What Is Our Safeguard Against Corruption Performed By Federal Officeholders?
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What is our safeguard against corruption performed by federal officeholders? It is impeachment. Impeachment is the Constitutional power given to the House of Representatives to remove a federal officeholder from office. “Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says, ‘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’." (Longley). The power of impeachment has historical significance as only four times in our history has Congress had serious discussions of impeachment. Due to the requirement of a ruling vote from the House of Representatives and the Senate, there are issues and complications…show more content… The Senate will first meet in a private session to debate the verdict and then an open session to vote on that verdict. For the verdict to result in a conviction a 2/3 vote is required. With the conviction of the accusation, the President will be impeached and removed from the office. Once impeached, the Vice President gains presidency, which may allow for the problems behind the Presidents impeachment to carry forward. The two-step process of impeachment does not always lead to a desirable outcome.
What are actions of treason, bribery or high crime misdemeanors worthy of impeachment? “To decide the meaning of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ we might start by looking at the intention of the people who wrote the Constitution. There are two principal sources for gauging their intent: the notes (mostly taken by James Madison) from the debates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787; and the Federalist Papers, a group of essays (mostly by Madison and Alexander Hamilton) written in support of ratification of the Constitution” (Alan Hirsch). Basically, impeachment is not linked to criminal law and the test for impeachment is not satisfied by all crimes, but a criminal action is required.
The attempt to impeach has been initiated several times throughout the history of the United States, but in only a few instances has it led to a full impeachment. “The House has initiated impeachment proceedings more than 60