[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 27. Impeachment]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                        CHAPTER 27 - IMPEACHMENT

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

              A. Generally

  Sec.  1. In General; House and Senate Functions
  Sec.  2. Who May Be Impeached
  Sec.  3. Grounds for Impeachment
  Sec.  4. -- Impeachable Misconduct
  Sec.  5. Effect of Adjournment

              B. Procedure in the House

  Sec.  6. In General; Initiation and Referral of Charges
  Sec.  7. Committee Investigations
  Sec.  8. Consideration in the House; Voting

              C. Procedure in the Senate

  Sec.  9. In General
  Sec. 10. Voting and Judgment
        Research References
          U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. Sec. 2, 3; art. II, Sec. 4
          1 Hinds Sec. Sec. 63-79; 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2294-5220
          6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 454-552
          Deschler Ch 14
          Manual Sec. Sec. 173-176; 601-620


                               A. Generally


  Sec. 1 . In General; House and Senate Functions

      Impeachment is a constitutional remedy addressed to serious 
  offenses against the system of government. It is the first step in a 
  remedial process--that of removal from public office and possible 
  disqualification from holding further office. The purpose of 
  impeachment is not personal punishment; rather, its function is 
  primarily to maintain constitutional government. Deschler Ch 14 App. 
  pp 726-728; 105-2, Dec. 19, 1998, p ____
      Impeachment proceedings have been initiated more than 60 times 
  since the adoption of the Constitution. 3 Hinds Sec. 2294; 6 Cannon 
  Sec. 498; Deschler

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  Ch 14 Sec. 1. Sixteen of these cases resulted in impeachment by the 
  House: President Andrew Johnson in 1868, Secretary of War William W. 
  Belknap in 1876, Senator William Blount in 1797, President William J. 
  Clinton in 1998, and 12 Federal judges. Only seven impeachments have 
  led to Senate convictions--all of them Federal judges.
      An impeachment is instituted by a written accusation, called an 
  ``Article of Impeachment,'' which states the offense charged. The 
  articles serve a purpose similar to that of an indictment in an 
  ordinary criminal proceeding. Manual Sec. 609.
      The power of impeachment is bifurcated by the Constitution. The 
  House is given the ``sole Power of Impeachment,'' and the Senate is 
  given ``the sole Power to try all Impeachments.'' U.S. Const. art. I, 
  Sec. 2, cl. 5; Sec. 3, cl. 6. Impeachments may be brought against the 
  ``President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United 
  States.'' Conviction of ``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
  Misdemeanors'' is followed by ``removal from Office'' and may include 
  ``disqualification to hold'' further public office. U.S. Const. art. 
  I, Sec. 3, cl. 7; art. II, Sec. 4.
      The term ``impeach'' is used in different ways at various stages 
  of the proceedings. A Member rises on the floor to ``impeach'' an 
  officer in presenting a resolution or memorial. 3 Hinds Sec. 2469. The 
  House votes to ``impeach'' in the constitutional sense when it adopts 
  an impeachment resolution and accompanying articles. Sec. 8, infra. 
  The Senate then conducts a trial on these articles and either convicts 
  by two-thirds vote or acquits the ``impeached'' accused Federal 
  official. Sec. 9, infra.


  Sec. 2 . Who May Be Impeached

      The ``President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the 
  United States'' are subject to removal under the impeachment clause of 
  the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 4. A private citizen who 
  has held no public office may not be impeached. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2007, 2315.
      The term ``civil Officers'' in article II, section 4 of the 
  Constitution refers to those appointed by the President under article 
  II, section 3, clause 2. The term is broad enough to include all 
  officers of the United States who hold their appointment from the 
  Federal government, whether their duties be executive, administrative, 
  or judicial, or whether their position be high or low. Impeachment--
  Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, Oct. 
  1973, p 691. On the other hand, military officers are not subject to 
  impeachment, since they are subject to disciplinary measures according 
  to military codes. 3 Willoughby, The Constitution (1929) Sec. 929; 9 
  Hughes, Federal Practice (1931) Sec. 7228.

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      A Member of Congress is not a ``civil Officer'' within the meaning 
  of the impeachment provisions of the Constitution. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2310, 2316. The contention that a Senator was not a civil 
  officer within the meaning of the impeachment provisions of the 
  Constitution was sustained by the Senate in 1799. The Senate dismissed 
  impeachment charges brought to its bar by the House, finding that an 
  impeachment of a Senator was beyond its jurisdiction. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. 2318; Sec. 4, infra.
      Federal judges are subject to removal under the impeachment 
  provisions of the Constitution. Of the 16 impeachments reaching the 
  Senate, 12 have been directed at Federal judges, and in seven of these 
  cases the Senate voted to convict: Pickering in 1803 (3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2319-2341); Humphreys in 1863 (3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2385-2397); 
  Archbald in 1912 (6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 498-512); Ritter in 1936 (S. Doc. 
  No. 74-200, 1936); and Claiborne, Nixon, and Hastings in 1986, 1988, 
  and 1989, respectively (Manual Sec. 176).
      Impeachment proceedings were initiated against a Member of the 
  President's Cabinet in 1876, when impeachment charges were filed 
  against William W. Belknap, who had been Secretary of War. The House 
  and Senate debated the power of impeachment at length and determined 
  that the Secretary remained amenable to impeachment and trial even 
  after his resignation. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2007, 2467. In 1978, the 
  House voted to table a privileged resolution impeaching Andrew Young, 
  the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. 95-2, July 13, 
  1978, p 20606.
      A Commissioner of the District of Columbia has been held not to be 
  a civil officer subject to impeachment under the Constitution. 6 
  Cannon Sec. 548. Under section 596(a) of title 28, United States Code, 
  an independent counsel appointed to investigate the President may be 
  impeached. A resolution impeaching such independent counsel 
  constitutes a question of the privileges of the House under Rule IX. 
  Manual Sec. 604.

