Donald Trump announced on November 15 that he will be seeking a second term as the President of the United States. However, he is the first U.S President to be impeached twice, leaving people to wonder how he can run again.
Let’s break it down: The President, Vice President, and civil officers can get impeached and it all starts with an accusation. Officers of the government can get tried for treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors.
The impeachment process starts in the House of Representatives and if there is a majority to adopt the articles of impeachment, the president is then impeached. Impeachment does not mean a president is kicked out of office, but rather an acknowledgment that the House of Representatives accused and approved of looking further into the misconduct by trial.
Next, members of the House are chosen as managers to act as prosecutors in the Senate trial to come. Then, the Senate takes the case, dividing into a High Court for a full trial with witnesses, evidence, and voting. If two-thirds of the members vote in favor of impeachment, then the president is removed from office. The Senate can also vote to prevent the convicted officer from holding any other government office in the future. If an officer is impeached they can still be prosecuted after being removed from office.
No president has been impeached by the Senate. Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 were not convicted of their misconduct and Richard Nixon resigned before going to trial because he knew he probably would’ve been the first president removed from office after Watergate.
This brings us to Donald Trump. He was first impeached on December 18, 2019, by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after attempting to have Ukraine interfere with the 2020 Presidential election. The Senate voted to acquit Trump, allowing him to stay in office.
On January 13, 2021, Trump was impeached for incitement of insurrection on January 6th but was found not guilty in the Senate trial. Since the Senate found Trump not guilty of inciting a riot, it left the door open for him to run for president again.