Impeachment Inquiry: What’s Next?
We wanted to take a closer look at what Thursday’s announcement by speaker Pelosi means for the future of the impeachment inquiry.
This is one of the final steps before an impeachment vote in congress.
That could prompt an impeachment trial in the senate.
The announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi means the house judiciary committee can now start drafting formal articles of impeachment. Ferris State Political Science Professor David Takitaki says drafting the articles are similar to writing up a list of charges.
“The house judiciary committee will have a debate on those, and if they are passed out of the judiciary committee, then the house as a whole will debate the articles of impeachment and they’ll go before a vote of the entire house,” explained Takitaki.
If the vote in the House fails, impeachment is over, but if it passes it means President Trump will have been formally impeached and everything moves to a Senate trial.
“At that point in time you will see house managers from likely the Democratic side of the house of Representative essentially act as attorneys in the Senate, and present their articles of impeachment like an indictment against the president. The president, his counsel and likely his Republican allies will serve as his defense,” said Takitaki.
The Senate, acting as a jury would then decide whether the president is innocent or guilty and could convict or censure him.
The process has gotten this far in the Democratic controlled house because the majority believes there is enough evidence to impeach.
“Obviously the Republicans in the house contest that idea, but Speaker Pelosi has decided at this time she wants to move forward to the next step,” said Takitaki.
A two-thirds majority vote is required in the senate to convict a president, something that has never happened.