                           Effect of Resignation

      The House and Senate have the power to impeach and try an accused 
  official who has resigned. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 2. It was conceded (in 
  the Belknap impeachment proceeding described above) that a Cabinet 
  Secretary remains amenable to impeachment and trial even after his 
  resignation. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2317, 2318. As a practical matter, 
  however, the resignation of an official about to be impeached 
  generally puts an end to impeachment proceedings because the primary 
  objective--removal from office--has been accomplished. This was the 
  case in the impeachment proceedings begun against President Richard M. 
  Nixon in 1974 and Judge George English in 1926. Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. Sec. 2.1, 2.2. President Nixon resigned following the decision of 
  the Committee on the Judiciary to report to the House recom

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  mending his impeachment, and further proceedings were discontinued. 
  93-2, H. Rept. 93-1305, p 29361. Judge English resigned before 
  commencement of trial by the Senate and the proceedings were 
  discontinued at that point. 6 Cannon Sec. 547.


  Sec. 3 . Grounds for Impeachment

                                 Generally

      The Constitution defines the grounds for impeachment and 
  conviction as ``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
  Misdemeanors.'' U.S. Const. art. II, Sec. 4. When the House determines 
  that grounds for impeachment exist, the articles of impeachment are 
  presented to the Senate. Any one of the articles may provide a 
  sufficient basis or ground for conviction. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.
      The interpretation that has been placed on the words ``high Crimes 
  and Misdemeanors'' is a broad one. The framers of the Constitution 
  adopted the phrase from the English practice. At the time of the 
  Constitutional Convention, the phrase ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' 
  had been in use for over 400 years in impeachment proceedings in the 
  British Parliament. Some of these impeachments charged high treason; 
  others charged high crimes and misdemeanors. The latter included both 
  statutory offenses and nonstatutory offenses. Many of the charges 
  involved abuse of official power or trust. Deschler Ch 14 App. pp 706-
  708.
      An offense must be serious or substantial in nature to provide 
  grounds for impeachment. This requirement flows from the language of 
  the clause itself--``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' Although there is 
  some authority to the contrary, it is generally accepted that the 
  adjective ``high'' modifies ``Misdemeanors'' as well as ``Crimes.'' 
  Impeachment--Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. 
  No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 682. As to what constitutes a serious, 
  impeachable offense, one commentator has said:

      To determine whether or not an act or a course of conduct is 
    sufficient in law to support an impeachment, resort must be had to 
    the eternal principles of right, applied to public propriety and 
    civil morality. The offense must be prejudicial to the public 
    interest and it must flow from a willful intent, or a reckless 
    disregard of duty. . . . It may constitute an intentional violation 
    of positive law, or it may be an official dereliction of commission 
    or omission, a serious breach of moral obligation, or other gross 
    impropriety of personal conduct that, in its natural consequences, 
    tends to bring an office into contempt and disrepute.

  Brown, The Impeachment of the Federal Judiciary, 26 Harv. L. Rev. 684, 
  703, 704 (1912).

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      The time when the offenses were committed is a factor to be taken 
  into consideration. In 1973 the House declined to take any action on a 
  request by Vice President Agnew for an investigation into allegations 
  of impeachable offenses, where the offenses were not committed during 
  his term of office as Vice President and where the offenses were 
  pending before the courts. 93-1, Sept. 25, 1973, p 31368.
      Exactly 100 years earlier, in a case that also involved the Vice 
  President, the Committee on the Judiciary found that Schuyler Colfax 
  could not be impeached for an alleged offense committed before his 
  term of office as Vice President (the alleged conduct occurring while 
  he was Speaker). 3 Hinds Sec. 2510.

