Impeachment is the act of a legislative body of charging a
member of government, usually an executive or member of the judiciary, with a
crime or misconduct in office. The act of impeachment is only an accusation, not
a judgment of guilt or a removal from office.
In the United
States, an impeachment requires a simple
majority in the House of Representatives. For the impeached official to be
removed from office, the Senate must hold trial and the official must be found
guilty by two-thirds of the members. The most prominent official to be
impeached in recent years was President Bill Clinton, who was impeached in December
1998. He was acquitted by the Senate, however, less than two months later.