Impeachment investigations of United States federal officials

Numerous federal officials in the United States have been threatened with impeachment and removal from office.[1] Despite numerous impeachment investigations and votes to impeach a number of presidents by the House of Representatives, only three presidents in U.S. history have been impeached by the House: Andrew Johnson , Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (twice, the most impeachments). Impeachment proceedings against a fourth, Richard Nixon, began and made it out of committee, but he resigned before the actual debate on the floor of the House began. To date, no president impeached by the House of Representatives has ever been removed from office by the Senate.


While there have been demands for the impeachment of most presidents, only three — Andrew Johnson in 1868 , Bill Clinton in 1999 and Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021 — have actually been impeached. All three were acquitted by the United States Senate and not removed from office. Removal requires an impeachment vote from the House of Representatives and a conviction from the Senate. Impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon made it out of committee, but he resigned before the actual debate on the floor of the House began. Every president elected since 1980, with the exception of Barack Obama, has been the subject of at least one resolution introduced into Congress with the purpose of impeachment.

The following presidents have had resolutions introduced to initiate proceedings and many have gotten to the hearing stage.

John Tyler (Democratic-Republican turned Whig)Edit

John Tyler was the first president to have impeachment proceedings laid against them.

A number of attempts to remove President John Tyler from office failed. On January 10, 1843, Rep. John Minor Botts, of Virginia introduced a resolution that charged "John Tyler, Vice President acting as President" with nine counts of impeachable offenses, including corruption and official misconduct.[2] The resolution was defeated, 83–127.

After Tyler vetoed a tariff bill in June 1842, the House of Representatives initiated the first impeachment proceedings against a president in American history. A committee headed by former president John Quincy Adams, then a congressman, condemned Tyler's use of the veto and stated that Tyler should be impeached.[3] (This was not only a matter of the Whigs supporting the bank and tariff legislation which Tyler vetoed. Until the presidency of the Whigs' archenemy Andrew Jackson, presidents vetoed bills rarely, and then generally on constitutional rather than policy grounds,[4] so Tyler's actions also went against the Whigs' concept of the presidency.) Adams then proposed a constitutional amendment to change the two-thirds requirement to override a veto to a simple majority, but neither house passed such a measure.

James Buchanan (Democrat)Edit

During most of 1860, the "Covode Committee" held hearings on whether to impeach President James Buchanan. While it found no real cause, it did find that his administration was the most corrupt since the foundation of the Republic.[5]

Andrew Johnson (National Union; formerly Democrat)Edit

The 1868 House impeachment committee (from a photograph by Mathew Brady), seated (left to right): Benjamin F. Butler, Thaddeus Stevens, Thomas Williams, John A. Bingham, standing (left to right): James F. Wilson, George S. Boutwell, John A. Logan

Several attempts were made to remove President Andrew Johnson from office. The first occurred on January 7, 1867, when Rep. James M. Ashley of Ohio, introduced a resolution accusing him of corruption.[6] On November 21, 1867, the House Judiciary Committee produced a bill of impeachment that consisted of a vast collection of complaints against Johnson. After a furious debate, a formal vote was held in the House of Representatives on December 5, 1867, which failed 57-108.[7] Another impeachment vote the following year succeeded, and a Senate trial acquitted Johnson by one vote.

Ulysses S. Grant (Republican)Edit

Near the end of Grant's second term as U.S. president in 1876, Democratic congressmen looking for political advantage against Republicans in the upcoming election threatened to impeach him after a turbulent year of administration scandals. The effort began during the impeachment trial for Grant's Secretary of War, William W. Belknap, on charges of allegedly taking extortion money from a contractor in the Trader post scandal. Although no evidence bore on Grant directly, this and several political controversies had come into public view that year, including a Navy Department scandal that involved members of his wife's family and the Whiskey Ring, which resulted in the indictment of Grant's personal secretary, Orville E. Babcock. Grant removed Babcock from his administration after he was subsequently indicted in the Safe burglary conspiracy.

Hoping to further discredit the president, the Democrats' impeachment attempt focused on the amount of time Grant had been absent from his presidential duties. Congressman Joseph Blackburn introduced the impeachment measure, but proceedings never began. Congress tabled the resolution after the November election.[8]

Grover Cleveland (Democrat)Edit

Representative Milford W Howard, of Alabama, on May 23, 1896, submitted a resolution (H.Res 374) impeaching President Grover Cleveland for selling unauthorized federal bonds and breaking the Pullman strike. It wasn't voted on or referred to a committee.

