Nancy Pelosi’s announcement last week to open an impeachment inquiry into President Trump began a long and complicated process. Trump is being investigated for “using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests,” according to the New York Times.
The impeachment process allows a legislative body to bring charges against a government official with the possibility of being removed from office if impeached.
The process to impeach involves both the House of Representatives and the Senate, so we’re going to break down it down.
This is a typical impeachment process (it’s complicated, we know):
- A member of the House of Representatives considers impeachment for one or more of the following reasons: High crimes and misdemeanors, treason, bribery, etc.
- If a sufficient amount of credible evidence is found, the process will continue.
- The House Judiciary Committee analyzes evidence and discusses impeachable offenses. A simple majority (51%) of this committee is necessary to move onto the next step.
- The House of Representatives as a whole will then debate and vote on whether to impeach Trump. The Democratic party is currently the majority in the House.
- If a simple majority of the Representatives present at the debate vote in favor of impeachment, the charges are brought to the Senate.
- The Senate, which is held by the Republican party, writes a bill of indictment and informs the president of the charges. They can also vote to close the case without review.
- The Senate then tries the case, holds a private deliberation and a public vote.
- If two-thirds of the Senate votes in favor of impeachment, Trump will be convicted of the charges brought about by the House and will be removed from office.
While Pelosi’s announcement and following actions could be a step towards impeaching Trump, it could also be a step towards a dead end. And, it could give Vice President Mike Pence executive power. Take that as you will.
So, what can you do? You could call your representatives and tell them what you think, but at this point, it may be best to start preparing for the next election.Voting is important, to say the least. Register to vote right now through Turbo Vote and actually show up on election day. Request an absentee ballot if you need to. Voter registration in Indiana ends on Oct. 7, so get on it.