There we have it, folks. Donald Trump is officially the third president of the United States to ever be impeached. The first was Andrew Johnson in 1868, then Bill Clinton in 1998, and now Donald J. Trump. So what happens now?
To backtrack just for a moment, the reason this impeachment vote went ahead is because Trump withheld nearly $US400 million worth of military-aid package to Ukraine, then only a few days later called up the Ukrainian President and asked their government to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Basically he used the title of President for personal gain, which is very illegal.
There were two specific charges that Donald Trump was being impeached on: The first vote which passed 230-197, was to impeach him for abuse of power. The second vote passed 229-198 and says that the president obstructed Congress. Only one person, Tulsi Gabbard from the Democrats, refused to vote.
The vote means that Trump is officially impeached, but he’s still very much the president. Today’s vote happened in the House of Representatives – which is controlled by the Democrats – and the next step is for Trump to face a Senate trial. It’s scheduled for early January, but may yet be delayed. We just have to wait and see.
If two thirds of the Senate agree that Trump has abused his power and obstructed Congress, then he’ll get the boot and Mike Pence will take over as President, but people aren’t very hopeful of that. The Senate has a Republican majority and is under the leadership of a Kentucky Republican named Mitch McConnell, who has been blocking legislation he doesn’t like for years.
Recently, he even went on Fox News and bragged about blocking Obama’s nominations for federal judges.
As for the rest of the Senate, the numbers are currently 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents. To hit the two thirds majority needed to throw him out, 67 people would need to vote to convict Trump. With all 53 Republicans insisting that they’ll vote to acquit Trump and let him stay on as President, it’s not a likely outcome.
Donald Trump has been impeached, but if he isn’t convicted in the Senate then he’ll stay on as president, and it will be left to the American people to decide whether or not to reelect him in 2020.
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