                         Presidential Impeachments

      In 1998 the Committee on the Judiciary recommended to the House 
  four articles of impeachment against President Clinton, two of which 
  the House adopted. 105-2, H. Res. 611, Dec. 19, 1998, p ____. The 
  first and third articles, which the House adopted, charged the 
  President with providing perjurious testimony to a Federal grand jury 
  and with obstructing justice in a Federal civil action. The second and 
  fourth articles, which the House rejected, charged him with providing 
  perjurious testimony in a Federal civil deposition and with abuse of 
  power for failing to adequately respond to questions asked by the 
  Committee on the Judiciary during the impeachment inquiry. 105-2, H. 
  Rept. 105-830, pp 108, 118, 119, 121. President Clinton was acquitted 
  in the Senate on both articles adopted by the House. 106-1, Feb. 12, 
  1999, p ____.
      In 1974 the grounds for invoking the impeachment power against the 
  President were illustrated when the House initiated an inquiry into 
  President Nixon's conduct as a result of charges arising out of a 1972 
  break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate 
  Office Building in Washington, DC. The Committee on the Judiciary 
  recommended to the House three articles of impeachment against 
  President Nixon late in July 1974. The articles charged him with abuse 
  of his Presidential powers, obstruction of justice, and contempt of 
  Congress. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.7. Before the full House voted on 
  these articles, President Nixon resigned after having been assured 
  that his impeachment was a virtual certainty. His resignation 
  terminated further action on the issue, although the articles were 
  submitted to and accepted by the House by adoption of a resolution of 
  ``acceptance'' considered under suspension of the rules rather than a 
  resolution of impeachment. 93-2, Aug. 20, 1974, pp 29219-362.

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      In 1868 the House impeached President Andrew Johnson on the ground 
  that he had violated the Tenure of Office Act by dismissing a Cabinet 
  chief. Johnson was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2440, 
  2443.

                           Judicial Impeachments

      Since Federal judges hold office ``during good Behaviour,'' it has 
  been suggested that misbehavior properly defines the bounds of ``high 
  Crimes and Misdemeanors'' or even that lack of good behavior 
  constitutes an independent standard for impeachment. U.S. Const. art. 
  III, Sec. 1; 6 Cannon Sec. 464. The more modern view, however, is that 
  the ``good Behaviour'' clause more aptly describes judicial tenure; 
  that is, the clause does not constitute a standard for impeachability 
  but merely means that Federal judges hold office for life unless they 
  are removed under some other provision of the Constitution. Under this 
  view, the power of removal together with the appropriate standard are 
  contained solely in the impeachment clause. Impeachment--Selected 
  Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 
  666.
      The grounds for impeachment of Federal judges were scrutinized in 
  1970 during an inquiry of a special subcommittee of the Committee on 
  the Judiciary into the conduct of Associate Justice Douglas of the 
  Supreme Court. The report of that special subcommittee concluded that 
  a Federal judge could be impeached for judicial conduct that is either 
  criminal or a serious abuse of public duty, or for nonjudicial conduct 
  that is criminal. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.13 (proceedings discontinued 
  for lack of evidence). The committee report recommending impeachment 
  of President Clinton also discussed judicial impeachments. 105-2, H. 
  Rept. 105-830, pp 110-18.


  Sec. 4 . -- Impeachable Misconduct

      Impeachments have commonly involved charges of misconduct 
  incompatible with the official position of the office holder. This 
  conduct falls into three broad categories: (1) abusing or exceeding 
  the lawful powers of the office; (2) behaving officially or personally 
  in a manner grossly incompatible with the office; and (3) using the 
  power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain. See 
  Deschler Ch 14 App. p 719.

               Abusing or Exceeding the Powers of the Office

      The impeachment by the House of Senator William Blount in 1797 was 
  based on allegations that he attempted to incite an Indian attack in 
  order to capture certain territory for the British. He was charged 
  with engaging in a conspiracy to compromise United States neutrality 
  and with attempting to oust the President's lawful appointee as 
  principal agent for Indian affairs. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2294-2318. 
  Although the Senate found that it had no jurisdiction

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  over the trial of an impeached Senator, it expelled him for having 
  been guilty of a ``high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his 
  public trust and duty as a Senator.'' Deschler Ch 14 App. p 720.
      The impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868 was likewise 
  based on allegations that he had exceeded the power of his office. 
  Johnson was charged with violation of the Tenure of Office Act, which 
  purported to limit the President's authority to remove members of his 
  own Cabinet. Johnson, believing the Act unconstitutional, removed 
  Secretary of War Stanton and was impeached by the House three days 
  later. Johnson was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2440, 
  2443.
      A serious abuse of the powers of the office was a charge included 
  among the recommended articles impeaching President Nixon in 1974. The 
  Committee on the Judiciary found that his conduct ``constituted a 
  repeated and continuing abuse of the powers of the Presidency in 
  disregard of the fundamental principle of the rule of law in our 
  system of government.'' Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.7.
      The House adopted an article of impeachment against President 
  Clinton alleging that he obstructed justice in the course of a Federal 
  civil action. However, the House rejected an article of impeachment 
  against President Clinton alleging that he engaged in conduct that 
  resulted in abuse of his office by inadequately responding to 81 
  written questions posed by the Committee on the Judiciary. 105-2, H. 
  Res. 611, Dec. 19, 1998, p ____; 105-2, H. Rept. 105-830, p 121. 
  President Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on that article adopted 
  by the House. 106-1, Feb. 12, 1999, p ____.

