Bill Clinton was impeached but not from office. What is the difference. If let’s say our president Trump was impeached and taking out of office. Would vice president Mike Pence take over or does the whole Trump administration and Mike Pence have to leave the White House. What if Trump knew about Russia interfering with the 2016 election would Hillary Clinton be our president because she was supposed to win?

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    So many wrong assumptions in this question. If the crime occurred in 2016, it would be president Obama who would be on the hook since he was President. The Russian interference was just that, not one vote changed as a result of the "interference" so why would the result of the election change? However, the inference that is illustrated in the question is very wide spread. People actually believe that the Russians did something that changed votes so Trump's presidency and all his acts are void. During the Mueller indictment announcement and Obama said "Not one vote was changed" Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 13:14

2 Answers 2


Impeachment is a two-stage process.

First the House of Representatives votes on Articles of Impeachment. That's a bit like a prosecutor filing charges, except that it is a more political process. If there are Articles of Impeachment against an official, that official is said to be impeached.

Next the Senate holds a trial based on the Articles of Impeachment. A two-thirds majority is required to remove the impeached official from office.

If the President is removed from office, the Vice President takes over.


Formally, Articles of Impeachment were issued against President Clinton by the House of Representatives. This is analogous to an indictment in criminal law. The next step in the process is for the Senate to try the defendant and either convict or acquit them of charges - in President Clinton's case, the articles filed were for perjury and obstruction of justice. The Senate acquitted him of both charges (their rules required a 2/3 vote, the votes were for/against 45/55 for the first charge and 50/50 for the second).

The defendant in an impeachment trial is not removed from office until they are convicted of at least one of the articles of impeachment - this means that in effect, the Senate is not so only deciding whether they did or did not do what the Article accuses them of, but also whether the charge is worthy of removal from office. In the case of the President, the 25th Amendment specifically stipulates that the Vice President takes office when the President is removed from office.

While in practice the Senate runs impeachment cases with similar, albeit looser, rules to a regular criminal trial (similar to an arbitration), they are not bound to do this - the only constitutional requirements are that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court preside over the trial, that the senators sitting "be on Oath or Affirmation" (which appears to just mean the standard oath to uphold the Constitution), and that a 2/3 vote is the threshold for conviction. This means that the Senate could choose to hold an expedited trial in the case that they felt the person impeached needed to be removed from office immediately, where they simply hear the charges and vote. It's doubtful this would ever happen though since it carries a significant risk of senators voting against conviction due to lack of evidence on the record; if the charges were serious enough it's more likely that upon issue of the Articles of Impeachment, the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet would issue a 25th Amendment proclamation that the President is unable to perform the duties of his office, which would in total give the Senate 25 days (27 if they were not in session when it was issued) to deliberate both issues. Clinton's impeachment trial lasted from January 9, 1999 to February 12, 1999, 32 days, so 25 should be enough time for a mostly full trial.


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