House impeachment manager Representative Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, spoke during the closing arguments of the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate on February 3, 2020.
The third presidential impeachment trial in the history of the United States began in the Senate on January 16, 2020. The House of Representatives voted to impeach, or bring charges against, President Donald Trump on December 17, 2019. The U.S. Constitution says that a President can be impeached and removed from office, by Congress, for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Other Presidents who were impeached were President Andrew Johnson in 1868 and President Bill Clinton in 1999. In both of those cases, the Presidents were impeached by the House of Representatives but not removed from office by the Senate. In 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned, or quit, before he was impeached, but he would have likely been removed from office if he had not resigned.
In the impeachment case against President Trump, House Democrats charged him for abuse of power. They said that he tried to make the nation of Ukraine help him personally and politically by doing things that were not for the good of the United States. They also said that he obstructed Congress, or prevented Congress from doing its job. President Trump and his allies said that he did nothing wrong.
In the impeachment trial, President Donald Trump’s actions were judged by the Senate. The Senate served both as judge and jury. President Trump had lawyers representing him who worked to convince the Senate that he should remain President. The House of Representatives had its appointed members try to convince the Senate that President Trump should be removed from office.
After the evidence was presented, the Senate took a final vote on February 5, 2020. The members of the Senate voted mostly along party lines. In other words, most Republicans voted to keep Donald Trump as President and most Democrats voted to remove him. Since there are more Republicans than Democrats in the Senate, Donald Trump was acquitted, or freed from the charges brought against him. This outcome is similar to the other presidential impeachments in the nation’s history. Voters will now have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want Donald Trump to be President for four more years in the presidential election in November this year.