Impeachment Rundown

So you’ve probably been hearing a lot about this impeachment process unless you’ve been living under a rock. Either way, these proceedings are incredibly confusing. Did you know being impeached still doesn’t mean he will get kicked out? Well, here is a quick and simple rundown of the whole process. 

What is impeachment?

Being impeached does not mean the president will automatically be removed from office, it simply means they are charged with a misdemeanor or major crime. It is a system where Congress decides whether or not there is enough evidence to go through with the charges. If the impeachment gets enough votes, the charges will be filed and most likely the president will be removed from office. If they do not find enough evidence, they will drop the charges and the president stays in office. 

Bill Clinton

In the late ’90s, Bill Clinton was involved in a major sexual harassment controversy, which all came to heads when he lied under oath about his sexual relations with one of his staffers, Monica Lewinsky. He was charged with perjury (lying under oath) and obstruction of justice. They didn’t find enough evidence or they realized it wasn’t a strong case and the charges were dropped. He stayed in the office for the rest of his term. 

Trump 

Now we get to the current situation and what the major concern is right now. 

 In July of 2019, Trump made a call to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and allegedly asked him to look into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. He also asked the president of Ukraine to publicly support the conspiracy that it was Ukraine who interfered with the 2016 election and not Russia.  During the testimony of Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union stated that the call between the two was on the basis of “quid pro quo”, essentially meaning, do this for me and I’ll give you money. The money Ukraine would have been receiving would be to protect itself from Russia and it was already scheduled to be given, so Trump had no real authority to hold it back. 

In late August and early September, reports of the phone call and what it contained started to leak to the press, with a whistleblower coming forward to express concerns. The whistleblower feared that the call and the “quid pro quo” idea was Trump using the presidency for personal gain and it was an abuse of power. 

Finally, on September 24th, Nancy Pelosi announced plans to start an impeachment inquiry against Trump. 

Witness testimonies started in early October with testimonies from a Ukraine Ambassador, a Pentagon official, and a white house former staffer. These testimonies confirmed that Trump did ask for these things to be done in order for Ukraine to receive money from the United States. 

However, during the testimony of Fiona Hill, former White House official, Trump sent a tweet that many people thought of as witness tampering, another impeachable offense, due to its intimidating nature. Possible talks of adding another charge have been occurring. 

Nancy Pelosi gave a second update on the situation of impeachment. Despite public polls in favor of impeachment going down, she and the judiciary committee will continue drafting impeachment articles, bringing him one step closer to impeachment. 

If he is officially impeached and they approve to follow through with the crimes, he could be charged with abuse of power and possibly witness tampering. Even still, the process of impeachment is long. Given the number of votes it takes and the Senate being a republican majority, it’s highly unlikely Trump will ever face charges or be removed from office. If they find enough evidence in the current impeachment inquiry it then goes to the Senate on a vote of support for impeachment. They then vote on the articles of impeachment where if there is a simple majority it will move onto a trial. After the trial, the Senate votes again on whether there is enough evidence to convict Trump. If there is enough evidence, there is a third and final vote that would determine his fate.  This vote would be the event that would get Trump removed from office as if in agreement, the Senate would vote for the conviction and removal of the president. 

However, this is extremely unlikely to happen. While some Republicans have come out with support for an inquiry, many of them have publicly stated they do not support impeachment nor want Trump out of office. Even looking at the history of impeachments, they have never led to the removal of a president. 

So there we go! A very brief run-down of what the heck is going on with the impeachment of Donald Trump, whether or not he will be removed.