WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- For the second time, President Donald Trump was impeached in the House, with a vote of 232-197.
- The Senate will set a trial which will be presided by the Chief Justice. Senators will also vote whether to acquit or convict the president.
- It would be interesting to watch the trial as Democrats will now take control of the Senate.
President Donald Trump has been impeached by the House for the second time. He was the first US president who faced impeachment twice.
Impeachment is a two-way process involving the House and the Senate.
The House is the one that initiates and passes the articles of impeachment. The passage simply requires a majority vote, as the House decided 232-197 in favor of impeaching Trump.
The case will now be brought to the Senate, where legislators would also put a vote to decide Trump’s fate.
Based on Article 1, Section 3 of the US Constitution: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.”
The trial is not yet scheduled as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that his colleagues in the Senate won’t go back until January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden formally takes oath.
To impeach Trump, the Senate is required to vote at least 2/3 (around 66-67 percent) of those who will be present in the proceedings. Assuming all 100 senators are present, 67 votes are needed in order to convict the president.
If the two newly elected Democratic senators ━ Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ━ would seat in the Senate, 66 votes would be required to impeach Trump. The impeachment would be expected to yield a vote largely by party line, but there are reports that some GOP senators would push through the ouster of Trump, including McConnell.
During Trump’s first impeachment early last year, Sen. Mitt Romney (UH.) was the lone Republican lawmaker who voted to convict him.
It would be interesting to track the trial in the Senate especially now that Democrats would soon take over the majority. It would also be entertaining to watch who among Trump’s fellow GOPs would continue to support him and those that will vote to remove him from the White House.
Aside from the impeachment, Senators will also need to prepare for confirmation hearings of Biden’s nominees for his Cabinet.
Calls for impeachment against Trump came following last week’s Capitol siege, where he urged his supporters to march to the legislative house as the Electoral College votes are being tallied. As pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, they ended up squabbling with the police resulting in five deaths.