Trump Called for Romney’s Impeachment in Tweet, but Could That Actually Happen?

You never quite know when President Trump might fire off a tweet, targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., or House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. . .

The conventional argument is that no, House members and senators cannot be impeached. That’s true for the most part – even though the House did impeach Tennessee Sen. William Blount – twice – in the 18th Century. But we’ll come back to that in a minute.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution grants the House “the sole Power of Impeachment.” Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution awards the Senate “the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” Then, Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution articulates who is eligible for impeachment: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” . . .

It was determined that a “civil Officer” is someone subject to presidential appointment and Senate confirmation – like a cabinet official or a federal judge. That’s why the House has impeached various federal judges over the years, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase (who bore the nickname “Old Bacon Face”) and Secretary of War William Belknap. In other words, House members and senators aren’t “civil Officers,” and thus, exempt from impeachment.

There’s no mechanism in the Constitution for a voter “recall” as is possible for some state officeholders. The president, vice president, House and Senate members serve a fixed term. However, Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution grants the House and Senate authority to “punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.” (Read more from “Trump Called for Romney’s Impeachment in Tweet, but Could That Actually Happen?” HERE)

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