Herbert Hoover (Republican)Edit

Louis T. McFadden was notable for trying to impeach officials.

During the 1932–33 lame-duck session of Congress, Congressman Louis Thomas McFadden twice introduced impeachment resolutions against President Herbert Hoover.[9] The resolutions were tabled by wide margins.[10]

Harry S. Truman (Democrat)Edit

In April 1951, President Harry S. Truman fired General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Congressional Republicans responded with numerous calls for Truman's removal. The Senate held hearings, and a year later, Congressmen George H. Bender and Paul W. Shafer separately introduced House bills 607 and 614 against President Truman. The resolutions were referred to the Judiciary Committee[11] which, being run by Democrats, sat on them. However, the US Senate held extensive hearings on the matter.

On April 22, 1952, Representative Noah M. Mason, of Illinois, suggested that impeachment proceedings should be started against President Truman for seizing the nation's steel mills. Soon after Mason's remarks, Rep.Robert Hale of Maine, introduced a resolution (H.Res. 604).[12] After three days of debate on the floor of the House, it was referred to the Judiciary where it died.

Richard M. Nixon (Republican)Edit

President Richard Nixon leaving the White House on Marine One shortly before his resignation became effective, August 9, 1974[13]

On October 30, 1973, the House Judiciary Committee began consideration of the possible impeachment of Richard Nixon.[14] The initial straight party-line votes by a 21–17 margin that established an impeachment inquiry were focused around how extensive the subpoena powers Rodino would have would be.[15][16]

After a three-month-long investigation, and with public pressure to impeach the president growing, the House passed a resolution, H.Res. 803, on February 6, 1974, that gave the Judiciary Committee authority to actually investigate charges against the President.[17][18] The hearings lasted until the summer when, after much wrangling, the Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment to the floor of the House, the furthest an impeachment proceeding had progressed in over a century.

With the release of new tapes — after the administration lost the case of US v. Nixon — and with impeachment and removal by the Senate all but certain,[19] on August 9, 1974, Nixon became the first president to resign.

Ronald Reagan (Republican)Edit

On March 6, 1987, Representative Henry B. Gonzalez introduced articles of impeachment against President Ronald Reagan regarding the Iran Contra affair, leading to the joint hearings that dominated the summer. A special prosecutor was appointed.

George H. W. Bush (Republican)Edit

On January 16, 1991, Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez introduced H. Res. 34 to impeach President George H. W. Bush for starting the Gulf War. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it was struck down.[20] Gonzalez tried again with H. Res. 86 on February 21. Both bills were referred to the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law on March 18, 1992, where the efforts also failed.

Bill Clinton (Democrat)Edit

Clinton and Lewinsky on a 1998 Abkhazia stamp, the scandal caused derision throughout the world

On November 5, 1997, Representative Bob Barr introduced a resolution, H. Res. 581,[21] directing the House Judiciary Committee to inquire into impeachment proceedings[22]—months before the Monica Lewinsky scandal came to light. Foremost among the concerns Barr cited at the time was alleged obstruction of Justice Department investigations into Clinton campaign fundraising from foreign sources, chiefly the People's Republic of China.[23] The resolution was referred to the Rules Committee for further action,[24] which tabled the resolution.

Later, Clinton was impeached and acquitted over charges relating to the Lewinsky scandal.

George W. Bush (Republican)Edit

Due to the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, President George W. Bush and other officials were targets of impeachment efforts. None of these efforts advanced past the hearing stage.

Barack Obama (Democrat)Edit

In March 2012, Representative Walter B. Jones introduced H. Con. Res. 107, calling for Congress to hold the sentiment that certain actions of President Barack Obama be considered as impeachable offenses, including the CIA's drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan.[25] The resolution died in the House Judiciary Committee.

On December 3, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on whether or not to impeach the president. At the hearing, there were views among Republicans that the president had not done his duty and that he abused his executive power.[26][27] Ultimately, no list of articles of impeachment was ever drawn up and proposed to the Judiciary Committee for Obama or anyone in his cabinet. Obama was the first president in 28 years who managed to have not one article of impeachment against him referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Donald Trump (Republican)Edit

Vladimir Putin and Trump at the G20 Hamburg summit

Within weeks of taking office, members of Congress declared that President Trump may have committed impeachable offenses in relation with Executive Order 13769.[28] On July 12, 2017, Representative Al Green (D) and Representative Brad Sherman (D) introduced H. Res. 438, exhibiting one article of impeachment. This and later motions were eventually tabled by a large majority[29][30][31] or died in committee.