               Behavior Grossly Incompatible with the Office

      Judge John Pickering was impeached by the House in 1803 for errors 
  in a trial in violation of his trust and duty as a judge, and for 
  appearing on the bench during the trial in a state of intoxication and 
  using profane language. Pickering was convicted in the Senate and 
  removed from office. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2319-2341.
      Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was impeached by the 
  House in 1804. The House charged Chase with permitting his partisan 
  views to influence his conduct in certain trials. His conduct was 
  alleged to be a serious breach of his duty to judge impartially and to 
  reflect on his competence to continue to exercise the power of the 
  office. Chase was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2342-
  2363.
      Judge West Humphreys was impeached by the House and convicted in 
  the Senate in 1862 on charges that he joined the Confederacy without 
  resigning his Federal judgeship. Judicial prejudice against Union 
  supporters also was alleged. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2385-2397.

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      Judge George English was impeached by the House in 1926 for 
  showing judicial favoritism and for failure to give impartial 
  consideration to cases before him. It was alleged that his favoritism 
  had created distrust of his official actions and destroyed public 
  confidence in his court. 6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 544-547. Judge English 
  resigned before commencement of trial by the Senate, and the 
  proceedings were discontinued at that point.
      The House adopted an article of impeachment against President 
  Clinton alleging that he prevented, obstructed, and impeded the 
  administration of justice in a Federal civil rights action. 105-2, 
  Dec. 19, 1998, p ____. President Clinton was acquitted by the Senate 
  of that article of impeachment. 106-1, Feb. 12, 1999, p ____.

         Using the Office for an Improper Purpose or Personal Gain

      In 1826 Judge James Peck was impeached by the House for taking 
  action against a lawyer who had publicly criticized one of his 
  decisions, imprisoning him, and ordering his disbarment. The House 
  charged that such conduct was unjust, arbitrary, and beyond the scope 
  of his judicial duties. Peck was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2364-2366. Vindictive use of power also constituted an 
  element of the charges in the articles of impeachment voted against 
  Judge Charles Swayne in 1903. It was alleged that he maliciously and 
  unlawfully imprisoned two lawyers and a litigant for contempt. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2469-2485.
      Several impeachments have alleged the use of office for personal 
  gain or the appearance of financial impropriety while in office. 
  Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached by the House in 1876 
  for receiving substantial payments in return for his making of an 
  appointment. He was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2444-
  2468.
      The use of office for direct or indirect personal monetary gain 
  was also involved in the impeachments of Judges Charles Swayne (1903), 
  Robert Archbald (1912), George English (1926), Harold Louderback 
  (1932), and Halsted Ritter (1936). Judge Swayne was charged with 
  falsifying expense accounts. Judge Archbald was charged with using his 
  office to secure business favors from litigants and potential 
  litigants before his court. Judges English, Louderback, and Ritter 
  were charged with misusing their power to appoint and set the fees of 
  bankruptcy receivers for personal profit. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2469-2485 
  (Swayne); 6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 498-512 (Archbald); Sec. Sec. 544-547 
  (English); Sec. Sec. 513-524 (Louderback); 74-2, Jan. 14, 1936, p 5602 
  (Ritter).
      In 1986 the House agreed to a resolution impeaching Federal 
  District Judge Harry Claiborne, who had been convicted of falsifying 
  Federal income tax returns. His final appeal was denied by the Supreme 
  Court, and he began serving his prison sentence. Because he declined 
  to resign, how

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  ever, Judge Claiborne was still receiving his judicial salary and, 
  absent impeachment, would resume the bench on his release from prison. 
  Consequently, a resolution of impeachment was introduced on June 3; 
  and on July 16 the Committee on the Judiciary reported to the House 
  four articles of impeachment against Judge Claiborne. On July 22 the 
  resolution was called up as a question of privilege and adopted. After 
  trial in the Senate, Judge Claiborne was convicted on three of the 
  four articles of impeachment and removed from office on October 9, 
  1986. Manual Sec. 176.
      In the 100th Congress, the House agreed to a resolution reported 
  from the Committee on the Judiciary impeaching Federal District Judge 
  Alcee Hastings. The resolution specified 17 articles of impeachment, 
  some of them addressing allegations of which the judge had been 
  acquitted in a Federal criminal trial. 100-2, H. Res. 499, Aug. 3, 
  1988, p 20206. The judge was convicted in a trial before the Senate in 
  the 101st Congress. 101-1, Oct. 20, 1989, pp 25329-35.
      In 1989 the House voted to impeach Federal district Judge Walter 
  L. Nixon, Jr. after he had been convicted on two counts of perjury 
  before a grand jury about his relationship to a man whose son was 
  being prosecuted for drug smuggling. The impeachment resolution 
  charged that Judge Nixon had given false information about whether he 
  had discussed the case with the local district attorney and attempted 
  to influence its outcome. 101-1, May 10, 1989, p 8814. The Senate 
  convicted Judge Nixon on two of the three articles of impeachment and 
  removed him from office. 101-1, Nov. 3, 1989, p ____.

