Donald J. Trump IMPEACHED!!! What does that mean?
Yes, it has happened. Donald J. Trump is now the 3rd President in United States history to be impeached. Sad to say, however, this doesn’t mean he is packing his bags right now ready to leave office. There is a real possibility that he could stay.
Donald Trump, out of all United States Presidents, is only the third to be impeachment. Therefore, it is understandable that many people are unclear on how an impeachment process looks. Impeachment has multiple steps so we decided to make a guide to help you understand.
Step 1: Initiation
This is when a formal impeachment investigation is announced.
Step 2: Closed-door Testimony
Committee leaders from the House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs Committees conduct closed-door testimonies. They issue subpoenas and start taking depositions.
Step 3: House Vote on Impeachment Rules
This is where the House establishes the guidelines of the impeachment investigation.
Step 4: Intelligence Committee Hold a Public Hearing
An open hearing is held where the lead of the Intelligence Committee and the top representative of the Republican panel get 45 minutes to question the witnesses. The individuals in the panel then receive 5 minutes each to question the witnesses.
Step 5: The Intelligence Committee Gives Their Report
The Intelligence Committee then writes a report of their findings and submits it to the Judiciary Committee and becomes open for the public.
Step 6: The Judiciary Committee Conducts Hearings
The Judiciary Committee then holds two separate hearings. The first hearing is to decide if the grounds for impeachment are valid by having legal scholars explain the charges against the President. That is to say, they get experts to confirm that charges against Trump are valid. The second hearing is for the Intelligence Committee to present their findings. Trump and his administration were invited to attend but declined.
Step 7: Bring Forward the Articles of Impeachment
The Judiciary Committee released the Articles of Impeachment. Essentially they are presenting him the charges that are against him. Trump has been charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Step 8: Revision of the Articles of Impeachment
The Judiciary Committee hold a 2-day review where they go through the articles and make the necessary changes that are necessary. Once everything is agreed upon, it is presented to the House.
Step 9: Debate in the House
The House Rules Committee makes the rules of the hearing clear as the Judiciary Committee present the Articles of Impeachment. For Trump, the House agreed upon 6 hours for debate.
Step 10: House Makes Their Vote
The House then makes their vote. Only one Article needs to pass to proceed with the Impeachment. Trump’s first charge, Abuse of Power, passed with 230 votes in favor and 197 votes against. Trump’s second charge, Obstruction of Congress, passed with 229 votes in favor and 198 against.
Step 11: House Appoints Managers
The House then creates Managers. These Managers are appointed by the House and their job is to act as prosecutors as the trial proceeds to the Senate. It will be the job of the Managers to present the passed Articles this to the Senate, whose role is the jury.
Step 12: Preparing for Trial
The Chief of Justice is sworn in to moderate the trial and then swears in members of the Senate as the Jury. This does not always happen, but they might discuss the parameters of the trial.
Step 13: Issue Summons to the President
The Senate will now require that the President address the Articles of Impeachment in a certain timeframe. The president can then either respond, but in the case that he doesn’t, they will take that as a plea of not guilty.
Step 14: TRIAL TIME
The trial is commenced. At any point in the duration of the trial, any of the members of the Senate have the power to dismiss the charges. A majority vote is all that is needed for dismissal.
The trial goes in this order:
- Managers and the President’s attorney state their case
Questioning from Senators
- Senators have a chance to present their questions to any side of the trial
Presentation of Evidence
- Any evidence that is gathered is now being presented and open to cross-examination. They can either limit or expand the amount of evidence that is allowed and that is determined by the Senate.
- Both sides make their final statements to the Senate. Only 2 people from both sides can speak.
Step 15: Wait for them to Deliberate
This is where we as the American people have to just wait for them to come to a decision.
Step 16: Senate Makes Their Vote
The Senate makes their vote on each article separately. This is the only point where more than a majority is required. There needs to be a ⅔ vote to convict. The Senate is made up of 45 Democrats and 53 Republicans. Not to be pessimistic, but this is likely going to go in favor of Trump.
If the vote fails then Trump will be acquitted and remain President. If it’s passed THEN he will be removed from office.
Step 17: What’s Next
In the case that Trump is removed from President what will happen next?
The Senate can then vote if Trump will be allowed to run for President in the future or not.
Mike Pence will then take the seat of President. Many have been arguing that he could be worse than Trump.
There will be a shift in this country that many have been speculating but honestly, we won’t know until the time comes.
Stay tuned! We’ll keep you all up to date on what’s going on
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