Everything You Need to Know About How Impeachment Works

There are only four grounds on which impeachment can be brought upon; bribery, high crimes, misdemeanors, and treason. Donald Trump has been accused of violating the high crimes clause with the engagement of abuse of executive power. While official impeachment papers have not yet been initiated, there is great suggestion that Trump’s presidential position is on the line. With politics becoming such a prevalent conversation within everyday life and its obvious impact on all civilians, it is imperative for one to understand what may unravel within the upcoming weeks. 

 

The Basics:

1. Elected officials can be impeached and NOT be convicted

To impeach a President simply means to bring charges against, it does not mean automatic removal of an elected official

2. Congress, headed by the Speaker of the House, brings forth impeachment papers stating the charges of the accused

Though official papers have not been launched, it is widely noted that Nancy Pelosi and the Democratically lead house are in currently in the process of drafting “papers.”

3. The Senate is the first, and typically the only, place that the impeachment trial is heard

Out of the three past impeachment processes, Nixon’s was the only one where the case was brought to the supreme court. Typically, the trial is heard and voted on in the senate and requires a ⅔ decision to convict the accused. 

4. Each party in the senate elects a “floor manager” which introduces the case for their corresponding side.

The Republicans and the Democrats each elect one Senator to essentially act as their side’s prosecutor, the chosen senator will provide both opening and closing statements and call the witness forward. 

The Trump Case 

An unknown whistleblower within the Trump administration recently came forward stating that President Donald Trump had engaged in illegal conversations with Ukraine leaders under the surveillance of a personal attorney. For the past two years the Ukraine has been under immense Russian threat and was recently invaded on one of their borders. With their lack of a stable political power, they have become reliant on aid from the United States, and other European powers. The United States congress proceeded to approve military assistance and foreign aid. Though Congress does not need the approval from the president, Donald Trump placed a temporary hold on the grant for personal gain. 

    Hunter Biden is an American lawyer and currently serves on the board for Burisma Holdings, a major gas producer in the Ukraine, he is also the son of former US Vice President Joe Biden. With the upcoming 2020 election, and Biden as one of the obvious front runners, President Trump saw the Ukraine insecurity as an electoral opportunity. On a recently released phone call, President Trump requested that the Ukraine leaders investigate Hunter Biden and in return for their work, the United States foreign aid hold would be lifted. These actions violate Article 2 of the US Constitution which explicitly outline executive power, while simultaneously violating the separation of powers clause, which outlines when governmental branches illegally overstep their bounds. Though formal charges have not been brought, it is widely recognized with the release of a recent transcript of the phone call that President Trump broke these laws and therefore has a valid case against him. 

    As a nation we patiently wait and watch as a historical moment unravels in real time. It is imperative to recognize that in the United States history this has only happened three other times, therefore deeming it as a monumental moment. We encourage all readers to educate themselves on the chaotic subject that is politics.