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Trump impeachment: What happens next?

Reuters WASHINGTON | Updated on December 11, 2019 Published on December 11, 2019

US President Donald Trump   -  REUTERS

US President Donald Trump could become only the third president in US history to be impeached. Here are the details.

US House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment on Tuesday, charging US President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in his dealings with Ukraine and the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry that followed.

The move sets in motion a process that will probably move to a trial in the US Senate.

Here is what will likely happen in coming days:

Wednesday, December 11

The House Judiciary Committee will meet at 7 PM (local time) on Wednesday and continue on Thursday morning to debate the articles that Democrats have brought forward and vote on whether to recommend them to the full House of Representatives for a final impeachment vote.

Week of December 15

The House would be expected to vote on the charges, possibly after holding a day long debate that could involve all 431 of its current legislators. If the full House voted to approve the articles, Trump would become only the third president in US history to be impeached. He would remain in office, however, pending a trial in the Senate.

If the impeachment is approved, the House would select lawmakers known as managers to present the case against Trump at a Senate trial. House Democrats say most of the managers are likely to come from the Judiciary Committee, and possibly from the Intelligence Committee, that led the investigation.

Early January

Trump would face a trial in the Senate to determine whether he should be convicted and ousted from office. The Senate is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, who have shown little sign they will find him guilty.

A two-thirds majority of those present in the 100-member chamber would be needed to convict Trump.

US Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial, House managers would present their case against Trump and the president's legal team would respond, with the senators acting as jurors. A trial could involve testimony from witnesses and a gruelling schedule in which proceedings occur six days a week for as many as six weeks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday a majority of the Senate could go with a shorter option by voting on the articles of impeachment after opening arguments, without witnesses.

Published on December 11, 2019
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