Home ECONOMY Donald Trump is impeached and faces trial in the US Senate

Donald Trump is impeached and faces trial in the US Senate

by biasharadigest
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Donald Trump has become the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, setting up a trial in the Senate that will decide whether he remains in office.

The House voted on two charges – that the president abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress.

Nearly all Democrats voted for the charges and every Republican against.

President Trump’s Republicans control the Senate so it is highly unlikely he will be removed from power.

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As voting took place in the House, Trump was addressing a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He told a cheering crowd: “While we’re creating jobs and fighting for Michigan, the radical left in Congress is consumed with envy and hatred and rage, you see what’s going on.”

The White House released a statement saying that the president was “confident that he will be fully exonerated” in a Senate trial.

What happened in the votes?

After 10 hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump, the House called for votes at about 20:30 local time (01:30 GMT).

The first charge is abuse of power, stemming from Mr Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.

It passed by 230 votes to 197, almost completely on party lines. Only two Democrats opposed – New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew, who is set to leave the party, and Michigan’s Collin Peterson.

The second charge is obstruction of Congress because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.

It passed by 229-198. Democrat Jared Golden of Maine voted for the first charge but opposed this.

No Republicans supported impeachment, although ex-party member Justin Amash, from Michigan, did.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted “present” on both charges – effectively an abstention. Two members were absent for personal reasons.

Being impeached places Donald Trump alongside only two other presidents in the nation’s history – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

What happens next?

A trial is set to take place in the Senate in the New Year.

The Republican Party has a majority there, making it almost impossible that the president will be removed from office when senators cast their votes.

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week said that Republican senators would act in “total co-ordination” with the president’s team during the trial, outraging Democrats who pointed out that Senators are obliged to act as impartial jurors.

After Wednesday’s votes, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House might delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate – and therefore the start of the trial – to try to bargain on the terms.

“We will make our decision as to when we are going to send it when we see what they are doing on the Senate side,” she said. “So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us.”

It is up to Mr McConnell to decide the rules for the trial and which witnesses will testify. He is due to address the Senate on Thursday.

 

 

 

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