Yes, we have voted in the HOUSE to Impeach Trump for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. But what does that really mean?
Everything in the green font is a direct quote from the article link above it.
- The Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach and remove the
President, Vice President, and other federal “civil officers” upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
- A simple majority of the House is necessary to approve articles of impeachment.
- If the Senate, by vote of a two-thirds majority, convicts the official on any article of impeachment, the result is removal from office and, at the Senate’s discretion, disqualification from holding future office.
- The Constitution does not articulate who qualifies as a “civil officer.” Most
impeachments have applied to federal judges. With regard to the executive
branch, lesser functionaries—such as federal employees who belong to the civil service, do not exercise “significant authority,” and are not appointed by the President or an agency head—do not appear to be subject to impeachment. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it would appear that any official who qualifies as a principal officer, including a head of an agency such as a Secretary, Administrator, or Commissioner, is likely subject to impeachment.
- Impeachable conduct does not appear to be limited to criminal behavior.
Congress has identified three general types of conduct that constitute grounds for impeachment, although these categories should not be understood as exhaustive: (1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.
- The House has impeached 19 individuals: 15 federal judges, one Senator, one
Cabinet member, and two Presidents. The Senate has conducted 16 full
impeachment trials. Of these, eight individuals—all federal judges—were
convicted by the Senate.
So what does all that mean? Well, we can vote to Impeach the Sitting POTUS, however, that does not mean that the Senate will vote to convict. No sitting President in the history of the US has ever been convicted by the Senate.
Johnson, the first POTUS to be impeached, kept his office and served out his term. Nixon resigned before the Senate could vote on the Articles of Impeachment. The Senate found Clinton Not Guilty for perjury and obstruction, and he stayed in office. Trump is now the 4th to be impeached.
While we hope the Senate will convict, we also know that the Senate is a Republican Majority. The House is a Democratic Majority. Those of us that have paid attention know that many of the Republicans in the Senate are ashamed of Trump. However, publicly distancing yourself from someone and voting to convict them of a crime are two drastically different things.