U.S President, Donald Trump became the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday December 18, 2019.
The House impeached president Trump based on two charges – that the president had abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress.
Nearly all Democrats voted for the charges and every Republican against.
What happens next?
In the United States, it is only the House of Representatives that has the power to impeach the president.
Impeachment doesn’t mean removal from office, but it is often a prelude to removing a public official from office. To impeach means to “charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office.”
The next step after impeachment is trial and then removal or acquittal. In the US, only the Senate has the power to try and remove or acquit a president who has been impeached (by the House of Representatives).
In America’s history, only two presidents have been impeached, and both were acquitted by the Senate.
They are President Andrew Johnson (America’s 17th president who was acquitted by just one vote) and President Bill Clinton (America’s 42nd president).
Donald Trump is the third president to be impeached. President Trump’s Republicans control the Senate so it is highly unlikely he will be removed from power.
Following Wednesday’s votes, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the impeachment an “unconstitutional travesty.” Trump, she said in a statement, “is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process,” and he is prepared “for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated.”