If an impeached President (but not one removed from office) is elected for a second term, can they be impeached again during their second term if the House decides they committed new impeachable offenses? If not, is a previously impeached President more or less 'immune' to repercussions for further misconduct?

Does the boundary between terms matter, or could a President theoretically be impeached twice in the same term?

Is there any case of this happening for another office?

  • 27
    POTUS is one of (the?) only elected impeachable office holders, so there's no precedent.He can be impeached every day for the same thing, or for something he did before he even took office, or for wearing a tan suit. whatever half+1 of the house decides a "high crime" is.
    – dandavis
    Dec 12, 2019 at 21:42
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    Upvote for the tan suit controversy ;-)
    – Mawg
    Dec 13, 2019 at 10:34
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    @dandavis: The Vice President can also be impeached, but that's it for federal elected officials. The Constitution says that the "President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States" can be impeached. The Senate concluded in 1797 (!) that members of congress are not "civil officers" under this definition; if a member of congress behaves badly, the "proper" remedy is expulsion. Dec 13, 2019 at 15:48
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    And, of course, no Vice President has ever been impeached, so that doesn't help with precedent. Dec 13, 2019 at 15:52
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    Supreme Court justices are civil officers and impeachment is the remedy for a rogue one of those. Dec 13, 2019 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


A president can be impeached as many times as the House would like. The House could impeach the president multiple times in the same term if they wanted to. They could impeach on the same charges each time if they wanted to.

Impeachment isn't a criminal charge so things like double-jeopardy aren't a consideration. The only consideration is practical and political. If the House impeached on one set of grounds and the Senate declined to convict, it makes little sense to impeach again unless you have significantly different grounds, significantly more evidence, a significantly different Senate, or a significantly different popular sentiment that would make the old Senate reconsider their previous judgement. Politically, impeachment already carries a significant risk of blowback which would only increase for a second or third impeachment.

I don't believe any officials have ever been impeached by the House, acquitted by the Senate, and then re-impeached by the House.

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    @Aetherfox it requires the Senate to consider the articles of impeachment, which implies the possibility of the impeached party's removal from office. Whether that possibility is so remote as to be meaningless will be a matter of opinion, but sending the articles to the Senate will certainly have some political implications. Whether those implications work in any given party's favor will vary, depending on many factors.
    – phoog
    Dec 12, 2019 at 22:10
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    @Aetherfox - It's the difference between the House saying "That was wrong" and "We want this guy out of office". Even if the practical effect is the same either way (if the Senate won't remove), it's still the most severe step the Constitution allows for the House to take.
    – Bobson
    Dec 13, 2019 at 0:07
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    I think @jamesqf’s example should read ‘will vote by the new party lines’ ;)
    – Jan
    Dec 13, 2019 at 4:19
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    @Jan: Possibly, but not necessarily. In the current situation, primary elections could replace the current crop of brainwashed-by-Trump Republicans, who then go on to win the seats and vote according to evidence. (Though I'm not holding my breath :-()
    – jamesqf
    Dec 13, 2019 at 17:50
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    @TheGreatDuck Sexual harassment can be a crime in some cases, though this was a civil suit brought by Paula Jones, not a criminal one. The crimes were perjury and obstruction of justice in regards to the civil suit brought by Jones. Trying to cast the impeachment as an attempt to enforce morality was just a (largely successful) diversionary tactic used by Clinton and the Democrats. The impeachment was for perjury and obstruction of justice, not his affair with an intern.
    – reirab
    Dec 16, 2019 at 1:57

Impeachment probably isn't 'jeopardy' for Double Jeopardy purposes

The Fifth Amendment reads, in relevant part: [N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb...

"Of life or limb" is interpreted broadly to mean any criminal charge. Which impeachment is not. If convicted of a crime, you might suffer a wide variety of possible criminal penalties, from execution all the way down to community service or a fine.

But none of those are at issue if you are convicted in an impeachment. The only two possible results of being impeached, and then convicted, are removal from office and/or being barred from holding any office in the future. Being fired, in essence. That's not a criminal penalty.

Practical concerns make it unlikely for impeachment to be repeated, but there's nothing stopping the House from deciding it didn't like the way the Senate tried the case, then impeaching the president again on the exact same charge. It would be unwise, but not illegal.

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    It might not even be politically unwise...because it’s a political act and whether it is good or bad will be based upon whether it gets them re-elected.
    – jmoreno
    Dec 15, 2019 at 1:55
  • I like the comparison to being fired. It's for the same reason that if your boss decides to be lenient (for whatever reason) and then gets replaced, that new boss could retroactively decide to fire you for that past action. Depending on the company that might be against the rules, but nothing practical says they can't or shouldn't do that.
    – user64742
    Dec 15, 2019 at 21:50

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