The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump for inciting last week’s deadly Capitol siege, making him the first president to be impeached twice.
While voting is still under way, a majority of lawmakers has already voted to impeach.
The outcome, which was expected, comes only seven days before Trump leaves office and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
The Democrat-controlled House charged Trump with inciting an insurrection after a mob of his supporters, riled up by his false claims of election fraud, stormed Congress and temporarily halted a joint session to certify Biden’s victory.
The House impeachment will lead to a trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to convict Trump.
However, an outcome appears unlikely before Biden is sworn in as President.
The resolution is expected to pass in a bipartisan vote, with several Republican lawmakers having said they would join Democrats in voting for impeachment.
The impeachment came after Lawmakers debated the charge against Trump – inciting an insurrection – in the same chamber that was evacuated a week ago as his supporters stormed Congress.
How Impeachment In US Works.
If lawmakers believe a president is guilty of what the US Constitution calls “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” the process begins in the House of Representatives.
Any member can introduce an impeachment resolution which, like any other bill, is sent to a committee. The process can be also be started without a resolution, as with the current impeachment inquiry.
The committee can review the evidence it receives, or carry out an investigation itself.
If the evidence is strong enough, the committee crafts articles of impeachment — the political equivalent of criminal charges — and sends them to the full House.
The House can pass the articles by a simple majority vote, “impeaching” the president.
The articles then go to the Senate, where a trial takes place, with representatives from the House acting as prosecutors and the president and his attorneys presenting his defense.
The chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial in the Senate.
The 100-member Senate then votes on the charges, with a two-thirds majority necessary to convict and remove the president.
If the president is convicted, the vice president then takes over the White House.