Are Your Students Confused About Impeachment? - History Gal

Are Your Students Confused About Impeachment?

Are your students confused about impeachment? Well, they aren't alone! Somehow, impeachment has gotten equated with removal. I'm not sure why. No President has ever been impeached and removed. 3 Presidents (Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump) have been impeached and each have been acquitted.
Richard Nixon escaped impeachment by resigning before the House Judiciary Committee voted to send articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives. And, throughout history, of the 20 Federal government officials who have been impeached, only 8 have been removed from office (curious about who has been impeached? Visit the History of the House of Representatives site).

Impeachment is discussed in Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution. It states that "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."

The key here is that the official will be removed from office if TWO things happen - (1)Impeachment and (2)Conviction. Impeachment is when the official is charged with a crime. Before they can be removed, there must be a trial to determine if they are actually guilty of the crimes they are being charged with.

To help students visualize and understand the process, I created a free Impeachment Doodle Flow Chart.
Impeachment Doodle Flow Chart by History Gal

Students place the name of the official in the blank at the top of the paper and then color the correct path to determine if the official was actually impeached.

It takes students through the basic steps of the impeachment process:
(1) A resolution is introduced in the House of Representatives
(2) If passed, it is sent to the House Judiciary Committee who holds hearings and determines what the charges will be
(3) If the Judiciary Committee votes to proceed, the articles of impeachment (the criminal charges) are sent to the full House of Representatives
(4) If the House of Representatives votes to accept the articles of impeachment, the official is impeached (charged with a crime)
(5) The House of Representatives then sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial
(6) The Senate holds a trial to determine if the official is actually guilty of the crimes they have been charged with
(7) The Senate renders the verdict
(8a) If they are acquitted or found not guilty, the person has been impeached (charged with a crime) but since they were not found guilty, they remain in their position
(8b) If they are found guilty, the punishment is removal from office 

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