On Wednesday, December 18th, the House of Representatives voted on President Donald Trump’s impeachment, charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” on the violation of two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. For more information on these violations, check out Sarah’s article here: The Impeachment Inquiry: What it means for the President and Students
With only one article needed to pass for impeachment, Trump has been the third president in history to be impeached. However, no president has ever been removed from office. Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached by the House but later acquitted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned before the House voted on impeachment.
Currently, the House is made up of 431 representatives with a majority of 233 democrats, 197 republicans, 1 independent, and 4 vacancies. With one not voting, all but two democrats supported the article on abuse of power which accused President Trump of using his power in office to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce investigations that discredited his political rivals during the 2016 election. With 229 democratic votes combined with an additional independent vote for impeachment, the total count was 230-197. A third Democrat, Jared Golden of Maine, joined with Republicans with opposing article two on obstruction of Congress. The total count was 229-198. No Republicans voted in support of either article. However, independent representative Justin Amash was in favor of both articles. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii who is running for president in 2020, voted present on both articles because she could not decide either yes or no. After this incident, she has been receiving backlash and has been deemed a “coward” for being outlandish with the democratic party she seeks to represent in the upcoming election.
Although President Trump has been impeached by the House, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is required for removal from office. As of right now, the Senate is scheduled to vote in January but according to The Guardian, passing impeachment in the Senate is unlikely as there is a Republican majority. With a total of 100 senators, Republicans hold a 53-47 seat majority meaning that 19 republicans need to support impeachment in order to reach a total of 66 needed for the two-thirds majority. According to an article by the Washington Post, so far, 11 senators have publicly stated that they are in support of both articles (all Democrats), 36 have opposed both articles (all Republicans), and 52 senators have not yet stated their opinion.