Time magazine released an article announcing that House Democrats have moved to officially impeach Donald Trump. Time magazine included the disclaimer, “in a long-shot effort that stands little chance in the Republican-led House.” Trump facing impeachment doesn’t necessarily mean he will be gone right away and it seems like it will be awhile until Trump goes to court if he even makes it there. There are several steps towards impeachment and we’re only in the beginning stages.
If this were a video game, we’re only at level one. The first step after the impeachments are filed is getting it by the speaker of the house, who is Paul Ryan and then he refers it to the house judiciary committee if he so chooses to. This is a challenge on its own, as it’s no secret that Paul Ryan isn’t bipartisan in many of his decisions and may see this as an attack on the GOP and rather than a move to convict a criminal who happens to be our President. If Paul Ryan does choose to present the articles, the judiciary committee will have a hearing and then vote on them. The vote must be a majority for it to pass and then go to the house who then has to vote a majority.
After both votes, the president is then officially impeached. However, this doesn't mean the president is out of office. An impeachment is similar to an indictment. (You might remember this term used in reference to police who had broken the law but didn't receive an indictment.) The next step after impeachment is bringing the articles to the Senate who also vote, however, this part of the process is run more so like a trial. Both sides present evidence for and against the articles and then the Senate votes to convict the President. If the vote is successful, specifically two-thirds of the Senate, then the impeached official is removed office.
The process is so arduous and complicated, that a president has never been successfully removed from office and only two Presidents have been impeached in the history of the United States: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both of them were presidents when their enemy parties ruled the house. