(WWLP) – This impeachment has left many questioning how the impeachment process works, especially since this is the second time President Donald Trump has been impeached.
To start, the term impeachment actually refers to the filing of formal impeachment charges, not the removal from office. A lot needs to happen before a president is taken out of office.
Unlike in criminal law, there’s no clear rule written as to when a president has violated the constitution. A president can be charged with treason or bribery, or much broader terms like, “other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Congress has charged President Trump with one count: incitement of insurrection. Now, it’s in the hands of the Senate to hold a trial, but we already know that won’t happen until after the inauguration, which seems trivial but does have consequences.
“It takes away his pension, it takes away the staff that’s given to former presidents, the money for office space for example. It takes away everything,” said Tony Cignoli, a political consultant.
It also takes away his right to run for federal office ever again.
Congressman Richard Neal in a statement after the House voted 232-197 on the Article of Impeachment said, “We are a nation built on rule of law, not the law of rulers.”
“We are a nation of laws, traditions, and values. The seditious act we witnessed on January 6th was unprecedented, and President Trump’s response to this horrific attack and deadly insurrection was inexcusable. When the citadel of our democracy comes under attack, actions taken by the President need to be swift and unwavering. Instead, the President incited this mob. He called on his supporters to come to Washington, to march to the Capitol, and to fight. When my colleagues plead with him to call off his supporters and their dangerous actions, he ignored them.
What occurred last Wednesday afternoon was an affront to our historic republic, and the President illustrated his complete inability to lead this country with honor and effectively fulfill his constitutional duty.
When we called for President Trump’s impeachment in December 2019, I said, ‘Impeachment is reserved for moments of grave danger, when the constitutional order becomes dangerously out of balance. Moments like this one.’ This is unequivocally another one of those moments.
We are a nation built on rule of law, not the law of rulers. Last Wednesday, the President incited an insurrection and today I voted once again to impeach him.Congressman Richard E. Neal
For that to happen, the Senate trial ends with a vote on a verdict, but it takes two-thirds of the Senate, a super majority, to convict the president and officially remove him from office or strip his presidential rights.
Now the question is: Will it be a Democratic or Republican-run senate that holds the impeachment trial? That will depend on when it is heard.