On September 24, 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into President Trump based on allegations laid out in a whistleblower report. A resolution enacting a rules package to govern the investigation was passed on 31 October by a vote of 232-196 in which all Republicans and two Democrats voted against the resolution.[32] Public impeachment hearings began in the House on 13 November,[33] and on December 10, 2019 the House Judiciary Committee published two articles of impeachment against President Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.[34] Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019.[35] The impeachment trial of Donald Trump was then held from January 16 to February 5, 2020, with the Republican-controlled Senate acquitting Trump.[36]

Trump was impeached for the second time on January 13, 2021 for incitement of insurrection, after the storming of the United States Capitol one week earlier.

Vice PresidentsEdit

A loophole was filled in a change of rules during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999. Prior to this change, Vice Presidents were authorized to preside over an impeachment trial of themselves; the Senate has now authorized the Chief Justice to preside in such a circumstance.[37] As of December 2020, no Vice President has been impeached.

Schuyler Colfax (Republican)Edit

Vice President Schuyler Colfax's name surfaced during witness testimony in a House investigation of the Crédit Mobilier scandal. Under this cloud of suspicion, on February 20, 1873, Congressman Fernando Wood introduced a resolution to investigate the Vice President's conduct.[38] The House, however, refused to consider Wood's resolution, primarily because Colfax was leaving office in a little over two weeks. Then a second resolution was introduced by Congressman Tyner, calling for a general investigation into the witness testimony to see if anyone else warranted impeachment. This resolution was adopted and referred to the Judiciary Committee, which buried it.

Spiro Agnew (Republican)Edit

In the early spring of 1973, the U.S. attorney in Maryland, investigating illegal campaign contributions and kickbacks, discovered that Vice President Spiro Agnew had been taking kickbacks from local contractors as late as December 1972. The scandal became public in the summer of that year, and as the days progressed, it appeared that an indictment was imminent. So, on the theory that a sitting Vice President couldn't be indicted, at least while an impeachment proceeding was going on, Agnew asked the House to start one in a letter dated September 15, 1973.[39]

On September 26, 1973, the House took up debate on Vice President Agnew's request. Congressman Paul Findley offered a resolution, H. Res. 569, appointing a Select Committee to investigate the Vice President. The resolution was referred to the Rules Committee, which sat on it while Attorney General Elliot Richardson negotiated a plea bargain with the soon-to-be-disgraced Vice President.

Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973; by unanimous consent of the House, the Judiciary Committee was discharged from further investigation under House Resolution 572.

George H. W. Bush (Republican)Edit

Dick Cheney (Republican)Edit

In April 2007, United States Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed an impeachment resolution (H.Res. 333) against Vice President Dick Cheney, seeking his trial in the Senate on three charges. After months of inaction, Kucinich re-introduced the exact content of H. Res 333 as a new resolution numbered H.Res. 799 in November 2007. Both resolutions were referred to the Judiciary Committee immediately after their introduction and the committee did not consider either. Both resolutions expired upon the termination of the 110th United States Congress on January 3, 2009.

Attorneys GeneralEdit

While impeachment proceedings against cabinet secretaries is an exceedingly rare event, no office has provoked the ire of the House of Representatives than that of Attorney General. During the first fifth of the 21st century, no less than three Attorneys General have been subjected to the process.

Harry M. Daugherty (Harding/Coolidge)Edit

In 1922, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on whether to impeach Attorney General Harry Daugherty. Despite evidence of wrongdoing, impeachment articles weren't reported to the full House.

However it was his alleged knowledge of a kickback scam involving bootleggers (operated by his chief aide Jess Smith) that led to his eventual resignation on March 28, 1924. As the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation begun the year before, spearheaded under the direction of Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana, Daugherty, was eventually found not guilty in the investigation.

Griffin Bell – (Carter)Edit

On February 6, 1978, a resolution, H. Res. 1002, was introduced authorizing the Judiciary Committee to investigate Attorney General Griffin Bell. The resolution was referred to the Rules Committee.[40] A week later, Rep Philip Crane, introduced H. Res. 1025. It was also referred to the Rules Committee.[41]

Alberto Gonzales – (G.W. Bush)Edit

Gonzales and his wife Rebecca, with George W. Bush and Laura Bush at the Prairie Chapel Ranch on August 26, 2007, the day that Gonzales's resignation was accepted.

