What Will Happen After Today’s Impeachment Vote?

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Today, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to impeach President Trump. The impeachment vote is being passionately debated. Republicans are arguing that the vote is a partisan Democratic attempt to remove Trump that isn’t supported by evidence. Democrats are arguing the opposite, that Republicans are defending Trump for partisan reasons despite evidence of crimes and impeachable offenses.

After the vote, the impeachment process will either end or move on. Impeachment is not the same as removal from office, it is the equivalent to an indictment. If the majority of the House votes for impeachment, it moves to the Senate for a trial in which Senators are the jury and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court acts as the judge. The Senate would then serve as a jury and test the accusations put forth by the House.

Those in favor of a conviction and removal from office argue their case and opponents will argue theirs by presenting evidence and calling witnesses. After closing arguments and deliberation, the Senate will vote on the articles of impeachment. Guilty or innocent? Two thirds of the Senate must vote in favor of at least one article of impeachment to force a removal. It is tough standard and it’s the reason why it has never happened, though it would have happened in the Nixon case, but he resigned the office before he was impeached.

In the case of President Trump it’s unlikely that he will be removed because his party is firmly behind him and the Senate is held by his party. Twenty Republicans would have to break ranks, which would take a massive shift in sentiment among their constituency.

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