BANGOR- 2 articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump passed the House with the required majority vote.
That makes President Trump the third president in U.S. history to have been impeached by the House.
“The constitution is pretty broad in spelling out what offenses a president can supposedly commit,” explained Dr. David Haus, an associate professor of history at Husson University. “In this case, it says high crimes, misdemeanor, treason, and high offenses.”
Now, the articles of impeachment will go to the Republican controlled Senate for trial.
The Senate has a list of rules for trial, but is likely to review and update some ahead of time.
“The constitution is not specific, again, as to what that trial looks like other than saying the senate will receive the articles of impeachment, the senate will try, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court will preside over that trial,” Haus continued.
As of now, the articles of impeachment have not yet been handed over to the Senate.
The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said he does not plan on a lengthy trial with many witnesses.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants certain witnesses called,” Haus said. “I think there is going to be some negotiating to find a way forward. This is going to be a probable source of contention over the next few weeks.”
Under the current rules, all senators have to take an oath to be quiet while the House presents its case.
Any questions need to go through the presiding officer.
In this case, that would be Chief Justice John Roberts.
“In order to attain a conviction, the house will need to convince 67 senators, two-thirds of the one-hundred senators, that the president has indeed committed these acts the House has accused. If that’s the case, the president may be removed from office,” Haus added.
There is also the possibility the president could receive a censure, which is a strong rebuke from the Senate, instead of being removed from office.