How the Trump impeachment hearings could play out


[Armstrong] In a town as divided as this It’s good to have rules. And here the rules are set by the constitution. Which is stubbornly vague around the removal of a president. Article 2 Section 4 says “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” What are high crimes and misdemeanors, you may ask? Well, the founders decided not to say. So, that’s up to Congress. That process starts with The House of Representatives and a formal impeachment inquiry. Which happened on September 25th. [Pelosi] Today, I am announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. [Armstrong] On October 31, the House approved the next phase of hearings. That meant transcripts from closed-door-proceedings could be released. And starting tomorrow, hearings will be held in public. The president and his lawyers are allowed
to attend these hearings and they can question any witnesses. Well, they shouldn’t be having public hearings. This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witchunt which turned out to be phoney. [Armstrong] Now, here’s how this is going work. The House Judiciary Committee will take the lead of the impeachment process. Any articles of impeachment would be drawn up there. In the cases of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton the articles included abuse of power, obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas. Those are sent to the full house for a vote. If a simple majority approve even one article of impeachment, then the president is impeached. Currently, the House has 253 Democrats, 199 Republicans and one Independent. So, Democrats could impeach Trump without any support from the Republican Party. House sources have reportedly said a vote could come as early as mid-December Almost 21 years to the day since Bill Clinton was impeached by the House on December 19, 1998. But remember, impeachment doesn’t remove the president from office Only the Senate can do that If the House were to impeach the president, the Senate would become ground zero A trial would be set. It would be presided over by the chief justice of the United States. And for all intents and purposes, the senators would become the jury. The specific procedures aren`t set out so senate leadership would meet to hammer out the details. Presumably, at some point, Senator Schumer would sit down and see if we can agree on a process. [Armstrong] Evidence would be presented. Arguments would be laid out. And eventually, the senate would hold a full vote. Members would be asked if they believe the president is guilty of the crimes he’s accused of. But it`s not easy to remove a president. Article I, Section 3 of the constitution states “no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.” Right now, there are 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two Independents in the Senate. So, the Democrats would need the help of their adversaries in what has been an incredibly divisive battle. I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end if it were today . I don’t think there’s any question, it would not lead to a removal. [Armstrong] But if 66 senators vote to find the president guilty he’d be removed from office. And the vice president would be sworn in to serve the rest of the term.

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