The U.S. House of Representatives may begin the process of sending impeachment charges against President Donald Trump to the Senate this week. The move would mean the Senate could soon face the third trial in history to remove a U.S. President.
The House impeached (brought official charges against) President Trump in December. The first charge was that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine’s leader to investigate Democrats. (See “Trump Impeachment Probe.”) By not cooperating with the investigation, President Trump received another charge of obstruction of (hindering) Congress.
The U.S. Constitution gives the House the sole power to impeach a president. But only the Senate can assemble a Court of Impeachment and give a verdict.
For the last three weeks, critics have pressured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to quit delaying. She must hand House documents over to the Senate and name impeachment “managers” before the Senate can start the trial.
But Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have been arguing over the rules of the trial. These include questions about format, length, and whether new witnesses will be allowed.
Most people believe President Trump will be cleared of the charges against him—if McConnell can keep all 53 Republican senators voting together. McConnell has been working closely with the White House on strategy. He says the Senate is “anxious to get started.”
Pelosi says, “Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.” Some people believe it may be possible to do both.
No president has ever been removed by the Senate. What do you think will happen?
(Laura Albinson of Pasadena, Maryland, displays a message for members of the House as they leave the Capitol in Washington, Friday, January 10, 2020. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)