5

For as long as I can remember impeachment was something you did to a president. Mayorkas' impeachment came as a surprise. Assuming President Biden was so inclined, could he pardon Mayorkas? Would that save his job?

5
  • 15
    Note that Mayorkas only loses his job if two thirds of the Senate vote to convict him. Politically, the odds of that seem... low. Feb 3 at 4:49
  • 9
    Historically, most impeachments have been against Federal judges. Feb 3 at 16:17
  • 1
    Theoretically, a President could re-appoint a convicted cabinet member back to their position. This would require a previously 2/3-opposed Senate to change their votes to 1/2 in favor of confirmation. It's quite unlikely, but theoretically possible, especially if the composition of the Senate changed with an intervening election.
    – DrSheldon
    Feb 4 at 17:48
  • 2
    @DrSheldon that's true unless the Senate barred them from holding office in the future, which only takes a simple majority in a second vote after the conviction.
    – Someone
    Feb 4 at 18:07
  • 2
    If you think impeachment is only something done to a president, you should read what the Constitution of the United States says about it. Several (three?) federal judges have been removed from office via conviction by the Senate after impeachment by the House of Representatives. Feb 5 at 6:10

2 Answers 2

26

No. The relevant law is the Presidential Pardon Clause of Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. This clause is the source of the President's power to pardon. It says, (emphasis added)

The President... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The president's power to pardon does not extend to impeachments.

As Tiger Guy mentioned in his answer, any civil officer of the United States can be impeached. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says,

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.

Presidential impeachments are quite rare; as noted by RBarryYoung in a comment on the question, most impeachments have involved federal judges. To date, according to Wikipedia, there have been 21 impeachments: fifteen judges, three presidents (four impeachments, as Trump was impeached twice), one Cabinet secretary, and one Senator. All eight convictions by the Senate have involved judges; four impeachments were not tried because the official left office prior to the trial, and eight officials (twice for Trump) have been acquitted.

2
  • Might add in three impeachment resolutions against vice-presidents and another two where the vice-president requested impeachment hearings.
    – doneal24
    Feb 5 at 21:03
  • @doneal24 I think in those cases, the House never voted to impeach? I'm only counting cases where the House actually passed the articles of impeachment (thus Nixon doesn't count either).
    – Someone
    Feb 5 at 21:35
12

You have remembered impeachment incorrectly.

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.

As regards to a pardon,

Section 2: The President... shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .