Impeachment of the President of the USA | 15 Jan 2021

Why in News

Donald Trump has become the first President of the USA in history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives. He was charged for inciting an insurrection.

  • On 6th January, 2021, as the USA Congress assembled to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory, a mob of Donald Trump supporters occupied the USA Capitol in a failed bid to overturn the election results.

Key Points

  • Mechanism of Impeachment of President in USA:
    • Two Houses: The legislature of the United States of America i.e. Congress of the United States consists of two houses:
      • The Senate, in which each state, regardless of its size, is represented by two senators.
      • House of Representatives, to which members are elected on the basis of population.
    • Reasons for Impeachment: The USA Constitution states that the President can be removed for conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanour.
    • Earlier Impeachments:
      • Three USA Presidents, Trump in 2019, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868, previously were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.
      • Thus, no USA President ever has been removed from office through impeachment.
  • Mechanism of Impeachment of President in India:
    • In India, the President can be removed only for ‘violation of the Constitution’ and the Constitution does not define the meaning of the phrase ‘violation of the Constitution’.
    • The impeachment charges can be initiated by either House of Parliament - Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

Mechanism of Impeachment of President in India and the USA