How federal impeachment works
Impeachment is the process of bringing charges against a government official for wrongdoing. A trial may be held, and the official may be removed from office.
The impeachment process
The Constitution gives Congress the power to impeach federal officials. An official can be impeached for treason, bribery, and “other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Learn more about impeachment, including its history and how the U.S. Constitution grants impeachment powers to Congress.
Past impeachments of federal officials
The House has initiated impeachment proceedings more than 60 times. But there have been only 20 impeachments. This includes three presidents, one cabinet secretary, and one senator. Of those who were impeached, only eight officials were found guilty by the Senate and removed from office. All eight were federal judges.
The presidents impeached by the House were:
- Andrew Johnson in 1868
- William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton in 1998
- Donald John Trump in 2019 and 2021
Presidents Johnson, Clinton, and Trump remained in office following acquittals by the Senate on all charges.
Former President Richard Nixon was not impeached. He resigned after Congress started the impeachment process against him in 1974.
Impeachment of state and local officials
A state legislature can impeach its governor and other state officials. Many local governments also have impeachment procedures. Find your state legislature’s website to learn more.
LAST UPDATED: April 21, 2023
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