What's next in the impeachment process for President Trump?

 President Trump and the First Lady.
President Trump and the First Lady. (KOTA)
Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 8:37 PM CST
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President Donald Trump was impeached Wednesday, he's accused of abuse of power, and obstruction of Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 197 to charge Trump with abuse of power, and 229 to 198 to charge him with obstruction of Congress.

These votes were basically split along party lines with only two Democrats voting against both articles of impeachment.

Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and now Donald Trump join the small group of United States presidents to be impeached.

"Impeachment and removal or potential removal from office is exceedingly rare and it's only happened three times in American history, never with a successful removal," said Don Frankenfeld, political consultant in Rapid City.

Impeachment is written into the Constitution, basically the U.S. House of Representatives makes an accusation, which requires a majority vote from Congress, the president is then impeached but not convicted.

"The most common misconception that I've seen is that people think that impeachment is the same as removal, there are some people that I've talked to today who actually think the president of the united states has been removed from office, no, the first step in that process toward removal has been completed," Frankenfeld said.

The next step is a Senate trial but the question is when?

"There was a new wrinkle last night when the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi indicated that she might not send articles of impeachment to the Senate or at least not immediately until she is persuaded that the Senate develops a fair, what she would consider a fair process for the trial, that's new and unprecedented," Frankenfeld said.

Frankenfeld said out of all the impeachment processes he's seen, this is by far the most partisan on both sides of the aisle.

To be removed from office, Trump needs a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate, that means 67 senators to convict and remove him from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

The Senate trial is expected to start in January 2020.

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