Trump has been impeached, but he’s still president: The rules of impeachment

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(CNN) – Although President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in a near party-line vote Wednesday, he is still the president.

So what is impeachment and how does it work?

The framers of the Constitution included a provision for impeaching a president or other federal officials after looking at a process from Britain. The Constitution says, “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

However, impeachable offenses are up to the lawmakers at any given time.

The House exercised its constitutional right to charge Trump with the following charges:

  • Abuse of power for his effort to withhold taxpayer money from Ukraine and get that country to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden;
  • Obstruction of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the oversight investigation.

On Wednesday, the full House of Representatives voted on the charges. The abuse of power article passed 230-197, while the obstruction of Congress article passed 229-198.

Once the charges are approved by a majority in the House of Representatives, the president is officially “impeached.” However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will lose his spot in the White House.

After being approved by the House of Representatives, the articles for impeachment head to the Senate for a vote. If the Senate approves the articles of impeachment by a two-thirds majority, the official is then removed from office.

At this point, it is unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate will vote to remove Trump from the White House.

Throughout our nation’s history, only two other presidents have been impeached but neither was removed from office.

President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for firing a cabinet secretary without the consent of Congress, and President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice.

President Richard M. Nixon faced possible impeachment on the grounds of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress in relation to the Watergate scandal. He resigned in 1974 before a vote was conducted in the House of Representatives.


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