Trump Has Been Impeached By The House. Here’s What Happens Next.
Wednesday night's vote was historic, but a Republican-controlled Senate has the final say.
December 19, 2019 at 3:33 pm
President Donald Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached on Wednesday night.
CNN reports the House of Representatives voted on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The former was for a phone call with Ukraine in which he used his presidential status to gain information and the latter for non-cooperation in his impeachment inquiry.
But Wednesday's historic and highly partisan vote (CBS News reports all voting House Republicans voted against his impeachment on both articles) was just one advancement in the president's impeachment process. Next, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate will decide whether the 45th president should be removed from office. But a few steps are to be had before the articles move on to the Senate.
CNN reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not definitively state that the impeachment would progress to the Senate.
"That would have been our intention, but we'll see what happens over there," Pelosi said at a news conference.
The House also has to decide who will oversee the Senate trial as impeachment managers. Ideally, the articles would have been sent Wednesday night.
"We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side, and we hope that will be soon," Pelosi said. "So far we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us, so hopefully it will be fair."
Al Jazeera reports that a delay in sending the articles could allow for an advantage for the Democrats in regards to the establishment of trial procedures.
When the articles are sent over to Senate, the other half of the U.S. Congress must act right away and inform the House when its impeachment managers can present the information to them.
Although it remains unclear as to when the articles will be sent to the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the trial is likely to take place in early January according to CBS.
Once the impeachment procedures do progress to the Senate, for Trump to be effectively removed from office, two-thirds of the Senate will have to vote in favor of his impeachment.
Currently, U.S. Senate seats are occupied by 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two Independents. Given the party makeup of the Senate and considering last night's votes took place almost exactly along partisan lines, Trump will likely finish out his presidential term.
With his impeachment, Trump follows in the footsteps of 17th U.S. president Andrew Johnson and 42nd president Bill Clinton. Neither of those impeachments led to their ousting from the Oval Office. Richard Nixon, the 37th U.S. president, who faced impeachment, resigned before the House could vote.