If a president is impeached, convicted and removed, what comes next?

Is there a general election? Does it go to the former-president's VP? And what happens to his or her appointments and administration?

Summary:

There won't be a general election. The succession will continue to follow the line of succession as established in the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Regarding the cabinet appointments, the new President can choose to replace or retain the officials in the previous cabinet. This happened before when Nixon resigned and his successor Ford replaced most of Nixon's cabinet members.


The reason that the VP succeeds the President is that only the President is impeached and convicted. The impeachment does not include the Vice-President or his cabinet officials.

The Twenty-fifth Amendment states that "In case of the removal of the President", the Vice-President would succeed him/her.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution states:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.


Section 1 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Note: The Twenty-fifth Amendment supersedes the wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution as it does not explicitly state whether the Vice-President becomes an Acting President or would succeed the President.

  • 2
    Good answer. In theory the VP can also be impeached, which would require a separate trial and conviction. The next in line would then be the Speaker of the House of Representatives, currently Paul Ryan. – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 14 '17 at 11:11
  • "the new President can choose to replace or retain the officials in the previous cabinet." Well, they can nominate people to replace the previous officials. But the Senate has to confirm the nominations. – Acccumulation Aug 6 at 22:19
  • It should be pointed out that Ford himself was appointed to replace Spiro Agnew, who resigned for reasons unrelated to Watergate. At the time, both houses were controlled by the Democrats, and the House Speaker gave Nixon a list of potential Republic VPs he would back Nixon on to appoint to VP. At the time, impeachment documents were being drawn up in the House and the Speaker did not want to make them look like a coup to take over the White House and risk losing support for the Impeachment. – hszmv Aug 8 at 17:56

U.S. Constitution - Article 2 Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The US Constitution says differently. All civil officers including the Vice President all go. The next in line would be the Speaker of the house, Paul Ryan (ugh) Why are you saying otherwise?

  • 5
    You have misunderstood this article of the Constitution. In order for the President, the VP, or any other civil officer to be removed by impeachment, he or she must be individually tried and convicted. There are historic examples of judges, cabinet ministers, and other officials besides the President being impeached. – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 14 '17 at 11:07
  • 3
    Bandit is correct, the method for removing anyone with one of those titles or categories all fall under this process, but that doesn't mean everyone in the administration goes on trial, collectively, if one does. – PoloHoleSet Jul 14 '17 at 13:45

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