Thursday, January 10, 2019

Think you know impeachment? Take our quiz -- Jan. 10, 2019 column


New Democratic House members are prodding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get on with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. But Pelosi and other seasoned Democratic leaders have put the brakes on such talk, saying they need to wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to present his findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

For his part, Trump says he can’t be impeached because he’s doing a good job. He tweeted Jan. 4: “They only want to impeach me because they know they can’t win in 2020, too much success!”

So what exactly does impeachment entail? Test your knowledge with our quiz. Answers are below.   

1       1 Under the Constitution, who can be impeached?
A.      Only the president
B.      Only the president and vice president
C.      The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States

2       2  Which of these are causes for impeachment and removal from office as set forth in the Constitution?
A.      Repeated lies and criminal behavior
B.      Treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors
C.      Collusion with a foreign entity  

3       3 What happens in the House during impeachment proceedings?
A.      The House brings formal charges of malfeasance
B.      The House has a trial  
C.      The House has the power to remove the president from office
D.      All of the above

4       4 What is the Senate’s role in impeachment?
A.      The Senate rubberstamps the House’s verdict
B.      The Senate conducts a trial with House members as prosecutors
C.      Only the Senate has the power to remove the president from office
D.      B and C 
5          5 Which two presidents have been impeached?
A.      Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton
B.      Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton
C.      Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton  

6      6 Which president was impeached and removed from office?
A.      Andrew Johnson
B.      Bill Clinton
C.      Richard Nixon
D.      None

7       7 Who is next in line to be president after the president and vice president?
A.      Speaker of the House
B.      Secretary of State
C.      President Pro Tempore of the Senate
D.      Congress would elect the president

8       8   What vote is required in the House to impeach a president?
A.      Simple majority
B.      Two-thirds

9      9 What vote is required in the Senate to remove a president?
A.      Simple majority
B.      Two-thirds

1      10 Who presides over an impeachment trial in the Senate?
A.      The senator with the most seniority
B.      The Supreme Court justice selected by other justices
C.      Chief Justice of the United States

1      11 How did impeachment affect President Bill Clinton’s job approval ratings?
A.      His ratings plummeted to the lowest level of his presidency
B.      His ratings jumped to the highest level of his presidency

1      12 How did Republican impeachment proceedings against Clinton affect the approval ratings of Republicans?
A.      The approval rating of the Republican Party jumped 10 percent
B.      The Republican approval rating plummeted 10 percent

1)      C – Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution
2)      B – The Constitution doesn’t define “high crimes and misdemeanors,” leaving it to  Congress.
3)      A -- The House’s role is to bring the charges.
4)      D – The Senate holds a trial and has sole power to remove from office.
5)      A – Nixon resigned after the House drew up articles of impeachment but before he would have been impeached.  
6)      D – No presidents have been removed from office.
7)      A – Yes, Nancy Pelosi would be next in line if President Trump and Vice President Pence were unable to serve.
8)      A
9)      B
10)   C
11)   B – After the House approved two articles of impeachment against Clinton for lying under oath and obstructing justice in December 1998, his approval rating jumped 10 points to 73 percent, even though most people thought he had lied and was less honest and trustworthy, a Gallup poll found.
12)  B – Gallup found less than one-third of the country had a favorable view of the GOP.

SOURCES:,, National Archives, Library of Congress,

© 2019 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.

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