What we know of President Trump’s impeachment and what is ahead


Anya Ciarniello

As of Dec. 18th, President Donald Trump became the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. The house passed two articles of impeachment: the president’s abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The intense partisan debate over impeachment played out for hours on the House floor in rapid-fire fashion ahead of the impeachment votes. While divided, the House of Representatives’ impeachment votes marked the culmination of a rapidly moving three-month Democratic investigation into allegations that Trump had Ukraine investigate his political rivals while withholding information from U.S. security.

The investigation included testimony from 17 officials, 12 of whom appeared in public hearings. Almost all 31 Democrats said they were compelled to vote for impeachment. Only Collin Peterson, a veteran lawmaker from a deeply red rural Minnesota district, and Jeff Van Drew, who signaled he would soon switch parties, said they were opposed to impeachment altogether. For House Democrats, the next step to prepare for the trial is to name impeachment managers who will prosecute the case in the Senate. The House voted 230-197 to charge Trump with abuse of power and 229-198 to charge him with obstruction of Congress.

Trump will continue to serve as president until the Senate hold trial to decide whether to convict him and remove him from office. As the Senate’s trial has only occurred once prior, a guide that our government will closely follow will be the Clinton impeachment trial, which allowed no new evidence and only taped witness testimony of key witnesses.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reports that she is considering withholding the articles of impeachment from going to the Senate immediately, which could delay the trial. The Senate is currently held by the Republican party. CNN reported Pelosi told reporters that she was waiting for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to cut a deal first on the rules that would govern the Senate trial before she sends over the articles. Pelosi also states that she will not be naming House managers until she saw the parameters of the Senate trial and if it is fair. McConnell told Republican senators at a policy lunch Tuesday, Dec. 17 that he will announce by the end of the week the date for the start of the Senate trial, according to sources. Democrats anticipate for the trial to begin as soon as the new year begins on Jan. 6.


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Wikimedia/ Gage Skidmore