A House Representative who has been openly vocal about launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump filed them Tuesday evening. Rep. Al Green filed the articles of impeachment, and the House is expected to vote on it by the end of the week.
Green made the introduction in the House after Tuesday’s vote to condemn recent remarks by Trump against women of color, a resolution that passed largely along party lines. The president said that four Democratic lawmakers who have become known as “The Squad” should “go back” to the countries “from which they came.”
Green piggybacked the condemnation of the president’s remarks by saying the House needs to go a step further, and start a process to try and remove Trump from office.
Green said the president is “unfit to defend the ideals that have made America great” and “unfit to ensure domestic tranquillity” and “promote the general welfare.”
What is impeachment and how does it work?
If enough lawmakers believe the president has committed “treason, bribery or other high crimes,” and they believe the president should be removed from office before their term expires, they are permitted by the Constitution to start hearings.
The House votes on articles of impeachment, and needs a majority to pass. If passed, then the president is under impeachment — similar to an indictment.
The Senate would then hold a trial, which is overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It sets up like a jury trial, with House lawmakers serving as prosecutors and Senate members as the jury. The president would have his own defense lawyers.
How is the president found guilty, and what happens if he is?
Two-thirds of the senators must find the president to be guilty. If it happens, then the president is removed from office. The vice president would then become president.
Who determines the rules of the trial?
The Senate would determine the procedures for the trial. These could be the number of days the trial would last, and also what kind of evidence could be presented.
Greg Craig, who helped defend Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings, said sometimes the Senate would make up rules on the fly.
“When the Senate decided what the rules were going to be for our trial, they really made them up as they went along,” Craig said in the New York Times.
What presidents have been impeached?
There have been two presidents impeached in American history.
- Andrew Johnson — 1868
- Bill Clinton — 1998 and 1999
Note: Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974 to avoid impeachment.
Rep. Green from Texas has introduced impeachment proceedings in each of the previous two years, but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives tabled the item each time. Democrats now control the House, which is expected to vote on it before the week ends.
Should the article pass the House, the Republican-controlled Senate will then set the rules. It would need two-thirds of the Senate’s approval to remove the president from office.
Green’s introduction of impeachment does not fit an ideal timeline for some Democrats, especially since Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify next week before Congress, which also has an upcoming recess.
“I think the timing’s awkward with Mueller coming next week and we have a recess coming,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said in The Hill. “That’s probably not the best time to do it.”
According to The Hill, only 84 House Democrats currently support impeachment of Trump.