Donald John Trump has become the third president in American history to be impeached, after the House of Representatives – the lower chamber of Congress, the country’s legislature – voted to impeach him on two articles of impeachment. The vote, which broke down on party lines, saw nearly all House Democrats vote for, and all House Republicans voting against. The only dissenters were Democrat Jeff Van Drew, who will be changing his party affiliation following the vote, Democrat Collin Peterson, one of the most conservative members of the Democratic Party, Democrat Jared Golden, who voted yes on the first article and no to the second, and presidential candidate and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who voted present on both articles.
The impeachment process does not end conclusively with this vote – the process as laid out in the U.S. constitution will now see a shift into the third stage – a trial in the U.S. Senate, the higher chamber of Congress. However, Trump is expected to be cleared by the Senate, as it, unlike the House of Representatives, is currently controlled by the Republican Party, who have been staunch supporters of the impeached president.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been quoted as saying that he is not “an impartial juror” and has consistently called the impeachment process a“political process.” The newly impeached President Trump, who was on the campaign trail at a rally in Michigan, immediately launched into a tirade of insults against the Democratic party and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi on hearing the news.
Trump repeatedly claimed on stage that “there was no crime, it’s the only impeachment in history with no crime,” – though his statement is contradicted by reams of evidence and witness testimony to the fact that he did put pressure on Ukrainian president Zelenskyy to investigate his likely 2020 re-election opponent, Joe Biden.
Regardless of Republican opposition, U.S. Democrats seem set on pushing through the trial to the Senate. However, chances seem slim for Trump to be actually removed from office, as a supermajority – 67 out of 100 senators – are required to convict and remove a sitting president, which means that both independent senators, as well as twenty Republicans, would have to break ranks to vote with the Democrats.
The trial will not occur immediately – the House is required to send the now-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate, but Pelosi has indicated that she is considering delaying this action, due to not having a fair procedure, alleged Pelosi, saying “...we have not seen anything that looks fair to us.”
/By Romeo Kokriatski
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