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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for the second time in his presidency.
The House passed an article impeaching Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol as Congress was counting slates of electoral votes submitted by the states.
A mob of pro-Trump rioters descended on the US Capitol that day, forcing Congress to go into recess and members to evacuate and hide for their own safety. Five people died during the day’s violence, including a US Capitol police officer who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.
Trump was once before impeached by the House in December 2019 on charges of abusing his office and obstructing Congress before being acquitted in a Senate trial in February 2020.
At the center of the first impeachment inquiry are Trump’s efforts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election while withholding a nearly $400 million military-aid package to the country, which is at war with Russia. Trump also refused to grant a White House meeting to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The catalyst for the inquiry was a whistleblower complaint detailing a July 25 phone call during which Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil-and-gas company.
Multiple career diplomats and national-security officials testified that the Trump administration explicitly conditioned a lifting of the military-aid hold and a White House meeting on Zelensky publicly announcing investigations into Burisma and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US election.
Read more: GOP kicks Trump to curb after deadly Capitol insurrection, leaving president to fend for himself during his historic second impeachment
What, exactly, is impeachment?
Impeachment by the House doesn’t mean automatic removal from office. When the House launches an impeachment inquiry, it’s analogous to prosecutors launching an investigation into a suspect in a crime.
In Trump’s case, the process of calling witnesses to testify in private sessions and gathering evidence is comparable to grand-jury proceedings, which occur behind closed doors.
House Democrats unveiling an article of impeachment against Trump this week was akin to a grand jury’s decision to present criminal charges against a defendant, setting up a courtroom trial if the defendant doesn’t plead guilty. In other words, the impeachment of a sitting president is politically equivalent to a criminal indictment.
The constitutional mechanism for the impeachment of a federal officer, including presidents, vice presidents, and federal judges, is laid out in Article 2, Section 4 of the US Constitution, which says “the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
What will happen next?
Now that a majority of representatives voted on Wednesday to charge the president with one article of impeachment, the process moved to the Senate, which is responsible for holding a fair and impartial trial.
Both sides would present their cases …read more
Source:: Business Insider