Impeachment: A Process

On September 24th, Speaker Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

On September 24th, Speaker Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

Isabella Rocha, Editor

Recently, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced that the House of Representatives would be launching an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump after a whistleblower complaint claimed the President asked for a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 election. A complaint issued by a member of the White House staff claimed that they heard from other members of the staff that President Trump made a phone call to the president of Ukraine in which he asked the president to investigate Joe Biden. The impeachment inquiry has been launched because this phone call violates the Constitution since the president is abusing the power he has and is asking a foreign country to interfere in a U.S. election. But what exactly does the impeachment process entail?

The impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives when a representative introduces an impeachment resolution. After the resolution is introduced, the Speaker of the House directs a special committee to hold a hearing where they decide whether or not the House should vote on impeachment, and when the impeachment vote should take place. If the resolution is approved by the special committee, then it is voted on by the House of Representatives. In order for the president to be impeached, a simple majority of the representatives present must vote in approval of the resolution for impeachment.

After the president is impeached, a trial is held in the Senate. This trial is meant to determine if the president committed a crime or not. During the trial, members of the House take on the role of the prosecution. They present evidence to the Senate on why the president is guilty. The president has access to counsel and the chief justice of the Supreme Court conducts the trial. Once the House and the president present evidence and deliver closing arguments, members of the Senate determine whether or not the president is guilty. In order to be removed from office and convicted of the crime, 2/3 of the Senate must vote that the president is guilty. During the impeachment hearing, removal from office is the only punishment the president receives. After the impeachment process is done, criminal charges may be brought up against the president.

By announcing an impeachment inquiry from the House of Representatives, Speaker Pelosi has launched the beginning of the impeachment process. Currently, the House is issuing subpoenas to members of the Trump administration in order to determine if the president should be impeached. This process will continue in the coming months until the Senate determines whether or not President Trump is guilty of abusing his presidential power by asking Ukraine to investigate a political rival.