Donald Trump is one of only three presidents in the history of the Unites States who has been impeached.
To help clarify the process, here are six points to consider:
1. The Impeachment Charges That Were Laid Against Trump
The charges against Trump that the House voted on were that he had abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress.
The charge of abuse of power stemmed from an alleged attempt by Trump to pressure Ukraine to make an announcement about investigations into Joe Biden, a Democratic political rival.
The charge of obstruction of Congress came about when Trump allegedly refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry by withholding evidence and barring his aides from testifying or giving evidence.
2. How the Voting Played Out
There were ten hours of partisan debate around the two impeachment charges laid on Republican Trump.
The voting stuck to party lines, with very few exceptions. Most of the Democrats voted to impeach and most of the Republicans voted to not impeach, but because the House majority is Democrat, their vote carried and Trump was impeached.
The vote for abuse of power passed by 230 votes to 197, obstruction of Congress passed by 229-198.
3. What Impeachment Will Mean
The process moves on to a trial in the Senate to determine if there will be a removal from office.
The voting is expected to be partisan again. This time the Republicans are the majority so it unlikely that Trump will be removed.
4. Articles of Impeachment Go to the Senate
In order for the process to go forward, articles of impeachment go to the Senate for a vote. The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has indicated there might be a delay in sending the articles, because she has concerns that the trial may not be done properly and fairly. Holding the articles is a way to bargain on the terms of the proceedings.
This delay means that it is not currently known when the Senate trial will begin, meaning Trump won’t be getting what he expects to be an acquittal.
5. Fairness is an Issue for Both Sides
Democrat Pelosi has stated that she will not send the articles of impeachment until she knows that what the Senate will be doing is fair and will not name who will present the case for impeachment in the Senate until this is resolved.
Republicans have questioned her tactics.
It is the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who decides what the rules will be and which witnesses will testify, and Pelosi is seeking terms that she feels are fair.
Republican McConnell has said that Republic senators, the majority in the Senate, would act in “total co-ordination” with Trump’s counsel during the trail, which indicates that he doesn’t intend for the senators to be impartial jurors, which they have sworn to be.
6. Trump’s Reaction
While the impeachment votes were happening, Trump was in a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he accused the “radical left in Congress” of being “consumed with envy and hatred and rage.”