The U.S. House of Representatives voted on a single article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting an insurrection last week at the U.S. Capitol.
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died as a result of last week’s riot.
Channel 9 political reporter Christopher Heath summarized nine things to know about Wednesday’s proceedings below:
1. House timeline
The U.S. House voted on Wednesday afternoon to impeach President Donald Trump for “inciting an insurrection” following last Wednesday’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The House vote is a simple majority. The vote was 231-197, including 10 Republicans, to pass one article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection.
2. What is “insurrection?”
Insurrection is defined as “a violent uprising against an authority or government” with the charge against President Trump stemming from his comments made in the wake of the Nov. 3 election as well as his statements made to an assembled group of supporters on Wednesday, Jan. 6, both before and after the mob stormed the Capitol.
3. Senate timeline
The U.S. Senate is in pro forma session right now, and unless it is called back, the earliest the Senate can receive the article of impeachment from the House would be Tuesday, Jan. 19.
4. Trial in the Senate
The Senate trial could start as early as 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20; one hour after Trump leaves office.
5. Senate control
Up until Jan. 20, the GOP will control the U.S. Senate. After the certification of the two Georgia Senate seats and the inauguration of Kamala Harris as vice president, the Democrats will control the chamber.
Legal scholars differ on opinions as to whether or not the Senate can vote on removal after the president has already left office and become a private citizen.
There is precedent for still holding the trial, however, there is also a significant amount of ambiguity as to how the Senate should and would proceed.
7. Ban on holding office
The vote to remove the president from office requires 2/3 of the senators present to vote to convict, whereas the vote to ban the president from ever holding federal office again only requires a simple majority.
Constitutional scholars suggest the Senate cannot ban someone from holding office until after they have been convicted.
8. Second impeachment
Only three presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Of those three, none were convicted in the Senate.
However, Trump holds the unique distinction of being the only president to receive a bipartisan conviction vote, and after Wednesday’s House vote is the only president ever impeached twice.
9. Senate vote
Even after the two Georgia Senators are sworn in, the Senate will be 50/50. To convict President Trump, at least 17 Republicans and all 48 Democrats as well as the two independents (who caucus with the Democrats) will have to vote to convict.
While some Republican Senators have indicated they are open to the idea of conviction, there may not be 17.