by David L. Goetsch
What happens when an elected American president lets the power of the office go to his head and begins to ignore the Constitution and rule in the manner of a dictator? The answer, of course, is that the U.S. House of Representatives is empowered by the Constitution to impeach such a president, and the U.S. Senate is empowered to convict him. On the impeachment side of the Constitutional equation, Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House, though not convicted by the Senate. President Nixon resigned before the House could impeach him because he knew the Senate had the votes to convict him. Impeachment is a Constitutional tool that has been used by the House of Representatives to rein in out-of-control presidents.
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