Calvin Freiburger of Life Site News has reported that the U.S. House voted 229 to 197 tonight to impeach President Donald Trump, the culmination of a long leftist campaign against him. As of 8:27 p.m. EST, the House had only voted on one of the two articles of impeachment.
“The impeachment push was sparked in September by Trump’s requests that the Ukrainian government help investigate foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the ouster of a prosecutor who had been investigating his son Hunter’s business dealings in the country.
Trump’s defenders argue it’s legitimate for world leaders to request assistance in rooting out a previous administration’s potential corruption. His opponents claim it was at the very least inappropriate given Trump and Biden’s political rivalry, and a serious abuse of power if Trump made congressionally-authorized foreign aid a condition of compliance.
The final articles of impeachment Democrats settled on accuse the president of “abuse of power” in his requests to Ukraine, and “obstruction of Congress” for the administration’s non-compliance with House subpoenas.
At National Review, former federal prosecutor and conservative legal analyst Andy McCarthy concluded the charges against Trump “range from insignificant to implausible to inane,” with the vague “abuse of power” meant to mask the “lack of an identifiable crime” on the president’s part. As for the obstruction claim, he argued that disputes between government branches over information requests often hinge on debatable issues of executive privilege or legal confidentiality, and as such “are meant to be resolved by politics, not judges.”
“Impeachment is a grave step of last resort to remove a duly elected president,” investigative journalist Gregg Jarrett writes. “The act of wrongdoing must be sufficiently egregious, and the evidence so clear and convincing, that the constitutional remedy of impeachment merits support from both political parties represented in Congress.”
A two-thirds majority vote is required in the 100-member Senate to convict and remove a president from office.
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. [I would bet that Mitt Romney and Susan Collins would jump ship!]
A trial in the Republican-controlled Senate is expected in January. No date has been set, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that if the House votes to impeach the president, a trial would be the Senate’s “first order of business”.
Congress has never removed a president with the impeachment process before in American history. While two previous US presidents — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — were impeached by the House, both were acquitted in the Senate.
While the constitution lays out a mechanism to remove a president from office, it doesn’t prevent a president or other “civil officer” removed from their office by the impeachment process from running for office or being elected to federal office again.