THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS - An overview to clear up the many misconceptions floating around

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There seems to be quite a bit of confusion out there about what happens next vis-à-vis the impeachment process. From some maroons in the Tavern that thought Trump was out of office to those who think the Senate does not have to wait for the House, there is too much bad info out there. 


In an effort to help educate anyone who cares to read this, a discussion of process from CBS News is below. I cannot speak for the exacting correctness of this but my read of it feels right. Note, this is not a general discussion, it is specific to this event. I am sure more generalized discussions are out there but this felt like the better option. 


Pick House managers

There are a few procedural steps to be taken before the House sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate.


The chamber must agree on who will be the "House managers" who will conduct the impeachment trial in the Senate. The House impeachment managers act as prosecutors and present the case against Mr. Trump. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can now name the managers at any point, and the House will then debate and vote on the resolution naming the managers. Some names have already been floated by Democrats, including Representative Justin Amash, an independent from Michigan who left the Republican Party earlier this year. The House adjourned Wednesday evening a little before 9 p.m. without settling this matter yet. It could wait until a later date to name the House managers. 


After this is completed, the House will then formally deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which must immediately act on them.


Prepare for trial

After the Senate has received the articles, it must notify the House when the managers can present them — that is, to read them — to the Senate.


After House managers present the articles of impeachment on the Senate floor, they leave until the Senate invites them back for the trial.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the trial would likely happen in January, "right around the time the bowl games end."


For those who aren't college football fans, the last bowl game is expected to be played January 6.


Hold a trial

The Constitution offers vague guidelines for how an impeachment trial should be conducted: The senators act as jurors, House members as prosecutors, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides.


The rest of the rules are up to the Senate. A simple majority of the Senate must agree on whether to call witnesses, what kind of evidence to admit, and how long to make the trial. In the event that there's a tie on questions regarding evidence and witnesses, Chief Justice John Roberts would cast the tie-breaking vote, the Senate's guidelines suggest.


"The presiding officer (the chief justice) may rule on all questions of evidence, including, but not limited to, questions of relevancy, materiality, and redundancy of evidence and incidental questions," the guidelines say.


McConnell has expressed interest in having a quick trial without witnesses, but Senator Charles Schumer, the minority leader, wants to hear from four administration officials who were asked to testify in the House impeachment inquiry but did not appear: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, senior adviser to the Acting White House chief of staff Robert Blair and Michael Duffey, associate director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget.



After the trial concludes, the Senate will conduct a public vote on whether to convict the president and remove him from office. 


Two-thirds of senators' support is required for that to happen. 

Edited by tomkaz

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From my reading the above is an accepted process agreed to by both houses of Congress with historical precedent.

It's not clear to me that the Chief Justice has any role in determining rules prior to the trial starting.  Or being granted a vote to resolve ties prior to trial.

At any point in the trial the Senate could vote to change the rules.  Although this could have significant public reaction and political consequences.


My guess is that the Republicans would have more than 50 votes to follow the previous trial rules which did not allow for witnesses.  And which Schumer supported in 1996.


With all the d's claiming support for the Constitution and their "duties" therein McConnell should pass a resolution demanding that Trump has the right under the 6th Amendment to a speedy trial and thus give the house 7 days to present or dismiss article of impeachment.


The d's have yet again stumbled.  The 10% of undecided see this as yet another stunt.  (As well the effort by Schumer to only bring witnesses forward that he selects.)


Edited by Steve_in_PA

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