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by Marta Moretti
“No One is above the law”, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when announcing the impeachment towards President Trump.
What is an Impeachment?
The process via which a legislative body levels charges against a government official – hence, it does not imply per se a definitive removal of someone from office, as it is similar to an indictment in criminal law.
Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in historic vote: two articles of impeachment against him, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
230 votes out of 197: the approval of the first article of the impeachment was ”abuse of power”, while the second was for “obstruction” of Congress (with 229 votes out of 198).
Before Trump, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached in 1868 and 1998, without being removed from office. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before the House voted on his potential impeachment.
The impeachment inquiry was firstly launched in September, following a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to open an investigation into Biden – Trump’s political rival, former vice-president, and, most importantly one of the frontrunner of 2020 Democrats Presidential elections – and his son, Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
No evidence against the Biden was found. And a $400 million Congress-approved military aid investment plan was at the time in the picture.
Now, the articles of impeachment will be sent to the Senate, the one in charge of finding evidence. The Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. At least 20 Republicans would have to vote with all Democrats and the two independents to remove the president from office.
According to the Senate Trial, two thirds of the majority of the Senate are required to convict and remove the President from office.
Yet, Ms. Pelosi and the Democrats are waiting to send the articles to the Senate.
- When will the Senate trial take place?
- Is the Democrats’s decision to withhold the articles an advantage or not?
- Will this impeachment truly have an impact on Trump’s future and on 2020 Presidential elections?