Here’s what Donald Trump’s impeachment actually means

Basically, he must stand trial. This does not = removal.

US President Donald Trump has been impeached for abuse of power. But WTF does that actually mean? Turns out it’s a long process. So here’s the breakdown of Trump’s impeachment.

Related: Donald Trump Accused of Sexually Assaulting Yet Another Woman


Donald Trump has finally been impeached

Trump’s impeachment has been on the cards for a while, TBH. There’s been talk of his impeachment since he came into power. Democrats have beeeeeen building their case towards impeachment. And now, it’s finally happened. But, there’s still a long process ahead. And it’s not a simple one.


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What is impeachment?

Impeachment is the US’s process for removing a government official from office. It doesn’t just happen to presidents, but also judges. The keyword here is process. It’s important to get that this doesn’t necessarily mean he will no longer be president.

This has happened before. Donald Trump is the third US President to be impeached. This is not the first time it’s happened in US history. The other two presidents are Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

Both of these previously impeached presidents were acquitted. In other words, they were not removed from office as a result of impeachment. So basically, impeachment doesn’t necessarily mean removal.


What is he being impeached for?

A US official can be impeached for various reasons, including ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours’. So what was Trump impeached for exactly? There are two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

How did he abuse his power? Herald Live reports that Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden. He reportedly did this by withholding millions in military aid.

He is also accused of obstructing Congress by directing officials and agencies not to comply with congressional subpoenas. ‘WTF are congressional subpoenas?’ you may be wondering. This is when witnesses are summoned to give testimony or evidence – in this case – related to impeachment.

Trump has denied all accusations and called the impeachment a ‘witch hunt’.

Related: So President Donald Trump’s birth chart, um, explains a lot


This is the first step, so what happens next?

Impeaching a president is a pretty long process. Yes, the House of Representatives has voted and Trump is officially ‘impeached’. But now what? 

Well, now the Senate (another part of the US Congress) has to hold a trial. And Trump – having been impeached – will have to stand trial next month. If he is convicted, then he will be removed from office.

In order for this to happen, there has to be a two-thirds majority vote, meaning 20 Republican senators would need to vote against him. The Senate is Republican-controlled and Republicans seem to love him, so who knows how this will play out. Let’s not get our hopes up too high, it’s early days yet.

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