On July 7, 2007, Rep. Jay Inslee and 31 co-sponsors[42] introduced H. Res. 589, which sought impeachment hearings by the Judiciary Committee against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.[43] It was referred to the Rules Committee instead. While there were no hearings, pressure mounted, and Gonzales resigned less than two months later.

Eric Holder – (Obama)Edit

On November 7, 2013, Rep. Ted Yoho announced that he and some colleagues were going to introduce a resolution impeaching Attorney General Holder.[44] On Nov. 12, it was leaked to the press that Congressman Pete Olson(R-TX) and co-sponsors Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX) and Roger Williams (R-TX).[45] had written a detailed set of articles which were introduced as H.Res 411[46] The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it was never heard from again.

William Barr — (Trump)Edit

On June 30, 2020, Tennessee Democratic Representative Steve Cohen and 35 cosponsors introduced a resolution (H.Res.1032) on the House floor calling for the impeachment of Attorney General William Barr for many instances of alleged malfeasance. [47][48] Hearings on the topic on a more general fashion had already taken place.[49][50]

Earlier in the month, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler called the effort a waste of time,[51] considering the impeachment of President Trump earlier in the year (see above). However, he changed his mind. [52]

In-camera hearings were due to begin in July 2020,[53] and Barr did indeed testify before the HJC on July 28.[54]

After Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, died on September 18, 2020, several Democratic congressmembers talked about reviving proceedings as a tactic to prevent Trump from nominating a conservative successor to replace the liberal Ginsburg, slowing down the Senate's confirmation process.[55]

Other Cabinet secretariesEdit

As of July 2020, only one Cabinet Secretary, William W. Belknap, has actually been impeached. Two others resigned while impeachment proceedings were taking place.

Secretary of War William Belknap (Democrat before 1865, Republican 1865-1890)Edit

In 1876, William W. Belknap was impeached by a unanimous vote of the House of Representatives shortly after he had resigned for allegedly having received money in return for post tradership appointments.[56] Speaker of the House Michael C. Kerr wrote to the Senate that Belknap resigned "with intent to evade the proceedings of impeachment against him."[57] Belknap was tried by the Senate, which ruled by a vote of 37-29 that it had jurisdiction despite the resignation.[58] The vote on conviction fell short of the two-thirds required, with 35 to 37 votes for each article and 25 votes against each. Two of those voting for conviction, 22 of those voting for acquittal, and one who declined to vote said they felt that the Senate did not have jurisdiction due to Belknap's resignation.[59]

Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon (Republican)Edit

In January 1932,[60] Rep. Wright Patman and others introduced articles of impeachment against Andrew Mellon, with hearings before the House Judiciary Committee at the end of that month.[61] After the hearings were over, but before the scheduled vote on whether to report the articles to the full House, Mellon accepted an appointment to the post of Ambassador to the Court of St. James, and resigned, thus rendering further action on the issue moot.

Secretary of the Treasury William Woodin, Eugene Meyer, Andrew Mellon and Federal Reserve Board (All Republicans)Edit

On May 23, 1933[62] Rep. Louis Thomas McFadden introduced articles of impeachment against Eugene Meyer, Secretary of the Treasury William Woodin,[63] two former Treasury Secretaries (Andrew Mellon and Ogden L. Mills); J. F. T. O'Connor (Comptroller of Currency); John W. Pole (former Comptroller of Currency); four members and three former members of the Federal Reserve Board; twelve Federal Reserve Agents; and one former Federal Reserve Agent. There was a hearing on the subject before the House Judiciary committee, but nothing became of it.

Francis Perkins (Democrat)– Labor Secretary, James Houghteling (?)– Immigration and Naturalization Commissioner and Gerard Reilly (?)– Solicitor of the Department of LaborEdit

On January 24, 1939, Rep. J. Parnell Thomas offered an impeachment resolution against the above federal officials.[64] The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee,[65] where it died a quiet death.

Congressional conservatives were angered with Secretary Francis Perkins when she had refused to deport Harry Bridges, the head of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Bridges, an Australian longshoreman who came to America in 1920, was accused of being a Communist.

