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  • A formal criminal proceeding against a public official. The authority for a federal impeachment in the United States lies in the U.S. Constitution. The House has the authority to bring impeachment charges against the accused, and the Senate hears the trial. A three-quarters majority vote of those senators present is needed for conviction. If it is the trial of the President, the Chief Justice presides. Punishment in impeachment proceedings should not go beyond removal from office, but the accused is still liable to a regular trial “according to law.” Furthermore, the President may not pardon impeachment offenses. In its history, the House of Representatives has brought impeachment charges against only 18 officials, 7 of whom were convicted. Two presidents had charges brought against them, ...

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