BOSTON (CBS) – President Donald Trump has been impeached by the US House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate will now decide whether to acquit Trump or remove him from office.
“There’s been a lot of talk about this starting in the first week of January,” WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller said.
The format in the Senate only loosely resembles a trial. House Democrats designated as “managers” will act as prosecutors.
The senators, a majority of whom are Republicans, are the jury, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presides over it.
Keller said the wild card is how the president might react. “He could upset the whole apple cart by deciding ‘I want to go down there and testify’ you never know. Anything can and usually will happen,” Keller said.
President Clinton’s Senate trial lasted five weeks before he was acquitted. In this case, GOP senators have hinted they’ll fly through this, perhaps without any new witnesses.
“It could be a matter of a week or so,” Keller said. “Make your arguments, here’s your rebuttal OK now we’ll vote.”
The Democrats got the impeachment they wanted and the Republicans have the votes to keep President Trump in office. What effect will this have on the future?
Trump said this sets a dangerous precedent where future Republicans may impeach a Democratic president they don’t like.
“This is an ugly toxic wrinkle in our political history that I think we’re going to be living with unfortunately for some time to come,” Keller said.
Sixty seven members of the Senate would have to vote to remove President Trump. Only 47 senators are Democrats or caucus with the Democrats. No impeached president has ever been removed from office.