                          Noncriminal Misconduct

      In the history of impeachments under the Constitution, the most 
  closely debated issue has been whether impeachment is limited to 
  offenses indictable under the criminal law--or at least to offenses 
  that constitute crimes--or whether the word ``Misdemeanors'' in the 
  impeachment clause extends to noncriminal misconduct as well. Although 
  the precedents are not entirely uniform, the majority clearly favor 
  the broader definition. As stated in the Ritter impeachment, the 
  modern view is that the provision for impeachment in the Constitution 
  applies not only to high crimes and misdemeanors as those words were 
  understood at common law, but also to acts that, though not defined as 
  criminal, adversely affect the public interest. 69-1, H. Rept. 69-653, 
  pp 9, 10.
      The historical evidence establishes that the phrase ``high crimes 
  and misdemeanors''--which over a period of centuries evolved into the 
  English standard of impeachable conduct--had a special and distinctive 
  meaning, and referred to a category of offenses that subverted the 
  system of govern

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  ment. Deschler Ch 14 App. p 724. The American experience with 
  impeachment likewise reflects the view that impeachable conduct need 
  not be criminal. Of the 16 impeachments voted on by the House since 
  1789, at least 11 involved one or more allegations that did not charge 
  a violation of criminal law. Deschler Ch 14 App. p 725. The 
  impeachment of Judge Pickering in 1803 was the first such proceeding 
  to result in conviction and was based, at least in part, on 
  noncriminal misconduct. The first three articles involved a series of 
  flagrant errors on the part of the judge in his conduct of a case. 3 
  Hinds Sec. 2319. Similarly, in 1974, in recommending articles 
  impeaching President Nixon, the House Committee on the Judiciary 
  concluded that the President could be impeached not only for 
  violations of Federal criminal statutes but also for abuse of the 
  power of his office and for refusal to comply with proper subpoenas of 
  the committee. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.7.
      Less than one-third of all the articles the House has adopted have 
  explicitly charged the violation of a criminal statute or used the 
  word ``criminal'' or ``crime'' to describe the conduct alleged. Much 
  more common in the articles are allegations that the officer has 
  violated his duties or his oath or seriously undermined public 
  confidence in his ability to perform his official functions. Deschler 
  Ch 14 App. p 723.
      The theory of the proponents of impeachment of President Johnson 
  was succinctly put by one of the managers in the Senate trial:

      An impeachable high crime or misdemeanor is one in its nature or 
    consequences subversive of some fundamental or essential principle 
    of government or highly prejudicial to the public interest, and this 
    may consist of a violation of the Constitution, of law, of an 
    official oath, or of duty, by an act committed or omitted, or, 
    without violating a positive law, by the abuse of discretionary 
    powers from improper motives or for an improper purpose.

  The Constitution of the United States of America--Analysis and 
  Interpretation, p 558, Government Printing Office, 1992.

      The House adopted an article of impeachment against President 
  Clinton alleging that he gave perjurious, false, and misleading 
  testimony to a Federal grand jury. However, the House rejected an 
  article of impeachment against President Clinton alleging that he gave 
  perjurious, false, and misleading written and deposed testimony in a 
  Federal civil rights action. 105-2, H. Res. 611, Dec. 19, 1998, p 
  ____. Some argued that neither allegation could be the subject of a 
  successful criminal prosecution and thus would not be sufficient to 
  establish an impeachable offense. 105-2, H. Rept. 105-830, p 211.

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  Sec. 5 . Effect of Adjournment

      An impeachment may proceed only when Congress is in session. 3 
  Hinds Sec. Sec. 2006, 2462. However, an impeachment proceeding does 
  not die with adjournment. An impeachment proceeding begun in the House 
  in one Congress may be resumed by the House in the next Congress. 3 
  Hinds Sec. 2321. An official impeached by the House in one Congress 
  may be tried by the Senate in the next. Manual Sec. 620; 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2319, 2320.
      Although impeachment proceedings may continue from one Congress to 
  the next, the authority of the managers appointed by the House expires 
  at the end of a Congress; and managers must be reappointed when a new 
  Congress convenes. Manual Sec. 620. Managers on the part of the House 
  are reappointed by resolution. Manual Sec. 604; Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. 4.2. Thus, the articles of impeachment against Judge Alcee 
  Hastings were presented in the Senate during the second session of the 
  100th Congress (100-2, Aug. 3, 1988, p 20223) but were still pending 
  trial by the Senate in the 101st Congress, when the House reappointed 
  managers (101-1, Jan. 3, 1989, p 84). The articles of impeachment 
  against President Clinton were presented to the Senate after the 
  Senate had adjourned sine die for the 105th Congress, and the Senate 
  conducted the trial in the 106th Congress. Manual Sec. 620.


