Impeach

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Impeach

To accuse; to charge a liability upon; to sue. To dispute, disparage, deny, or contradict; as in to impeach a judgment or decree, or impeach a witness; or as used in the rule that a jury cannot impeach its verdict. To proceed against a public officer for crime or misfeasance, before a proper court, by the presentation of a written accusation called Articles of Impeachment.

In the law of evidence, the testimony of a witness is impeached by earlier statements that the witness has made if they are inconsistent with the statements to which the witness testifies.

impeach

v. 1) to attempt to prove that a witness has not told the truth or has been inconsistent, by introducing contrary evidence, including statements made outside of the courtroom in depositions or in statements of the witness heard by another. 2) to charge a public official with a public crime for which the punishment is removal from office. One President, Andrew Johnson in 1868, was charged with violation of federal laws in a politically-motivated impeachment, but was acquitted by the margin of one vote in a trial held by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 rather than face impending impeachment charges brought by the House of Representatives in the Watergate affair, in which he obstructed the investigation and lied to Congress about his participation. Several federal judges have been impeached and nine have been found guilty by the Senate.