What are the respective roles of the House and Senate during an impeachment proceeding?
ANSWER PERSON RESPONDS: Basically, the House impeaches, but removal from office occurs after the Senate tries and convicts (with a 2/3 majority vote for conviction). Who can be impeached is in the U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 4: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The duties of the House of Representatives are mentioned in Article I, section 2: “[The House of Representatives] shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” The Senate’s duties are mentioned in Article 1, Section 3: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” This derives from earlier English practice, with the lower chamber impeaching and the upper chamber trying the impeached person.
There is a vast literature on this subject. See, for instance, this guide from the Library of Congress (LC): http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/Impeachment-Guide.html or this from Congress’s Thomas web site: http://thomas.loc.gov/tfaqs/tfaq17.html . Here’s a nice summary document from LC’s Congressional Research Service, available from the website of the US embassy in Columbia!: http://usembassy.state.gov/bogota/wwwsimpe.shtml You can also search the library’s catalog under subject headings that begin with “impeachments–united states.”