Impeachment 2020: The First Days


by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

Every person has the right to life, liberty, and the pursue of happiness.

On December 18th, 2019, the United States House of Representatives impeached President Donald J. Trump. Almost a month later on January 15th, 2020, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, delivered the two articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate. On Wednesday, January 22nd, the Senate trial, presided by Chief Justice John Roberts, heard opening arguments.

On Tuesday, the impeachment trial opened with a vote on the rules of the proceedings. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell was forced to revise the rules for the length of the trial, deciding to give each side 24 hours to present their cause over the course of three days.

Currently, the biggest issue in the trial is whether or not they are going to vote to hear from witnesses on both sides. The Democrats want Mick Mulvaney, White House Chief of Staff, Rover Blair, senior adviser to the Chief of Staff, Michael Duffey, associate director for national security at the Office of Management and Budget, and John Bolton, former national security adviser to testify in the trial. The Republicans have not released a potential witness list yet, but there are rumors on Capitol Hill that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden would be called to testify.

The trial will last until Saturday, at that point, the Senators will vote on the decision of witnesses. For the Senate to convict Trump, they would need a majority of 67 votes. The other two impeachment trials have led to acquittals, which may be the outcome of this trial, considering Republicans make up a majority of the Senate.

If Trump gets impeached, Mike Pence, the current vice president, will become the president. Pence would then get to nominate someone to be confirmed by Congress to serve as vice president.