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Trump is Impeached: What Happens Next?

Within a 15 minute vote, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached the 45th president of the United States today. The flowchart below breaks down what happens next.

Photo Credit: Semmi W., Art Party

The U.S. Senate is controlled by the Republican Party. Even though President Trump has officially been impeached today, he still gets to remain in office. The Senate will hold a trial with the chief justice of the Supreme Court presiding as judge. There will be no public jury. A team from the House of Representatives will act as prosecutors. After the trial, the Senate will take a vote and decide whether Trump is guilty or innocent of the charges placed against him: obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. If 67% of the Senate (two-thirds) finds Trump guilty, he will be convicted and removed from office. Any vote less than a two-third majority means that Trump will stay in office. The likelihood that Senate Republicans will find Trump guilty is very low.

Photo Credit: Bebeto Matthews, Associated Press

However, vanity and politics always go hand-in-hand: if Trump is convicted, Mike Pence becomes president. Through Pence, the Republican Party finally gains a more stable leader (albeit, a conservative extremist) and another member of their party “gets” to become Vice-President. If for some reason, Mike Pence cannot take office, then the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is next in line to become President. Both of the last two scenarios are extremely unlikely. If Trump beats the charges and Senate Republicans vote to keep him in office, then nothing happens. Trump will likely use his win as a campaign marketing tool to get elected again. The real verdict will be revealed 10 months from now in November 2020.

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