Impeachment: How Does It Actually Work?

trump impeachment

With all the confusion about whether or not Donald Trump has been impeached, we take a closer look on what it actually means to be impeached and how it all works.

The word ‘impeachment’ has been thrown around quite a bit lately due to US President Donald Trump. What many believe is that the impeachment process is much more trivial than it truly is. However, it is a long, complicated process – not something that is as simple as being fired. So how does it actually work?

First, the president has to be accused of an impeachable offence. By discussing political opponent Joe Biden’s family with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump is accused of breaking the law by a Whistleblower. This sets off a chain reaction to which Congress must respond to with an investigation. The purpose of this investigation is to find what is referred to as ‘Articles of Impeachment,’ which are additional impeachable offences that the president can be charged with. These articles are sent to the House of Representatives, who approve of the articles that are relevant and proceed to vote on whether or not to officially charge the president. 

This is where the process gets tricky. Congress is made up of two chambers – the House of Representatives and the Senate. While the House of Representatives can lay these impeachment charges against the president, only the Senate can put them on trial and potentially convict them. For president Donald Trump, he has been impeached by the House of Representatives, but a trial to convict him of the impeachment charges is current;y underway.

With Donald Trump being impeached by the House of Representatives, he is not required to leave office. The majority of the Senate must vote on whether or not to charge the president before he is officially removed. However, if the Senate decides not to charge the president, then he may stay in office until the end of his term, where he is capable of running in the next election to serve a second term. 

In the end, Donald Trump has been officially impeached, but he is not required to leave his position unless he is convicted by the Senate of the charges laid against him.

Right now, the Senate is comprised of mostly Republicans, who will likely vote not to indict their president. This will mean that Trump is free to serve out his term and run in the next election. Some believe this cry for impeachment will only drive up his popularity in the next election, while others feel that he will crash and burn. This is a question only November 2020 can answer, but it is sure to be one of the most divisive and heated elections in US history.