- Title: Trump impeached: What happens next?
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) (MUTE) VARIOUS OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 02:10
- Keywords: Chief Justice Giuliani House Lichtman McConnell Biden Roberts Trump impeachment
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C./ BETHESDA, MARYLAND/ NEW YORK, NEW YORK/ CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA/ HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES/ KIEV, UKRAINE
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C./ BETHESDA, MARYLAND/ NEW YORK, NEW YORK/ CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA/ HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES/ KIEV, UKRAINE
- Country: USA
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAI7YH3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Donald Trump on Wednesday (December 18) became the third U.S. president to be impeached as the House of Representatives formally charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in a historic step that will inflame partisan tensions across a deeply divided America.
The Democratic-led House's passage of two articles of impeachment on a mostly party-line vote sets the stage for a trial next month in the Republican-controlled Senate - friendlier terrain for Trump - on whether to convict and remove him from office.
The abuse of power article was passed on a 230-197 vote. The obstruction article was passed by 229-198.
The House action sets the stage for a trial next month in the Republican-controlled Senate - friendlier terrain for Trump - on whether to convict him and remove him from office.
The House will select lawmakers known as managers to present the case against Trump at a Senate trial. House Democrats say most of the managers are likely to come from the Judiciary Committee, and possibly from the Intelligence Committee that led the investigation.
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial. House managers will present their case against Trump, and the president's legal team will respond. Senators will act as jurors. A trial could involve testimony from witnesses and a grueling schedule in which proceedings occur six days a week for as many as six weeks.
"Chief Justice Roberts could exercise a great deal of power. He could issue subpoenas. He can make rulings. And his rulings would have to be overturned by 51 senators, so Republicans would have to hold their lines pretty strongly," Allan Lichtman, a professor of History at American University and author of the 2017 book titled "The Case for Impeachment", said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said a majority of the Senate could approve a shorter process by voting on the articles of impeachment after opening arguments, without witnesses.
No president in the 243-year history of the United States has been removed from office by impeachment. That would require a two-thirds majority in the 100-member Senate, meaning at least 20 Republicans would have to join Democrats in voting against Trump - and none have indicated they will.
The first of the articles accused Trump, 73, of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, as well as a discredited theory promoted by the president and beneficial to Russia that Democrats conspired with Ukraine to meddle in the 2016 election.
Democrats said Trump held back $391 million in security aid intended to combat Russia-backed separatists and a coveted White House meeting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as leverage to coerce Kiev into interfering in the 2020 election by smearing Biden.
The second article accuses Trump of obstruction of Congress by directing administration officials and agencies not to comply with lawful House subpoenas for testimony and documents related to impeachment.
Trump, who is seeking another four-year term in the November 2020 presidential election, has denied wrongdoing and called the impeachment drive an "attempted coup" by Democrats seeking to nullify his 2106 election victory.
(Production: Katharine Jackson)
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