How Impeaching Trump Would Work

WASHINGTON — Today, between 9 am and 10 am CST, Congressman Al Green called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump on the floor Congress, making the “I” word not just talk, but mainstream news.

Hold on, Donald Trump was just elected into office hardly six months ago. Isn’t it too soon for impeachment? According to the U.S. Constitution, “The House of Representatives… shall have the sole Power of Impeachment,” and “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” It never speaks about the length of a presidency that must be reached before impeachment is considered.

However, it’s a long road to go if Trump were to ever be impeached.

This is how the impeachment of President Donald Trump would play out.

The House Judiciary Committee first must investigate the charges being brought against the President that makes him/her eligible for impeachment prior to any vote being entertained in the House of Representatives. The focus of this examination is to conclude if the President is guilty of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. If the Committee determines that grounds for impeachment exist, then it is sent to the full House for a vote.

In order to bring a matter to the Congressional floor and for the vote to be held, it has to be scheduled by the majority party, which is currently the Republicans. So even if it is brought to the floor, the House needs a majority vote to impeach a president instead of two-thirds or three-fourths. The breakdown in the House is 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. So in order for the consideration of impeachment to be sent to the Senate for trial, 18 Republicans would need to vote with the Democrats, assuming all vote to impeach. This may not be as hard as it seems; in fact, Rep. Justin Amash became the first congressional Republican to declare that the allegations towards President Trump concerning the situation with former FBI Director James Comey are grounds for impeachment. This, along with the controversy surrounding the President’s meeting with Russian’s Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States, may very well serve as a rationale for impeachment.

This may not be as hard as it seems; in fact, Rep. Justin Amash became the first congressional Republican to declare that the allegations towards President Trump concerning the situation with former FBI Director James Comey are grounds for impeachment. This, along with the controversy surrounding the President’s meeting with Russian’s Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States, may very well serve as a rationale for impeachment.

If the call for impeachment passes the floor of the House, it is then sent to the Senate for a trial. The Senate is either represented by a committee or the full Senate as a jury. The prosecution is represented by managers of the House, and the President’s lawyers are the defense on behalf of the President; the President himself does not have to be present. Testimony and evidence can be presented. The Senate determine inquiries of competency, relevancy, and materiality. In order to convict, a two-thirds majority is required. In the Senate, there are 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents that are said to lean towards the left. The general breakdown is 52-48. Presuming all the Democrats and Independents vote yes, 18 Republicans would have to vote for impeachment in order to have that two-thirds majority. Upon such conviction of any amount of articles brought against the President, they are removed from the office, leaving the Vice President to succeed said office. The Senate may subsequently vote on the banning of said President from being trusted of holding any public office. If this option is sought, only a majority vote is required rather than the two-thirds.

In the Senate, there are 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents that are said to lean towards the left. The general breakdown is 52-48. Presuming all the Democrats and Independents vote yes, 18 Republicans would have to vote for impeachment in order to have that two-thirds majority. Upon such conviction of any amount of articles brought against the President, they are removed from the office, leaving the Vice President to succeed said office. The Senate may subsequently vote on the banning of said President from being trusted of holding any public office. If this option is sought, only a majority vote is required rather than the two-thirds.

Even if President Trump manages to be convicted, the aftermath is not much better: Vice President Michael Pence would become President of the United States, who is known for his prejudiced homophobic comments and views, his strong conviction against abortion and his laws demonstrating such views.

The impeachment and removal of President Trump, although plausible, is not a likely possibility. No President has ever been officially removed from office, even though two have been impeached–Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998-99 (Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be considered for impeachment). Although he is not very popular, President Trump is here to stay for the time being.

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Megan Rose Dickey
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Megan Rose is currently sixteen years old, and she was born in Alabama, US, but raised in Nashville, Tennessee of the United States. Her passions include intersectional feminism, #lovewins, racial equality, and politics. She loves speaking for those who can't speak for themselves (like pups!) and educating others on her passions. While writing for Affinity Magazine, she writes for her local magazine called Williamson Living and creates fictitious novels and poetry.

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