He’s not down for the count just yet.
There is a lot to unpack here kiddos so buckle in.
Unless you live under a rock at the bottom of the ocean (not you Patrick Star), you must have heard the US House of Representatives has voted to impeach Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump is the 45th acting President of the United States, and just the third President in history to be impeached. Well done, Donald!
Democrats, don’t rejoice just yet. While the House has decided their stance, the trial still needs to go through the Senate before any disciplinary action can take place. There has yet to be a case where the Senate has voted to remove a President from office through impeachment.
The Senate will hold a trial discussing the articles of impeachment that have been leveled against big D Don. The articles claim that Trump solicited the aid of a foreign power to assist him politically and that he has obstructed the proceedings of congress.
The primary factor at play here is Ukraine. President Trump is being accused of withholding military aid from the country and refusing to meet with the Ukrainian President in the White House. It is put forward by the House that Mr. Trump used these points as bargaining chips to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Bidens’ son, Hunter Biden.
Joe Biden is currently running for the Democratic nomination to run in the 2020 election and is considered as one of Trump’s strongest political rival.
In addition, the White House had refused to allow its staff to give testimony during the impeachment proceedings, resulting in the obstruction of congress being leveled at the president.
It seems to be a worn-out story at this point. First Russia, now Ukraine. One has to wonder if Donald Trump would even need foreign political aid at this point. He’s done a fine job of making headlines all on his own. The man himself agrees, denying any wrongdoing and claiming the inquiry is a “witch hunt.”
Okay so that’s your story so far folks, but the impeachment process is a vague and complicated mess, so let me try my best to break it down a little more.
In the constitution, it is stated that the House has the “sole power of impeachment”. The Senate is given the honor of “the sole power to try all impeachments”. So the House brings it to the Senate, and the Senate decides what happens.
The final say rests ultimately with the Senators, but there are a few head-honchos that you need to be aware of. Republican leader Mitch McConnell, and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. These two besties will work together (as best they can) to determine the guidelines for witnesses, evidence, arguments, and duration of the trial.
Another bigshot to pay attention to is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He’s the guy that will be sitting over the entire proceedings. Although, his role is strictly to act as a tie-breaker in the event of a draw on any votes, as well as to ensure the rules dictated by the previously mentioned dynamic duo are adhered to.
A two-thirds majority is required for the conviction to pass.
The Republicans currently hold the Senate majority with a 53-47 seat total. So it’s likely that the President will be acquitted.
Interestingly, user nderjhs pointed out on Reddit, it has been suggested the House can hold back on sending the impeachment articles to the Senate. The idea is that if he gets re-elected in 2020 it can be sent at that time, giving the Democrats more time to consolidate power in the Senate.
If Trump wins again, I don’t see there being any way of getting it passed what will surely be another Republican-dominated Senate, but you never know with politicians.
So, the Senators act as Judge, Jury, and if the Democrats had their way, Executioner. But who will be representing the House during the trial?
Well, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be responsible for creating a group of impeachment managers. This will be a group of Democrats that will act as the prosecution effectively.
So this is all well and good, well not good depending on what side you fall, but how long will it take?
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (Mitch’s BFF) has offered up a tentative schedule for the trial.
It is worth pointing out that after the House presents the articles of impeachment to the Senate, they must be deliberated every day except Sunday until a decision is reached.
As suggested by Schumer, the schedule is as follows:
- 18th December – The House voted on the articles of impeachment.
- 6th January – Start of the trial in the Senate, the rules and guidelines should be in place by this time.
- 7th January – Senators swore in as jurors and the swearing-in of Chief Justice Roberts.
- 9th January – Prosecution and White House counsel have 24 hours to put forward their arguments.
So, for the time being, all we can do is bunker down and wait to see the fallout.