“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.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4
How the Process Works
The first step to impeaching a president is in the House of Representatives. The representatives draft the articles of impeachment. The House Judiciary then holds hearings on why they should or should not impeach. The House Judiciary needs a simple majority to approve the resolution (51/100). The documents of impeachment are then taken to the Senate where they need a supermajority to pass. If all of this happens, the president is impeached.
Day 1: On the first day of the impeachment trial in the Senate, the senators ruled that former presidents can be impeached. There was a lot of debate on the constitutionality of this act, calling into account the first amendment (freedom of speech). The debate ended by a vote of 56 for and 44 against.
The prosecution was led by Senator Raskin from Maryland who showed a 13 minute video of January 6th. The video included graphic images and videos of the day including parts of Trump’s speech mixed in. The day ended with the first of Trump’s lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr., who later left the team.
Day 2: On the second day, a new video came out showing the Vice President being rushed out of the Senate chamber along with another video of Senator Mitt Romney (Republican from Utah) and Senator Chuck Schumer (Democratic from New York) being taken to safety. The video shows capitol police officer Eugene Goodman helping the Senators to safety.
The day ended after a three-hour attack from Trump’s lawyers on why the senators should not convict.
Day 3: Day 3 was a Q-and-A day from the senators. Both legal teams could use up to a total 5 minutes to answer. If the question was directed to both sides they each got 2 ½ minutes to respond. The questions came from both sides but had to be cleared by the chair (Senator Patrick Leahy).
Day 4: Day 4 started with the Democrats calling for witnesses. However, they later retracted the motion because of backlash from Trump’s lawyers.
The House impeachment legal team needed a total of 67 votes to convict. The vote came in as 57 to convict and 43 acquitted; 7 GOP senators voted to convict. This means that Trump was acquitted and not convicted.