Trump’s impeachment: what it means and what’s next


Erica Schindler

On Dec. 18, President Donald Trump was impeached by the United States House of Representatives. The House passed two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of congress.
The votes for each article fell nearly entirely on party lines with almost all Democrats voting to pass the articles and all Republicans voting against them. The charge of abuse of power was passed with a 230-197 vote and the charge of obstruction of congress passed with a 229-198 vote.
Before the impeachment votes took place, Democrats and Republicans in the House debated the articles of impeachment. This lasted for hours as members each made short speeches to argue for or against the articles. During this process, Trump held a campaign rally where he called for unity in the Republican Party.
After the articles were passed, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said that this was a sad day for the country.
Now that two articles of impeachment have been approved by the House of Representatives, they will be sent over to the Senate where a trial will take place. Pelosi will select “impeachment managers” who will act as prosecutors arguing their case against Trump in the Senate.
Senators will decide the rules for the trial. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that he wants witnesses to be called, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not.
Senators will act as jurors to ultimately decide whether to convict the president on one or both counts and remove him from office or to acquit him of the charges. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial.
The trial will likely take place starting in January and can take up to six weeks. The next steps in the impeachment process will be closely watched by many, but it is unlikely that Trump will be removed from office; the Senate has a Republican majority and a “super-majority” of two thirds of the Senate is needed to convict him. The other two presidents to be impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were acquitted in the Senate.