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Michigan State University

MC 202: Presidency - Cases and Controversies (Adside)

Spring 2024

What is a Primary Source?

Primary Sources are recorded or written down at the time of the event and include items such as diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, photographs, artifacts, literature, maps and government documents.

Learn more about how to recognize and use primary sources in your research via the MSU Libraries' Special Online Exhibit: Primary Sources.

Text of the Constitution

The text of the U.S. Constitution is widely available through a variety of sources. Searching for the text of the Constitution affords a rare case in which a simple web search for "constitution" will suffice. 

The following are select sources of the text of the Constitution:

Impeachment language in the Constitution

Article I, § 2, clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Article I, § 3, clauses 6-7: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Article II, § 2, clause 1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Article II, § 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.

Article III, § 2, clause 3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

United States Constitution, available in govinfo

Extracted by Bowdoin Library and available at

Congressional Documents

For a rich compilation of court and congressional documents related to all American impeachments, please see the Bowdoin Library Guide. Some links there may point directly to their restricted library use; you can also find those resources via MSU through the links on this guide, or the Databases page.