NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) –The city of Cambridge has passed a resolution calling for an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.
Impeachment can happen in many ways, and it is ultimately the decision of the House of Representatives. Article II section 4 of the Constitution says that a president shall be removed from office when convicted of treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. That includes breaking the law, and abusing power for personal gain.
Cambridge’s City Council voted 7-1 to ask the House of Representatives to review whether the president’s business interests violate the Constitution. A clause in the Constitution prohibits the president from profiting from foreign governments.
Northampton Attorney James Winston told 22News that he doesn’t think the Cambridge resolution makes much of a difference.
“If Trump is susceptible to getting into trouble, I think it’s going to be Congress who brings action, the Senate that brings action, but not Cambridge. It won’t have any effect on it,” Winston said.
Only two presidents have been impeached in the history of the United States. In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached over his removal of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton without the approval of Congress (something that had been required under the since-repealed Tenure of Office Act). In 1999, President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to his affair with Monica Lewinsky and a sexual harassment suit filed by Paula Jones.
There was much talk of impeachment in 1974 when the Watergate scandal involving President Richard Nixon was at its height, but Nixon resigned from office before he could be impeached.
Impeachment is voted on by the House of Representatives, but the president must be convicted in a trial in the Senate before he or she can be removed from office. Senate votes failed to remove either Johnson or Clinton.