Articles of impeachment: What are they; what is next in the process

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, on Tuesday announced that the House of Representatives would be bringing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending news

Pelosi, who stood with the chairmen of the six committees she tasked in September with leading an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with the president of Ukraine, tweeted before the announcement that Trump had “used the power of his office against a foreign country to corrupt our upcoming elections.”

“He is a continuing threat to our democracy and national security,” Pelosi tweeted.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House would pursue two articles of impeachment against Trump. The first is for abuse of power, and the second is for obstruction of Congress.

“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution, and to our country, the House Committee on Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” Nadler said.

Articles of impeachment, or a list of charges of wrongdoing brought against the president, are required to move to a vote in the House to impeach Trump.

While the articles of impeachment are needed to move forward, there are still several steps in the process that could lead to the impeachment of the president in the House and his conviction and removal from office in the Senate.

Here is what is set to happen next:

Tuesday: Articles announced

On Tuesday two articles of impeachment were announced.

Thursday: Judiciary vote

On Thursday the Judiciary Committee will take a vote on each separate article of impeachment. Each must be approved separately.

The Judiciary Committee has the sole power to move the articles of impeachment along. The articles are expected to pass out of that committee where Democrats hold a 24-17 majority of members.

TBA: House debate

The full House of Representatives will debate the articles if they are passed out of the Judiciary Committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will set the time for the debate to begin and determine how long debate will last.

TBA: Full House vote

Once debate is concluded, each article of impeachment will be voted on separately.

It takes a simple majority for an article of impeachment to pass. That means it takes 218 votes in the House.

Trump is impeached by the House if any of the articles of impeachment against him are passed.

What happens next

If Trump is impeached, the next part of the process would move to the U.S. Senate. There, a trial presided over by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will be held and if Trump is convicted on the charges – by a two-thirds vote or 67 votes – he will be removed from office.

There are 53 Republicans in the Senate and 45 Democrats and two Independent senators who generally vote with the Democrats.

If Trump is not convicted, he remains impeached and he remains in office.

About the Author