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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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IMPEACHMENT: What is this Word Called Impeachment? FREEBIE

With two articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump,(the 45th president of the United States), became only the 3rd president in U.S. history, to ever be impeached. Impeachment is the process of removing a president from office for violating the Constitution. A vote, on December 18th, of 218 was needed in the House of Representatives (one more than 1/2 the members) for the impeachment to move forward to a senate trial. 
1. The other two presidents who were impeached were Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson.
2. *Richard Nixon decided to resign before a vote for impeachment was made. Nixon was told that he would be impeached and probably lose a senate trial and be removed from office.
3. The two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress(refusal to turn over evidence to congressional subpoenas). He is accused of illegally pressuring a foreign country(Ukraine) to interfere in our election process to find information that could be harmful to a possible political opponent in the 2020 election, Joe Biden.
4. A trial to determine the removal of a president from office following an impeachment, is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Currently, that person is John Roberts.
5. Donald Trump’s impeachment trial most likely will take place in January, 2020.
6. Acting as the jury, the senators must swear an oath to promise to consider the evidence, without any bias.
7. As with previously impeached presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, while the trial is going on, Donald Trump can continue in his position.
8. All 100 senators vote after hearing the evidence given in the trial. Both Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were acquitted and served out the remaining days of their term as president. To convict a president, you need 67 votes. (2/3s of the 100 senators). At this time, there are 47 Democrats and 53 Republicans, so unless 20 Republicans decided to vote guilty, it is unlikely that Donald Trump will be removed from office.
9. If a president is found guilty during the trial, he is immediately removed from office and the Vice President becomes president. The 25th amendment to the Constitution spells out the rules of succession.
10. Interestingly, when the founding fathers wrote up the Constitution, they first determined under what grounds and how a president could be removed from office BEFORE the qualifications to run for president were determined.
Questions for Students:
1. Some argue that a President should only be removed at the voting booth. Others say if a President does something wrong, that is why the Constitution addresses the possible removal of a President from office. Have students share their opinion.
2.  Why do you think the founding fathers said the vote in the Senate for removal needs to be 2/3s of the 100 senators?
3. Why might members of Congress be hesitant to vote to remove a president?
There are 10 web questions on this topic(including the Order of Succession and the Checks and Balances between the three branches of government). There is also a short Did You Know? section and several comprehension questions. The Teacher Page includes the key and several extension activities.

FREE Download: What is this Word Called IMPEACHMENT?

Gail Skroback Hennessey
Note: Illustrations from: wpclipart and publicdomainclip-art