Donald Rumsfeld – Secretary of Defense of the United StatesEdit

On June 20, 2004, angered by the War in Iraq, Rep. Charles Rangel and four co-sponsors introduced H.Res 629 which sought impeachment hearings by the Judiciary Committee against Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It was referred to the HJC's subcommittee on the Constitution, where it died.

Federal Reserve BoardEdit

The three attempts to remove all or part of the Federal Reserve Board failed.

Board of Governors meeting January 1, 1922.

Lindbergh's attemptEdit

On February 12, 1917, Rep Charles Lindbergh, Sr., father of "Lucky Lindy", offered articles of impeachment against five members of the Federal Reserve Board. The articles were referred to the Judiciary Committee for investigation.[66][67] On March 3, the Judiciary Committee submitted its report, H.R. Rep. 64-1628, finding insufficient evidence to support impeachment.[68]

McFadden's attemptEdit

Rep. Louis Thomas McFadden's attempt to impeach numerous officials in May 1933[62] is detailed above.

Gonzalez's attemptEdit

On March 7, 1985, Rep. Henry Gonzalez introduced an impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 101, against Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and ten other members of the Federal Open Market Committee and H.R. Res. 102, against Volcker alone. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee.,[69] where it was never heard of again. However, not to be deterred, Gonzalez introduced the bill in each of the next two congresses, and they met the same fate.

Other officialsEdit

Henry A. Smythe – Collector, Port of New YorkEdit

On March 22, 1867, three resolutions were introduced calling for various types of action against the allegedly corrupt Henry A. Smythe. Rep. Hulburd introduced a resolution calling for the President to remove Smythe from office.[70] Mr. Stevens offered an impeachment resolution against Smythe and called upon the Committee on Public Expenditures to draft articles of impeachment.[70] Finally, Rep.Samuel Shellabarger of Ohio introduced a resolution requesting the Committee on Public Expenditures investigate Smythe's conduct.[71]

The next day, the House resumed debate over these three resolutions. A different resolution was ultimately adopted which did not call for Smythe's impeachment, but rather his immediate removal from office by the President. A copy of the resolution was sent to President Andrew Johnson,[72] who ignored it. Smythe left office in 1869 with the change in administration.

Charles Francis Adams, Ambassador to the Court of St. James, and William E. West, American Consul at DublinEdit

On December 2, 1867, Rep. William E. Robinson of New York introduced a resolution to investigate Charles Francis Adams, Sr. and William E. West, and why they hadn't tried to get some American citizens out of jail there.[73] The resolution was then referred to the Foreign Relations Committee,[74] where it died.

Oliver B. Bradford, consular clerk of the United States, assigned to Shanghai, China, and postal agent of the United States thereEdit

In a resolution introduced by Rep. William M. Springer, of Illinois, Bradford was accused of fraud, embezzlement and numerous other charges in relation to the building of a Cross China railroad. While all agreed it was criminal, it wasn't agreed whether or not the office was high enough to warrant impeachment.

George F. Seward, Minister plenipotentiary to ChinaEdit

On March 3, 1879, as part of the regular order of business was the report of the Committee on Expenditures in the State Department, Rep Springer proposed articles of impeachment against George F. Seward for bribery and theft. The articles were sent to the Judiciary committee, where they died.

Lot Wright, United States marshalEdit

On December 2, 1884 Rep. John F. Follett, of Ohio introduced a point of privilege demanding that Wright be impeached for using armed deputies to fix an election. The proposition was held to be out of order.

Clarence Chase – Collector of Customs, Port of El Paso, TexasEdit

Chase was implicated in a Senate hearing before the Committee of Public Lands and Surveys as part of the Tea Pot Dome investigations. The Senate, on March 25, 1924, adopted a resolution, S. Res. 195, referring the matter to the House of Representatives for such proceedings as might be appropriate against Chase.[75] The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee.[76] The next day, Chase resigned from office, and no further action was taken by the House.[77]

H. Snowden Marshall--U.S. District Atty., Southern District of NYEdit

On December 14, 1915. Rep. Frank Buchanan of Illinois demanded the impeachment of H. Snowden Marshall, United States District Attorney for the Southern District of New York, for alleged neglect of duty and subservience to "the great criminal trusts,"[78] The Chicago Tribune claimed it had been In an effort to stop the grand jury investigation into the activities of Labor's National Peace council.

