A historic vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump is expected to pass today as the House of Representatives debates articles of impeachment against the president for the third time in history.
The House will debate the two articles of impeachment - one for abuse of power, and the second for obstruction of justice - in a process that's expected to take around six hours. Then, lawmakers will take votes on both articles under rules recommended by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday. The first thing for lawmakers on Wednesday will be for them to debate the rules recommended by the committee and then pass those.
If and when the articles pass the House, a vote naming managers (essentially prosecutors for the Senate trial), will be held.
The impeachment vote comes after a series of rallies were held across the country on Tuesday night, by people who supported the impeachment and removal of President Trump.
On Tuesday, President Trump sent a lengthy six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that decried the impeachment inquiry as a "crusade," calling it "spiteful" and an "election nullification scheme."
"Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Democrats made their case for impeachment of the president in a 658-page report that was released on Monday. The document is divided into four sections, the first of which, is devoted the process followed by the House Intelligence Committee, which investigated the initial whistleblower complaint against President Trump.
Part two of the report outlines the standards of impeachment as they are laid out in the Constitution. The third section runs through the evidence collected by Democrats during the course of the impeachment inquiry to make their case for how Trump abused the power of his office in pressuring a foreign government to investigate his potential 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Part four of the report outlines the Democrats' case that Trump and his administration obstructed Congress' ability to investigate the executive branch by ignoring House investigators' requests for documents and testimony.
If the articles of impeachment pass the House today, the process moves to the Senate, where several representatives will present the House's case for impeachment. The impeached official is given the opportunity to mount a defense with their own attorneys as well. The trial would allow each side to call witnesses and perform cross-examinations, with the "House Manager" presenting the prosecutor's case. However, the proceeding is far closer to what happens when federal workers are fired from their jobs.
No actual criminal prosecution is done, however, the individual being removed from office is still subject to criminal proceedings should circumstances warrant.
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