Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body formally levels charges against a high official of Government. Impeachment does not necessarily mean removal from office; it is only a formal statement of charges, akin to an indictment in criminal law, and is thus only the first step towards removal. Once an individual is impeached, he or she must then face the possibility of conviction via legislative vote, which then entails the removal of the individual from office.
A political historian and professor who predicted that Donald Trump would win the presidency has a new bet: Trump will be impeached.
“I'm going to make another prediction,” Allan Lichtman told The Washington Post Friday. “This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook.”
Lichtman isn't the first to predict that Trump could be impeached. University of Utah Law Professor Christopher Lewis Peterson wrote a 23-page article explaining the legal reasons Congress should impeach Trump. And on Friday, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore told MSNBC reporters he predicts Trump will either be impeached or resign before his term is up.
To date, no U.S. President has been removed from office by impeachment and conviction. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were successfully impeached but acquitted by the Senate, and Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.