About a month later, on Buchanan again offered a resolution, H.R. Res. 90, to investigate Marshall. This time the resolution was adopted and referred to the Judiciary Committee for further action.[79]

On January 27, 1916, the House passed a resolution, H.R. Res. 110, granting the Judiciary Committee authority to subpoena witnesses and to use a Subcommittee.[80] A few days later, a Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee was organized to take testimony. On April 5, the HJC reported its findings, H.R. Rep. No. 64-494, to the House. The Judiciary Committee recommended a Select Committee be appointed to further investigate Marshall. Rep. Kitchins offered a resolution, H.R. Res. 193, to adopt the Judiciary Committee's recommendations. The resolution passed and the Select Committee was formed.[81] The Select Committee report was read into the record on April 14.[82] The report found Marshall guilty of a breach of the privileges of the House and in contempt of the House of Representatives and recommended he be brought to the bar of the House to answer the charges.[83]

On June 20, a resolution, H.R. Res. 268, was submitted which charged Marshall with violating the privileges of the House of Representatives and calling the Speaker to issue a warrant for Marshall's arrest.[84] The resolution was adopted.[85] On June 22, the Speaker signed the warrant.[86]

When Marshall was arrested by the Sergeant at Arms on June 26, he served the Sergeant at Arms with a writ of habeas corpus.[87] The HJC voted to end the investigation on July 16. Marshall's writ eventually went to the United States Supreme Court where Chief Justice White issued the opinion of the court on April 23, 1917. The Court granted the writ and released Marshall from custody. [Marshall v. Gordon, 243 U.S. 521 (1916)].[88]

The Judiciary Committee submitted its last report, H.R. Rep. 64-1077, concerning impeachment efforts against Marshall on August 4, the report, which recommended against impeachment, was referred to the House Calendar.[89]

Phillip Forman – U.S. Attorney for District of New JerseyEdit

Fredrick Fenning – Commissioner, District of ColumbiaEdit

On April 19, 1926, articles of impeachment against Commissioner Frederick A. Fenning were read on the floor of the House, and a resolution, H.R. Res. 228, to investigate the validity of the charges was adopted. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee.[90] On May 4, 1926, the Judiciary Committee submitted a report, H.R. Rep. No. 69-1075, recommending a complete investigation.[91] A resolution adopting the committee report was passed by the House on May 6, 1926.[92]

On June 9, 1926, Mr. Rankin submitted a brief to the investigating committee supporting Fenning's impeachment.[93] Then on June 16, 1926, after Fenning answered the charges, Rankin submitted a reply brief.[94]

Two committees were involved in the impeachment investigation of Fenning. A preliminary report of a Special Subcommittee of the Committee on the District of Columbia was submitted to the House on June 30, 1926.[95] Then on July 1, the final Judiciary Committee report, H.R. Rep. No. 69-1590, was submitted to the House and later referred to the House Calendar.[96] The proceedings ended with his resignation.

Liam S. Coonan, Special Crime Strike Force Prosecutor for the United States Department of JusticeEdit

On June 17, 1975, Rep William Clay introduced an impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 547, against Liam S. Coonan, for doing something unspecified. It was sent to the HJC, where it died.

Richard Helms – Ambassador to IranEdit

On July 29, 1975, Rep Robert Drinan introduced an impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 647, against Ambassador Richard Helms for actions taken as Director of the CIA The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee.[97] When nothing happened, Fr. Drinan introduced another impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 1105, against Ambassador Helms on March 24, 1976. This resolution was also sent to the Judiciary Committee.,[98] where it also died.

Jonathan Goldstein U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, and Bruce Goldstein, principal assistant DAEdit

On Nov. 20, 1975, Rep Henry Helstoski introduced an impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 881, against the Goldsteins, for gratuitous persecution in relation to their investigation of the congressman, which had led to his indictment a month before. It was sent to the HJC, where it died.

Paul Rand Dixon, a Commissioner of the Federal Trade CommissionEdit

On February 9, 1977, Rep. Ed Koch and nine co-sponsors introduced H.R. Res. 274, against Paul Rand Dixon. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee and vanished without a trace.

Andrew Young, Ambassador to the United NationsEdit

On October 3, 1977, Rep. Lawrence P. McDonald introduced an impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 805, against Ambassador Andrew Young. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee for action.[99]

Young had met secretly for meetings, in violation of American law, with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which culminated in Carter asking for Young's resignation.[100] Jimmy Carter denied any complicity in the Andrew Young Affair.