                         B. Procedure in the House


  Sec. 6 . In General; Initiation and Referral of Charges

                                 Generally

      Under the modern practice, an impeachment is normally instituted 
  by the House by the adoption of a resolution calling for a committee 
  investigation of charges against the officer in question. This 
  committee may, after investigation, recommend the dismissal of charges 
  or it may recommend impeachment. Impeachment--Selected Materials, 
  Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 699. A 
  resolution recommending impeachment is reported to the House 
  simultaneously with the articles of impeachment setting forth the 
  grounds for the proposed action. Sec. 8, infra. Following the adoption 
  of a resolution to impeach, the House appoints managers to conduct the 
  impeachment trial in the Senate. The Senate is then informed of these 
  facts by resolution. Manual Sec. 607; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 9. When this 
  resolution reaches the Senate, the Senate advises the House as to when 
  the Senate will receive the managers appointed by the House. The 
  managers then present themselves and the impeachment articles to the 
  Senate, the

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  House reserving the right to file additional articles later. Manual 
  Sec. 608a; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. Sec. 10, 11.

                           Initiation of Charges

      In most cases, impeachment proceedings in the House have been 
  initiated either by introducing a resolution of impeachment through 
  the hopper or by offering a resolution of impeachment on the floor as 
  a question of the privileges of the House. Manual Sec. 603; Deschler 
  Ch 14 Sec. 5.
      Other methods of setting an impeachment in motion in the House 
  include:

     Charges initiated by a petition from one or more citizens and 
         referred to committee. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2364, 2491, 2494.
     Charges transmitted in a message from the President. 3 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 2294, 2319; 6 Cannon Sec. 498.
     Charges transmitted from the legislature of a State. 3 Hinds 
         Sec. 2469.
     Charges arising from a grand jury investigation. 3 Hinds 
         Sec. 2488.
     Charges arising from an independent counsel investigation 
         under section 595(c) of title 28, United States Code. Manual 
         Sec. 603.

      In the 93d Congress, Vice President Agnew used a letter to the 
  Speaker to attempt to initiate an investigation by the House of 
  charges against him of possible impeachable offenses; the House took 
  no action on the request. Manual Sec. 603.
      In the 105th Congress, an independent counsel transmitted to the 
  House under section 593 of title 28, United States Code, a 
  communication containing evidence of alleged impeachable offenses by 
  the President. The House adopted a privileged resolution reported by 
  the Committee on Rules referring the communication to the Committee on 
  the Judiciary, restricting Members' access to the communication, and 
  restricting access to committee meetings and hearings on the 
  communication. Later, the House adopted a privileged resolution 
  reported by the Committee on the Judiciary authorizing an impeachment 
  inquiry by that committee. The authority to appoint an independent 
  counsel under section 595(c) of title 28, United States Code, expired 
  on June 30, 1999. Manual Sec. 603.

                           Referral to Committee

      Resolutions introduced through the hopper that directly call for 
  an impeachment are referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, whereas 
  resolutions merely calling for a committee investigation with a view 
  toward impeachment are referred to the Committee on Rules. Deschler Ch 
  14 Sec. Sec. 5.10, 5.11. In the 105th Congress the House adopted a 
  privileged resolution reported by the Committee on Rules referring a 
  communication from an inde

[[Page 599]]

  pendent counsel alleging certain impeachable offenses to the Committee 
  on the Judiciary. Later, the House adopted a privileged resolution 
  reported by the Committee on the Judiciary authorizing an impeachment 
  inquiry by that committee. Manual Sec. 603.
      All impeachments to reach the Senate since 1900 have been based on 
  resolutions reported by the Committee on the Judiciary. Before that 
  committee's creation in 1813, impeachments were referred to a special 
  committee for investigation. Manual Sec. 603; 6 Cannon Sec. 657.


  Sec. 7 . Committee Investigations

      Committee impeachment investigations are governed by those 
  portions of Rule XI relating to committee investigative and hearing 
  procedures, and by any rules and special procedures adopted by the 
  House and by the committee for the inquiry. Manual Sec. 605; Deschler 
  Ch 14 Sec. 6.3. The House may by resolution waive or supplement a 
  requirement of these rules in a particular case. In two recent 
  instances, the House agreed to a resolution authorizing the counsel to 
  the Committee on the Judiciary to take depositions of witnesses in an 
  impeachment investigation and waiving the provision of Rule XI that 
  requires at least two committee members to be present during the 
  taking of such testimony. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 6.3; 105-2, H. Res. 581, 
  Oct. 8, 1998, p ____.
      Under the earlier practice the committee sometimes made its 
  inquiry ex parte. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2319, 2343, 2385. However, the 
  modern trend is to permit the accused to testify, present witnesses, 
  cross-examine witnesses, and be represented by counsel. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2445, 2470, 2471, 2501, 2518; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 6; 105-2, 
  H. Rept. 105-830. Constitutionality, see Sec. 9, infra.

                    Confidentiality of Material; Access

      The House and the Committee on the Judiciary may adopt procedures 
  to ensure the confidentiality of impeachment inquiry materials and to 
  limit access to such materials. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. Sec. 6.9, 15.3; 
  105-2, H. Res. 525, Sept. 11, 1998, p ____. Where a Federal court 
  subpoenas certain evidence gathered by the committee in an impeachment 
  inquiry, the House may adopt a resolution granting such limited access 
  to the evidence as will not violate the privileges of the House or its 
  sole power of impeachment under the Constitution. Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. 6.13.

