Possible presidential impeachment? The process is more complicated than you think


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The news this week that house speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving forward with an impeachment inquiry has a lot of people asking questions. NewsChannel 6’s Devin Johnson sat down with an Augusta University political science professor to go over the process of how a president gets impeached.

Basically what we’re talking about here is how to punish an elected official. Impeachment is the most severe punishment and for that to happen the house of representatives needs to have 50 percent of its members agree. After that, the senate takes up the issue and digs deeper- with hearings and investigations. Finally, they too will decide to vote.

“If they get more than two-thirds senators supporting punishing the person than the person is punished,” explained Dr. Gregg Murray. “The punishment can be included throwing the official out of office, or disqualifying them from serving from public office again.”

Dr. Murray told Devin a president could be impeached, and remain in office.

“It’s only if the senate votes to punish them by throwing them out office, that they are removed,” said Murray.

He says the process could take several months for a final decision. But, Murray believes the talk of possibly impeaching President Trump so close to an election year is not a good look for America.

“We don’t want to become one of those countries where every time we get a new leader, he or she legally are trying to punish their opponents,” said Murray. “Or we get a leader you don’t like you try to impeach them.”

Because in the end —

“People voted to put this president or any president in office,” explained Murray. “So what the impeachment is about to a degree is, overturning the people’s vote.”

Two presidents have been impeached; Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. However, no president has been removed from office because of the impeachment process. President Richard Nixon resigned before the process could begin.

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