Praveen Yadav | Nov 14, 2021 | 0
Donald Trump impeached: What’s next after House impeachment vote?
The House of Representatives on Wednesday made Donald Trump the first US president to be impeached twice, formally charging him with inciting an insurrection just a week after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol. But Impeachment refers only to the House, the lower chamber of Congress, bringing charges, or Articles of Impeachment. The next major step is for the Senate, the upper chamber, to have a trial to determine Trump’s guilt. A two-thirds majority is needed to convict Trump. If all 100 senators are present for the vote, at least 17 Republicans need to join the Democrats to convict Trump.
Still, even without his Twitter account, even with just six days left in office, even after last week’s violence and even with U.S. troops in the U.S. Capitol, an overwhelming majority of House Republicans stood by Trump. But while the impeachment vote didn’t upend GOP views of Trump at least in the House it did result in:
1) Republicans admitting that Joe Biden won, which was something many were still fighting a week ago.
2) Some Republicans also acknowledging Trump’s responsibility for last week’s insurrection (“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress,” McCarthy added); Trump releasing a video condemning political violence.
3) And Trump becoming the first American president to be impeached twice in just a single term.
The Senate is in the process of changing hands, from a narrow Republican majority to a narrow Democratic majority. The timing of the House vote, less than a week before Biden is to be sworn in, means the Senate trial will probably happen under a Democratic-controlled Senate. Democrats would get to outline how the trial would work. But it could require the Senate to stop all business for a few days, including confirming Biden’s Cabinet. Biden asked the Senate if it could split the day in two, confirming his nominees and holding a trial. It’s unclear whether the Senate can do that.
The consequences for Trump are unclear. A president can probably be convicted after leaving office, but to convict Trump requires support of two-thirds of the Senate, more than the Democratic majority. Democrats would need 17 Senate Republicans to join them.
The Post’s Ashlyn Still and JM Rieger have a running tracker of where both Democrats and Republicans stand. So far, about a dozen Republican senators have expressed openness to getting Trump out of office including McConnell. McConnell says he hasn’t decided how he will vote, but he could bring along other Republicans on voting to convict. Getting 17 Republicans on board will be a tall order, but that’s what would need to happen to make Trump the first president in American history to be convicted by the Senate.
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