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What the recent impeachment vote actually means

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Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019 in Washington D.C. during her weekly news conference following yesterday's historic impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. (Ken Cedeno/Sipa USA/TNS)

By Sabrina Edwards

With Wednesday’s impeachment vote, the House of Representatives voted in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, making him only the third president to face removal from office.

Trump was charged on two accounts, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The votes largely fell along party lines, save for two Democratic representatives. All Republican representatives voted unanimously against impeachment. 

The impeachment vote tally was 230 to 197 on article one, abuse of power, and 229 to 198 on article two, obstruction of Congress. However, Trump will not automatically be removed from office, the Republican controlled Senate is the deciding factor in this. 

Shortly after the vote Trump took to Twitter claiming that this is an “assault on America and the Republican party” in a tweet.

What happens next is the question on many people’s mind. The Senate will hold a trial, where senators act as jurors. Senators have to come to a two-thirds agreement in order to convict and remove a president. Previously, the Senate has acquitted two presidents the House voted to impeach. 

There’s no way to tell how the trial will play out, because there aren’t any real rules they have to follow. It’s up to acting senators to decide how the trial will take place. This means that the Republican-dominated Senate will set the ground rules.

If Senators vote in favor of either one of the articles, the Constitution states that the president would be removed from office.

It is unlikely that Trump will be voted out by the Republican-controlled Senate. If the votes are on the same trend as they were in the House, senators will vote in favor of their party. In order for there to be a two-thirds agreement for impeachment, 20 out of the 53 Republican senators would have to defect, and all Democratic senators would have to vote in favor. 

The trial could be as early as January if the House doesn’t withhold the articles from the Senate. 

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