Donald Trump has been impeached — here’s what happens next
Trump is now only the third U.S. president to have been impeached under the U.S. Constitution.
Now that he has been impeached, the process moves on to the Senate, which is tasked with deciding whether to remove the president from office.
How would a Senate trial work, and when will it begin?
Here’s a look at what could happen next.
On to the Senate
Now that Trump has been impeached, the Senate will hold a trial to determine whether Trump is guilty of the two articles of impeachment with which he has been charged: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Ultimately, it is up to the Senate to decide whether to remove Trump from office.
At the trial, “managers” from the House of Representatives will present their case before Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump and his legal team will also be present to make their argument.
Historically, presidents facing impeachment trials have been granted some protections, not unlike what defendants receive in criminal cases, such as the right to have a lawyer present and request witness testimony. But legal experts say impeachment proceedings were never intended to be conducted like criminal cases.
It is unclear at this point who the impeachment managers will be, however some freshman Democrats have called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to appoint Rep. Justin Amash, a former Republican who was kicked out of the party over his rebuke of Trump. Amash now represents his Michigan district as an Independent.
During the trial, senators in the chamber will act as jurors, and at the end of the trial, a vote will be held.
A two-thirds majority vote is needed to remove a president from office.
That means that in order for Trump to be ousted, all Democrats, both Independents and 20 Republicans in the Senate will need to vote to convict — something experts say is very unlikely.
No president has ever been removed from office via the impeachment process set out in the U.S. Constitution.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said previously that the impeachment trial will be “first order of business” for lawmakers in the new year.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McConnell said that while he expects a “highly partisan outcome” from the trial, he thinks he and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer should be able to reach an agreement on the first phase of the trial.
During the first phase, the House impeachment managers and the president’s defence counsel will deliver opening statements, and the defence counsel will answer senators’ written questions.After Phase 1, McConnell said the chamber will “have to see whether there are 51 members of the Senate who want to take one of two directions, either going in the direction of the witnesses or going in the direction of voting on articles of impeachment,” ending the trial.
In a letter on Sunday, Schumer proposed a schedule that would allow for at least 126 hours of proceedings.
Also included in the letter was a list of witnesses he says the Senate should hear from. Schumer called for testimony from White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, his senior adviser Robert Blair, former national security adviser John Bolton and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.
McConnell, though, has rejected the witness list, saying he would not allow for a “fishing expedition.”
Can Trump run for re-election now that he has been impeached?
In a previous interview with Global News, Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and author of Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know, says if Trump is acquitted by the Senate, there is nothing that prevents him from running for re-election.
“He’ll emerge from this process if he’s not convicted and removed — the likelihood is that he won’t be convicted and removed — claiming he’s been exonerated and then lambasting the Democrats for a sham process,” Gerhardt said.
If Trump is removed from office, Vice-President Mike Pence would take over the office of the president until the 2020 election.