History of Impeachment in America


The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump come at the very time that Capitol Hill usually tends to its mound of unfinished business. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The U.S. House of Representatives has initiated impeachment proceedings against 19 individuals in 222 years. The majority of them were U.S. District Court judges, according to the House of Representative archives.

Impeachment charges have been initiated against a senator, 13 U.S. District Court judges, two presidents, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, a U.S. Secretary of War and an associate judge of the U.S. Commerce Court.

The House alone has the power to bring impeachment charges against an individual. It is up to the U.S. Senate to hold a trial. The House archives contain a list of all the offenders and their positions, actions taken by the house, the representatives in charge of the impeachment proceedings or “House managers” and the dates of the proceedings and the outcomes.

William Blount, a senator from Tennessee, was the first public official to be impeached by the house on July 7, 1797 for “conspiring to assist in Great Britain’s attempt to seize Spanish controlled territories in modern day Florida and Louisiana”. Blount was expelled from the Senate but the charges were dismissed.

The most recent impeachment was that of G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., a former U.S. District Court judge from the Eastern District of Louisiana. He was impeached “on charges of accepting bribes and making false statements under penalty of perjury” on Mar. 11, 2010. Porteous was found guilty and removed from office in Dec. of that same year.

Most (8) of those impeached were found guilty and removed from office, 7 were acquitted and 3 resigned. Blount’s charges were the only ones to be dismissed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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