What’s next in the impeachment process?

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., right, before the start of testimony from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (Joshua Roberts/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO) — Day two of public impeachment hearings has ended in Washington D.C. So, what happens from here?

KELOLAND News breaks down the steps.


The process

STEP 1: Allegations made

The House of Representatives opened up an impeachment inquiry officially on September 24, 2019. Six committees are handling the inquiry: Financial Services, Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform and Ways and Means.

The U.S. House resolution setting procedures for public impeachment hearings passed on October 13, 2019.

There have been both closed-door depositions and public hearings in the impeachment process.

This is the step we are currently in.

The House Intelligence Committee conducted 18 closed-door depositions. Two more are scheduled. One on Friday and one on Saturday. They are not guaranteed to show up.

There have been three public hearings in the House Intelligence Committee this week:

Next week, there are eight scheduled public hearings. Here’s a preview of who is coming up.


Alexander Vindman

Jennifer Williams

Kurt Volker

Tim Morrison


Gordon Sondland

Laura Cooper

David Hale


Fiona Hill

You can watch coverage on KELOLAND TV in a CBS News Special Report, here on KELOLAND.com and on the KELOLAND News App.

There could be more private and public hearings. The Republicans on the committee are also asking for the anonymous whistleblower and Hunter Biden to come to public hearings.

STEP 2: The judiciary committee doesn’t have enough evidence for impeachment

President Donald Trump waves as he departs on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Washington, for a campaign rally in Louisiana. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump remains in office.

The process ends here.

STEP 2: The committee has enough evidence for impeachment. The U.S. House of Representatives holds a vote on Articles of Impeachment.

The House of Representatives need a simple majority.

Simple majority = 218 of 435 members

The House right now:
233 Democrats
197 Republicans
1 Independent
4 Vacancies

If they don’t get enough votes (less than 218), the hearings end and President Trump remains in office.

If 218 or more vote in favor of the Articles of Impeachment, the process moves forward.

If the U.S. House votes in favor, Trump is impeached.

Now, the process moves to the U.S. Senate.

STEP 3: The U.S. Senate holds a trial.

The 100 Senators serve as jurors and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presides.

After the trial, the Senate will hold a vote to convict the President.

The U.S. Senate needs a two-thirds majority vote to convict.

Two-thirds majority = 67 of 100 members

The Senate right now:
53 Republicans
45 Democrats
2 Independents (both caucus with Democrats)

The history

Only two presidents have been impeached in American history.

First was President Andrew Johnson in 1868. He was impeached by the House, but never convicted by the Senate and thus remained in office.

Many Americans will remember President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. He was also acquitted of the charges against him when the Senate failed to convict him.

Presidents John Tyler and Richard Nixon both had attempted impeachments. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.

No president has been removed from office by the U.S. Senate.

What are high crimes and misdemeanors?

The U.S. Constitution outlines that a president can be removed for:

  • Treason
  • Bribery
  • Other high crimes and misdemeanors

Treason is defined in the Constitution.

Bribery isn’t defined, but American law has long held it’s when a person gives an official money or gifts to influence their behavior in office.

High crimes and misdemeanors is a tricky one.

Alexander Hamilton wrote, impeachable offenses are:

The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” was used in the impeachments of Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. It has also been used in a number of federal judge impeachments for the following reasons, according to the Constitutional Rights Foundation:

  • Being habitually drunk
  • Showing favoritism on the bench
  • Using judicial power unlawfully
  • Using the office for financial gain
  • Unlawfully punishing people for contempt of court
  • Submitting false expense accounts
  • Making false statements under oath
  • Disclosing confidential information