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The (Almost) Impeachment of President Richard Nixon

Technically, President Nixon (Republican) was not impeached. The reason is because he resigned from office on August 9, 1974. His decision to resign happened after the House Judiciary Committee voted on, and passed, three articles of impeachment, but before the U.S. House of Representatives could hold a vote.

It is the outcome of the House vote on articles of impeachment that determine whether or not a President has been impeached. The Senate then holds a trial. The outcome of the Senate trial does not erase that a president has been impeached. Perhaps Nixon resigned in an effort to avoid going down in history as an impeached president.

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The Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson

According to the U.S. House of Representatives website, three United States Presidents have been impeached. (One additional president resigned shortly before he would have been impeached.) Impeachment starts with the House doing an investigation, and based on the evidence, comes up with one or more articles of impeachment.

Each individual article must be voted on separately. If any articles of impeachment receive a majority of votes, then the President has officially been impeached. Of course, it is possible for the House to give a majority of votes to more than one article.

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The Rules of Impeachment

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Impeachment is a rarely used process that is the first step towards removing a President from office. (It can also be used to remove judges and other governmental officials). Impeachment doesn’t refer to the removal of an elected official from office. Instead, it refers to a two-step process that could potentially, result in the removal of a specific government official.

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