It’s important to note the impeachment does not include the actual trial for alleged crimes. The House of Representatives can remove the civil officer without a conviction once the vote goes through. Both American examples have displayed this version of impeachment rather than one requested after conviction.
So, what does American history have to suggest about impeachments in its history? There are two examples of successful impeachments in the US.
1) Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th US president and remained in office from April 15, 1865 to March 4, 1869.
His impeachment involved the “Tenure of Office Act” after he removed Edwin McMaster Stanton as the Secretary of War. The premise of this act was to ensure the President didn’t hold additional rights for removing civil officers in key positions such as the one Edwin McMaster Stanton held.
Andrew Johnson was hoping to bring in his preferred choice by the name of Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas. Once the news went through, eleven articles of impeachment were pushed against Andrew Johnson in a bid to remove him from office.
It was on March 2, 1868, when the vote went through as intended. It was the first successful impeachment in American history.
2) Bill Clinton
The next impeachment involved President Bill Clinton who remained in office from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001.
His impeachment involved obstruction of justice and perjury during his sexual harassment trial. All charges began with the charges laid against Bill Clinton while he was in office. He was accused of having an extramarital affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. He was also accused of firing White House travel agents, displaying signs of misconduct during the trial, and misuse of FBI files for personal gains. These accusations were placed after an independent counsel investigated the claims.
Two charges against the President (perjury and obstruction of justice) were accepted and became the reason for his impeachment. The house of representatives was able to get two-thirds of the votes needed to impeach him for his actions.
As for the trial, he was able to get acquitted on all charges including the sexual harassment claims made by Monica Lewinsky at the time.
3) Richard Nixon
The final case of impeachment is one which didn’t go through as the previous two.
Richard Nixon was president of the United States and served in office from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974.
HIs impeachment stemmed from what began on February 6th, 1974, where he was charged with high crimes and misdemeanors. The “Watergate Scandal” became a popular subject and one which became the reason for his potential removal at the time.
He was accused of managing the break-in at the Watergate office complex (Washington) where the Democratic National Committee sits. He was also accused of attempting to cover-up the details that came out during this scandal.
However, multiple additional cases of abuse of power came to light due to his actions. This meant Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign or he would be impeached from his position as president of the United States.
These are the three leaders in American history who were accused and had to be removed from office due to their alleged actions. While none were convicted, these individuals had elongated investigations against them, and that led to the series of events that occurred.
It is important to note impeachment processes take awhile to unfold, and each one comes with its own nuances.