Donald Trump, the incumbent 45th President, became the third leader who was impeached in the history of the US. Charges of the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress from the official proceedings were the two charges filed by the Democrats against Trump. These charges were finally passed by the US House of Representatives for the impeachment of the President.
Impeachment in the House of Representatives
Having an intense debate of more than six hours, the House approved the two articles (charges) on Trump’s impeachment proposed by Democrats. The first charge regarding Trump’s misuse of his power against the snooping of his political rival, Joe Biden and his son, was approved by the margin of voting for 230 to 197.
The second charge was regarding Trump’s obstruction of Congress’ official proceedings received a mandate of the House by 229 to 198. The conclusion of the House’s decision was taken after a week-long process of hearings and statements from a handful of witnesses. After the end of the voting, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, stated, “I could not be prouder or more inspired by the moral courage of House Democrats.”
Republicans claimed that the House’ process was rushed and accused the Democrats of their various attempts at ruining Trump’s reputation as he is presently conducting campaigns for the 2020 election. Kevin McCarthy, a fellow Republican, commented in a closing argument in the House, “The legacy of House Democrats will be the most partisan and least credible impeachment in American history.”
Trump was campaigning in an election rally in Battle Creek, Michigan; a state crucial for Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election at the time the House released its statement of his impeachment.
Condemning the decision of the House, Trump told the crowd, “After three years of sinister witch hunts, hoaxes, scams, tonight, House Democrats are trying to nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriotic Americans.” He further said that the Democrats would pay the price for this unfair trial in the next election.
Next Hearing in the Senate
The voting conducted on December 18, 2019, was a historic event, as the House impeached Trump with majority support of almost all democrats but without single support from the Republican Party. For now, Trump will not be removed from the office and the Senate will convene a trial against Trump early 2020 to decide the President’s fate and to decide whether he’ll be convicted.
The Senate’s trial, which is likely to begin next month, will be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts. A two-thirds vote is required to convict the president by the Senate. Mitch McConnell, a Republican leader in the Senate, has already shared his view that Trump is “not an impartial juror” and the Senate’s trial is likely to bring a different conclusion.
It is speculated that Trump might escape from the conviction, as Senate has a Republican majority and would be acquitted from the charges against him. This indicates that Trump, despite being impeached by the House, is likely to win the Republican’s nomination in the next year’s re-election.
According to a media report, “The public support for Trump’s impeachment and removal rarely went much above 50% in polling, and there is little evidence that the proceedings left him in a worse position politically on the eve of the 2020 election.”
According to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, “The president is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated.” Several Republicans accused the Democrats and condemned the decision as unfair.
Historically, it was in the Senate chamber that Trump’s predecessors, including the former Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, had been impeached.
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