Chances are if you have been on the internet at all in the past week, you have been bombarded with information surrounding a formal inquiry into Donald Trump’s impeachment. You might be wondering what this means for the current president going forward, so let us take a closer look into what impeachment is and what led to the investigation into President Trump.
Impeachment in American politics is defined as a charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office. An impeachment trial usually occurs because a high-ranking official commits crimes while in office, though it is possible for an official to be charged for crimes committed before they took office. Impeachable offenses include treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. An impeached official will remain in their position until a trial takes place. The act of removing said official from office after they are convicted is a completely separate matter. This second stage is conducted by the upper legislative house, which in the case of presidential impeachment, is the Senate, with the Chief Justice of the United States presiding over the proceedings. If a two-thirds supermajority vote is achieved, an official is removed from their office.
The issue of Trump’s impeachment is not a new one, but up until now, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has rejected the idea of opening a formal impeachment inquiry. After news broke of the Ukranian scandal, however, Pelosi condemned the former president and announced that the six major House committees will investigate and forward their recommendations to the Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to recommend articles of impeachment for a vote by the entirety of the House. Because so few details have been released concerning this most recent scandal, a significant amount of investigation will be necessary for determining whether an adequate basis exists for impeachment.
Whether or not the House committees decide to move forward with impeaching President Trump, Speaker Pelosi wants to make it known that the United States government has no tolerance for high-level officials violating the trust of the American people. By opening this inquiry, she has shown that Trump’s reckless actions will not go without repercussions.