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THE HOUSE DEBATE

The Path to Impeachment

October 09, 1998

The Constitution offers little guidance on impeachment proceedings beyond the fact that the process is handled by the House. If the House votes to approve the articles of impeachment, the Senate then conducts a trial.

1. Sept. 9:

In the case of President Clinton, the Office of Independent Counsel delivers a report listing 11 possible counts of impeachable offenses and back-up evidence to the House.

2. Sept. 11:

The House approves a resolution establishing guidelines making most of the information from the Office of Independent Counsel public.

3. Oct. 6:

After examining the independent counsel's report and evidence, the Judiciary Committee votes along straight party lines to conduct impeachment hearings.

4. The full House approves the decision of the Judiciary Committee to begin hearings.

5. The House Judiciary Committee holds impeachment hearings before voting on the bills of impeachment and issuing a report to the entire House.

6. The House votes by a simple majority whether to approve or overturn the articles of impeachment.

7. The Senate conducts a trial with the chief justice of the Supreme Court presiding, House members presenting evidence and members of the Senate acting as jurors. A two-thirds vote is needed to convict.

8. Upon conviction, the Senate votes on removal from office. If a president is removed, the vice president is sworn in as president.

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