Current Events

What to expect in America’s first 21st century impeachment trial against a U.S. president.

Current Events

Quick Reminder

  • The House impeached Pres. Trump on two “charges” (abuse of power & obstruction of congress) related to Pres. Trump requesting Ukraine’s help investigating the Biden family.
  • The Senate will decide the punishment: whether or not the President should be removed from office.
  • Two presidents have been impeached (Andrew Johnson & Bill Clinton), but none have been removed from office.
Current Events

Impeachment Managers

  • The House selected seven managers. Six are former lawyers, and one is a former police chief.
  • Managers “prosecute” the case for impeachment (show why the House voted in favor of the impeachment articles) to the Senate, who act as the “jury.”
  • COMPARE: During the impeachment trial of Pres. Clinton, House republicans selected 13 impeachment managers.
Current Events


  • The Senate is expected to vote on whether to allow new witnesses during the trial.
  • Democrats want to hear from fmr. national security adviser John Bolton & acting WH chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Republicans want the Bidens to testify.
  • COMPARE: During the Clinton trial, the Senate voted on whether to allow witnesses during the trial. 3 witnesses were deposed behind closed doors.
Current Events

Presiding Officer

  • Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial, but his role is *limited* and largely ceremonial as the Senate can overrule his decisions by a majority vote.
  • The Senate decides BOTH the procedures governing the trial and its outcome — whether to oust the Pres.
  • Before the trial begins, the presiding officer and every senator must take an oath to “do impartial justice.”
Current Events


  • The Senate impeachment trial will look like a criminal trial, but it isn’t. For example, there’s no burden of proof, or unanimous verdict needed to convict.
  • Number To Know: 51. The Senate is made up 47 Democrats (including 2 Independents) and 53 Republicans. 51 votes are needed to pass (or defeat) any motion. The Democrats drove the impeachment in the House; Republicans take the wheel now.
Current Events

What's next? The House managers will *formally* deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate on Thursday, Chief Justice Roberts will take be sworn in to preside over the trial and then administer an oath to the full Senate. The "trial" will begin on Tuesday.

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