By: Christina Madera
Editor: Esthefany Castillo
How It All Went Down
On September 24th, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would institute a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. This decision came forth after transcripts of a call between Trump and Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky were released. During the July phone call, the presidents touched on a couple of topics: purchasing American missiles, issues with Russian sanctions, and Joe Biden. In the transcripts, President Trump repeatedly urges Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, his potential Democratic rival in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
“There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the persecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it...It sounds horrible to me." - Donald Trump
How Impeachment Works
Impeachment starts at the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House has to approve proceeding with the impeachment. Once that approval is obtained, the House has to investigate to determine if there’s sufficient evidence of wrongdoing and then they must write the articles of impeachment.
There are three articles of impeachment:
Article I: Obstruction of Justice
Article II: Abuse of Power
Article III: Contempt of Congress
Article I states that a president can face “Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” High crimes can include anything from intimidation to murder. President Trump’s requests for an investigation could be considered a high crime.
After the House writes the articles, a majority vote is needed in order to impeach. If a majority vote is reached then it moves to the Senate. The Senate therefore holds a trial. After the trial, the Senate votes. If two-thirds of the Senate votes to impeach, the president is convicted and removed from office.
History of Impeachment in U.S.
Only two Presidents have been impeached. In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached as a result of dismissing Edwin M. Staton as Secretary of War which went against the “Office of Tenure Act.” In 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath in regards to sexual relations with a White House intern. Both presidents were acquitted when the Senate was unable to reach the two-thirds majority vote and therefore remained in office.
In contrary to popular belief, President Richard Nixon was not actually impeached. After news of the Watergate Scandal broke, Nixon felt he would certainly be removed from office. In 1974, he resigned before the impeachment process was completed.
Likelihood of Trump’s Impeachment
A minimum of 218 out of the 435 House Representatives (one-half majority) would have to approve any of the articles of impeachment for it to move to the Senate. If all the representatives vote along their party lines than that means Democrats would have 235 votes and be able to continue with the process of impeachment.
If this reaches the Senate, there would need to be at least 66 votes of the 100 Senators (two-thirds majority) to impeach Trump. If representatives vote along party lines, Democrats would have only 46 votes and the President would be acquitted of his crimes.
Trump Reacts via Twitter (as usual)
Trump took to his favorite platform to Tweet about his frustrations with the Democratic Party.
Trump followed up with an attack at the whistleblower calling the complaint “fake.”
In true Trump fashion, he continues to deny all wrongdoing. Seeing as there has never been a successful impeachment in American history; this is a pivotal moment in time and it’s our duty to educate ourselves, inform others, and stay woke!