                        Subcommittee Investigations

      An investigative subcommittee charged with an impeachment inquiry 
  is limited to the powers expressly authorized by the House or by the 
  full committee. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 6.11; 105-2, H. Res. 581, Oct. 8, 
  1998, p ____.

[[Page 600]]

   After completing its investigation, the subcommittee ordinarily 
  submits recommendations to the full committee as to whether 
  impeachment is warranted. See, e.g., Final Report of the Special 
  Subcommittee on H. Res. 920 of the Committee on the Judiciary, 91-2, 
  committee print, Sept. 17, 1970.

                                   Form

      For forms of resolutions authorizing an investigation of the 
  sufficiency of grounds for impeachment and conferring subpoena power 
  and authority to take testimony, see Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 6.


  Sec. 8 . Consideration in the House; Voting

                                 Generally

      The respondent in an impeachment proceeding is impeached by the 
  adoption of the House of articles of impeachment. Only a majority vote 
  is necessary, whereas a two-thirds vote of Members present is required 
  in the Senate for conviction and removal. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 3; 
  Impeachment--Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. 
  No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 700. In this regard, as is the usual practice, 
  the committee's recommendations as reported in the resolution are not 
  binding on the House until they are adopted. In 1933 the House voted 
  to impeach Judge Harold Louderback, even though the Committee on the 
  Judiciary found insufficient grounds to warrant impeachment. 6 Cannon 
  Sec. 514.

                  Impeachment Propositions as Privileged

      A resolution impeaching an officer is highly privileged under the 
  Constitution, and therefore supersedes other pending business, 
  including an election contest. Manual Sec. 604; 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2045-2048, 2581; 6 Cannon Sec. 468. Such a resolution may be 
  considered immediately in the House as a question of privilege. It is, 
  therefore, not subject to the three-day layover requirement of Rule 
  XIII. Manual Sec. 604. It does not lose its privilege from the fact 
  that a similar proposition has been considered previously during the 
  same session. 3 Hinds Sec. 2408. However, a resolution offered from 
  the floor simply proposing an investigation is not privileged, even 
  though impeachment may be a possible consequence. 3 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 2050, 2546; 6 Cannon Sec. 463.
      A committee to which resolutions of impeachment have been referred 
  may report and call up as privileged resolutions incidental to the 
  consideration of the impeachment question. Manual Sec. 604; Deschler 
  Ch 14 Sec. 5.8. If, however, such a resolution is offered on the floor 
  by a Member on his own initiative and not reported from the committee 
  to which the impeachment has been referred, it is not privileged for 
  immediate consideration because it is subject to the notice 
  requirement of rule IX. See, Manual Sec. 699.

[[Page 601]]

      Propositions incidental to an ongoing impeachment proceeding taken 
  up as privileged (3 Hinds Sec. 2400) have included:

     Reports relating to the investigation (3 Hinds Sec. 2402; 
         Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8.2).
     Resolutions providing for the selection of managers (6 Cannon 
         Sec. 517).
     Propositions to abate an impeachment proceeding (6 Cannon 
         Sec. 514).
     Proposals to confer subpoena authority or to provide funding 
         for the investigation (Manual Sec. 604; 6 Cannon Sec. 549).
     Resolutions authorizing depositions by committee counsel 
         (Manual Sec. 604).

      Following adoption of the articles of impeachment, the House 
  adopts resolutions appointing managers to present the articles before 
  the Senate, notifying the Senate of the adoption of articles and 
  appointment of managers, and authorizing the managers to prepare for 
  and to conduct the trial in the Senate. Manual Sec. 607; 6 Cannon 
  Sec. Sec. 499, 500, 514, 517. These privileged incidental resolutions 
  may be merged into a single indivisible privileged resolution. Manual 
  Sec. 607.
      Although charges or resolutions of impeachment are privileged, 
  they cannot be presented while another Member has the floor unless he 
  yields for that purpose. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 5.2. A resolution of 
  impeachment offered by a Member on his own initiative and not reported 
  from the committee to which the impeachment has been referred is not 
  privileged for immediate consideration because it is subject to the 
  notice requirement of rule IX. Manual Sec. 699.
      On several occasions the Committee on the Judiciary, having been 
  referred a question of impeachment, reported a recommendation that 
  impeachment was not warranted and, thereafter, called up the report as 
  a question of privilege. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 1.3. Under section 596(a) 
  of title 28, United States Code, an independent counsel appointed to 
  investigate the President may be impeached; and a resolution 
  impeaching such independent counsel constitutes a question of the 
  privileges of the House under rule IX. Manual Sec. 604.

