How impeachment tests our checks and balances

No president has been removed through impeachment. This is how Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached but avoided conviction.

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The House Judiciary Committee reconvenes Thursday at 9 a.m. to decide whether articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump should be forwarded to the full chamber for a vote as early as next week.

With 24 Democrats and 17 Republicans, the panel is expected to approve both articles – abuse of power and obstruction of congress – which relate to Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating political rival Joe Biden. But Republicans are expected to offer a number of amendments that could take most of the day to sort through.

Committee debate on the articles began at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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If the panel adopts one or both articles, Trump would join Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as the only presidents who faced specific charges over alleged misconduct. Johnson and Clinton were impeached while Nixon resigned before the House held a vote.

The full House would then vote as early as next week on whether to impeach Trump. If approved, the Senate would hold a trial in early 2020, to decide whether to remove the president from office. If two-thirds of the Senate, or 67 senators, vote to convict, Trump would be removed and Vice President Mike Pence would become commander in chief.

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