be impeached, but was later acquitted by the Senate on 12 February 1999, as the two-thirds majority of votes required was not met.

Mr Clinton remained president until the end of his second term on 20 January 2001.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, the 45th US president, was impeached by the House on 18 December 2019, after two articles were adopted, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The impeachment stemmed from accusations that Mr Trump pressured Ukranian officials into investigating his soon-to-be election opponent, President-elect Joe Biden.

On 16 January 2020, the articles were submitted to the Senate, and the trial started shortly after.

However, on 5 February, Mr Trump was acquitted on both counts as neither received the two-thirds of votes needed to convict him in the Republican-led Senate.

Less than a year later, Mr Trump is the first US president in history to be impeached twice, after the House voted on allegations including “inciting violence against the government”.

Mr Trump’s second impeachment Wednesday 12 January, as the Democrats have a majority in the House. Ten Republicans voted in favour of the president’s impeachment.

Trump, who leaves office on 20 January, is unlikely have his Senate trial until after he has departed from the White House at the end of his first and only term.

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