Impeachment Criteria: The criteria is set forth in Section 4, article 2 of the United States Constitution. Unlike statutes which typically have Hey set of definitions to begin each CH, the constitution does not. Accordingly, high crimes and misdemeanors are not defined by the constitution. So the House of Representatives can draft articles of impeachment for any offense, including trivial offenses, as long as they allege that it is a high crime or misdemeanor. The Senate acts as the jury of the proceeding and makes the final determination as to whether the action constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor. Impeachment is an extremely rare procedure which has been initiated less than 20 times in our countries history. So there really isn’t much in the way of precedent.
What could Donald Trump do to meet the criteria for impeachment?
Treason, bribery and/or a high crime or misdemeanor. Treason is the only term that is actually defined by the United States Constitution. If Trump gets impeached, it would be for a high crime and misdemeanor. Since the term isn’t defined, the individual(s) drafting the articles of impeachment can pretty much allege whatever they want and say it is a high crime or misdemeanor. It is simply the easiest way to go. A simple majority of the house is needed to initiate impeachment proceedings. However, 66% of senators present is necessary for removal.
Answered by Michael Dye, Criminal Defense Attorney, Registered Libertarian, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Phone: (954)990-0525