                              Debate; Motions

      Propositions of impeachment are considered under the general rules 
  of the House applicable to other simple House resolutions, unless the 
  House otherwise provides by special order. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8; 105-
  2, Dec. 18, 1998, p ____. Since 1912, the House has considered the 
  resolution together with the articles of impeachment. Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. 8.2. The House may consider the resolution and articles under a 
  unanimous-consent agreement fixing and controlling the time for 
  debate. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. Sec. 8.1, 8.4; 105-2, Dec. 18, 1998, p 
  ____. The motion for the previous question and the mo

[[Page 602]]

  tion to recommit are applicable, and a separate vote may be demanded 
  on each article of impeachment contained in the resolution. Manual 
  Sec. 608; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. Sec. 8.8-8.10. The resolution also is 
  subject to a motion to lay on the table before debate thereon. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 1.15.
      A wide range of debate is permitted on impeachment proposals, and 
  a Member may refer to the political, social, and even the familial 
  background of the accused. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8.5. However, Members 
  must abstain from language personally offensive. Manual Sec. 370. 
  Furthermore, Members must abstain from comparisons to the personal 
  conduct of sitting Members of the House or Senate. Manual Sec. 370.
      To a privileged resolution of impeachment, an amendment in the 
  motion to recommit proposing instead to censure, which is not 
  privileged, was held not germane. Manual Sec. 604.


                        C. Procedure in the Senate


  Sec. 9 . In General

      The sole power to try impeachments is vested in the Senate under 
  the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 3, cl. 6. On the day of the 
  trial, the Senate resolves itself into a court for the trial of the 
  impeachment. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 11.5. The President of the Senate 
  presides over the trial, except in the case of the impeachment of the 
  President of the United States or the Vice President, in which case 
  the Chief Justice presides. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 11. Upon organization 
  of the court, the managers appear and the trial of the case proceeds. 
  In the later practice, the resolution and articles of impeachment have 
  been considered together and exhibited simultaneously in the Senate by 
  the House managers. 6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 501, 515; Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. 11. Objections to the articles of impeachment on the ground that 
  they duplicate and accumulate separate offenses have been overruled. 
  Deschler Ch 14 Sec. Sec. 3.4, 13.6.
      For precedents relating to the conduct of Senate impeachments, see 
  S. Doc. 93-102, ``Procedure and Guidelines for Impeachment Trials in 
  the United States Senate. For a detailed description of the 
  impeachment trial against President Clinton see Manual Sec. 608a.
      The presentation of the evidence follows a traditional sequence. 
  The evidence against the accused is first presented by the managers. 
  Evidence in defense is then presented by the accused, and the 
  concluding evidence is presented by the managers. The accused is 
  permitted to testify in answer to the charges contained in the 
  articles. 6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 511, 524; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 12.11. 
  Counsel are permitted to appear, to be heard, to argue on pre

[[Page 603]]

  liminary and interlocutory questions, to deliver opening and final 
  arguments, to submit motions, and to present evidence and examine and 
  cross-examine witnesses. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 12. House counsel did not 
  participate in the trial of President Clinton.
      The use of a Senate committee in judicial impeachment proceedings 
  does not violate any constitutional rights or offend fundamental 
  notions of justice. Hastings v. United States Senate, Impeachment 
  Trial Committee, 716 F. Supp. 38 (D.D.C. 1989). In one recent case, 
  the court denied the claim of a former Federal judge that conviction 
  voted by the Senate on two articles of impeachment adopted by the 
  House was void because the judge was not afforded trial before the 
  ``full'' Senate, rather than before a Senate committee. The court 
  ruled that the Senate's denial of the former judge's motion for 
  hearing before the full Senate, while according him the opportunity to 
  present and cross-examine witnesses before the 12-member committee, 
  and an opportunity to argue both personally and by counsel before the 
  full Senate, did not make the controversy justiciable or the claim 
  meritorious. Nixon v. United States, 744 F. Supp. 9 (D.D.C. 1990), 
  aff'd 938 F.2d 239 (D.C.Cir. 1991), aff'd 506 U.S. 224 (1993).
      At the conclusion of the evidence, there is argument, followed by 
  deliberation by the Senate in executive session and a vote in open 
  session. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13. Before the vote, the proceedings may 
  be dismissed in the Senate on the advice of the House managers. 
  Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 2.2.


  Sec. 10 . Voting and Judgment

      Under the Constitution, a two-thirds vote of Senators present is 
  required to convict the accused on an article of impeachment as the 
  articles are voted on separately under the Senate rules. U.S. Const. 
  art. I, Sec. 3, cl. 6; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13. The yeas and nays are 
  taken on each article. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2098, 2339. In some 
  instances, the Senate has adopted an order to provide a method of 
  voting and putting the question separately and successively on each 
  article. 6 Cannon Sec. 524; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13.2.
      The Constitution provides for removal from office on conviction 
  and also allows the further judgment of disqualification from holding 
  further office. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 3, cl. 7. No vote is required 
  on removal following conviction, since removal follows automatically 
  from conviction under this constitutional provision. Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. 13.9. However, the further judgment of disqualification from 
  holding future office requires a majority vote. Deschler Ch 14 
  Sec. 13.10. The Senate has held that a question on removal and 
  disqualification is divisible. 3 Hinds Sec. 2397; 6 Cannon Sec. 512.

[[Page 604]]

      The impeachment and removal from office of a Federal District 
  Judge did not necessarily disqualify him from holding office as a 
  Member of the House, absent any specific action taken by the Senate to 
  disqualify him from future Federal office. Waggoner v. Hastings, 816 
  F. Supp. 716 (S.D. Fla. 1993).