McDonald waited until July 13, 1978, to introduce a second impeachment resolution, H.R. Res. 1267, against him, and this time the resolution was tabled on the House floor.[101]

Kenneth W. Starr, an independent counsel of the United States appointed pursuant to 28 United States Code section 593(b)Edit

On Sept.18, 1998 Rep. Alcee Hastings, who himself had been impeached and removed as a federal judge, introduced H.RES.545 impeaching Kenneth Starr, whose investigation was leading to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Two days later, the House voted to table the bill, 340–71.

Several weeks later, Hastings introduced H. RES. 582, authorizing an investigation to see whether Starr should be impeached. This was referred to the Rules committee, which buried it.

Regina McCarthy, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection AgencyEdit

On September 11, 2015, Rep Paul A. Gosar and 25 cosponsors introduced H.RES.417 Impeaching Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, for high crimes and misdemeanors. These were entirely claims of alleged perjury.[102] This was referred to the House Judiciary, where it died.

John Koskinen, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue ServiceEdit

Commissioner Koskinen.

After the Justice Department notified Congress in October 2015 that there would be no charges against Lois Lerner or anyone else in the IRS, 19 Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee led by the committee's chairman, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), filed a resolution to impeach Koskinen.[103][104] Those sponsoring the impeachment resolution to remove Koskinen from office accused him of failing to prevent the destruction of evidence in allowing the erasure of back-up tapes containing thousands of e-mails written by Lois Lerner, and of making false statements under oath to Congress.[103][104] In a statement released by the Committee, Chaffetz said Koskinen "failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled. Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress."[103][104] The IRS said on October 27 that it did not have an immediate comment on the impeachment resolution.[104] Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the committee's top Democrat, said in a statement: "This ridiculous resolution will demonstrate nothing but the Republican obsession with diving into investigative rabbit holes that waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars while having absolutely no positive impact on a single American. Calling this resolution a 'stunt' or a 'joke' would be insulting to stunts and jokes."[104]

The resolution was referred to the House Judiciary committee, who held hearings on the matter on May 23 [105][106][107] and June 22, 2016.[108][109][110] The House leadership decided not to proceed any further which led to a discharge petition, which was supposed to be acted upon in September but was delayed until after the election.[111][112] On December 6, 2016, the House voted to send the question back to the Judiciary Committee,[113] after which it was too late to do anything about it.

Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney GeneralEdit

On July 25, 2018, after several months of threats, Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan filed articles of impeachment (H.Res.1028) against Rod Rosenstein for what they say is failure to respond to congressional document demands.[114][115][116]

They were immediately sent to the House Judiciary committee. In a speech to donors, Representative Devin Nunes said they would have to wait until after the Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.[117]

While no hearings on the matter were held, the HJC mentioned the situation in its final report on the Clinton email imbroglio and the FBI's early Russia probe.[118]


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  2. ^ Presidential Fact Book, by Joseph Nathan Kane (1999), pg. 67
  3. ^ Graff (1996), p. 148 (essay by Richard P. McCormick)
  4. ^ Graff (1996), p. 115 (essay by Richard B. Latner)
  5. ^ Zeitz, Joshua. "What Democrats Can Learn From the Forgotten Impeachment of James Buchanan". POLITICO.
  6. ^ "Hinds' Precedents, Volume 3 - Chapter 64 - Function of the House in Impeachment". Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Trefousse, 1989 pages 302–3
  8. ^ "'Why We Laugh' Pro Tem". Harper's Weekly. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  9. ^ 76 Cong. Rec. 399 (1932).
  10. ^ "Louis T McFadden - Impeachment motion against Herbert Hoover". Scribd. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  11. ^ 98 Cong. Rec. 4325, 4518 (1952)
  12. ^ H.Res. 604 (82ndCong., 2ndsess.). See also "Seizure of Steel Mills," remarks in the: House, CongressionalRecord,vol.98,April 22, 1952,pp.4222,4240.
  13. ^ Lucas, Dean. "Famous Pictures Magazine – Nixon's V sign". Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  14. ^ Naughton, James M. (October 30, 1973). "Rodino Vows Fair Impeachment Inquiry". The New York Times. p. 32.
  15. ^ Naughton, James M. (October 31, 1973). "House Panel Starts Inquiry On Impeachment Question" (PDF). The New York Times. pp. 1, 30.
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