Here's what happens now that Trump has been impeached a 2nd time by the House


U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House before departing to Fayetteville, North Carolina in Washington, U.S. September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott President Donald Trump.

Reuters

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for the second time in his presidency. 

The House passed an article impeaching Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol as Congress was counting slates of electoral votes submitted by the states. 

A mob of pro-Trump rioters descended on the US Capitol that day, forcing Congress to go into recess and members to evacuate and hide for their own safety. Five people died during the day's violence, including a US Capitol police officer who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. 

Trump was once before impeached by the House in December 2019 on charges of abusing his office and obstructing Congress before being acquitted in a Senate trial in February 2020. 

At the center of the first impeachment inquiry are Trump's efforts to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 election while withholding a nearly $400 million military-aid package to the country, which is at war with Russia. Trump also refused to grant a White House meeting to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The catalyst for the inquiry was a whistleblower complaint detailing a July 25 phone call during which Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil-and-gas company.

Multiple career diplomats and national-security officials testified that the Trump administration explicitly conditioned a lifting of the military-aid hold and a White House meeting on Zelensky publicly announcing investigations into Burisma and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US election.

Read more: GOP kicks Trump to curb after deadly Capitol insurrection, leaving president to fend for himself during his historic second impeachment

What, exactly, is impeachment?

Impeachment by the House doesn't mean automatic removal from office. When the House launches an impeachment inquiry, it's analogous to prosecutors launching an investigation into a suspect in a crime.

In Trump's case, the process of calling witnesses to testify in private sessions and gathering evidence is comparable to grand-jury proceedings, which occur behind closed doors.

House Democrats unveiling an article of impeachment against Trump this week was akin to a grand jury's decision to present criminal charges against a defendant, setting up a courtroom trial if the defendant doesn't plead guilty. In other words, the impeachment of a sitting president is politically equivalent to a criminal indictment.

The constitutional mechanism for the impeachment of a federal officer, including presidents, vice presidents, and federal judges, is laid out in Article 2, Section 4 of the US Constitution, which says "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."

Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

What will happen next?

Now that a majority of representatives voted on Wednesday to charge the president with one article of impeachment, the process moved to the Senate, which is responsible for holding a fair and impartial trial.

Both sides would present their cases to the senators, who act as jurors, while Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the hearings. In Trump's first impeachment trial, Republican leaders didn't call any witnesses. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named several impeachment managers to act as prosecutors in presenting the case for impeachment to the senators on Tuesday. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland will be the lead impeachment manager along with fellow Democrats Rep. Dianna DeGette of Colorado, Reps. Ted Lieu and Eric Swalwell of California, Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, and Del. Stacey Plaskett of the US Virgin Islands. 

The House plans to transmit the article of impeachment immediately.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the impeachment trial could begin as soon as Friday, while the Washington Post reported that McConnell won't bring the Senate back into session before January 19th, the day Trump leaves office. 

—Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 13, 2021

 

Read more: 'It was degrading': Black Capitol custodial staff talk about what it felt like to clean up the mess left by violent pro-Trump white supremacists

For Trump to be removed from office, two-thirds of the Senate - 67 members if all 100 are present - must vote to convict him. The Senate currently has 99 members, consisting of 51 Republicans and 48 Democrats after former Sen. David Perdue's term expired on January 3 before he lost a runoff race for reelection.

Incoming Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who won the dual January 5 runoff elections, and California Secretary Alex Padilla, appointed to replace Vice president-elect Kamala Harris, could be sworn in as early as January 19. 

When Harris is sworn in on January 20, Democrats will control the US Senate. And while it was unthinkable before January 6's events, 17 GOP Senators joining 50 Democrats to convict Trump is likelier than ever.  

Republican Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell is reportedly furious with Trump over the Capitol insurrection, plans to never speak to him again, and is leaning towards a vote to convict him in a potential impeachment trial to "purge" him from the party, Axios and The New York Times reported on Tuesday. 

McConnell voting to convict Trump would also give members of his caucus permission to do so if they wished.

The Senate can still vote to convict Trump after he has left office, and if they do so, they also have the option to vote by simple majority to bar him from holding a federal office ever again.

Congress has never removed a president through impeachment. Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Trump in his first impeachment were impeached by the House but all acquitted in the Senate.

If Trump is impeached but not convicted in the Senate, he will stay in office, and it will be left up to the American people to decide whether to vote him in for a second term if he runs in 2024. 

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-updates Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: [email protected] (Grace Panetta,Sonam Sheth)]


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January 13, 2021 at 12:18 PM Here's what happens if Trump is impeached a 2nd time by the House, as expected