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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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What you should know

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Impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump

What is impeachment?

Impeachment in the United States is the process by which the lower house of a legislature brings charges against a civil officer of government for crimes alleged to have been committed. If a federal official, like the president of the United States, commits a crime or abuses the powers of their office, the House of Representatives may bring charges against them for their actions. If the president is found guilty, the Senate will hold an impeachment trial against the official. The president can only be removed from office if the Senate also finds him guilty.

What did Nancy Pelosi include in her speech?

In a televised speech on Sept. 24, Pelosi stated that due to a breach in his constitutional responsibilities, the House of Representatives would be moving forward with an attempt to impeach the president.

“I can say with authority the Trump administrations’ actions undermine both our national security and our intelligence,” Pelosi said. “No one is above the law.”

What did the president do to prompt this impeachment inquiry?

Pelosi said the House of Representatives is opening an impeachment inquiry into President Trump because of “a phone call by the president of the United States, calling upon a foreign power to intervene in his election.”

The Trump administration was also obstructing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, from gaining access to the transcript of the President’s phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine.

What are the next steps?

Susan Liebell, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at St. Joe’s, said that the next step is for the House of Representatives to declare a charge against the president. They began their investigations on Sept. 26, but it could last for weeks before the president is even charged.

“They’re going to do an investigation before they even come up with a charge to impeach the president,” Liebell said. “So they’re basically starting this process of [asking] what did he do wrong? What’s wrong with this phone call? That’s what they’ve got to figure out. And once they figure that out, they would then construct the charge.”

Pelosi would not have made this impeachment inquiry announcement on national television without the knowledge that President Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives, Liebell said.

However, it is up to the senate to remove him from office.

“The senate is a completely different story,” Liebell said. “Nobody expects that it will provide the two thirds majority against the president that would be required for him to be removed from office.”

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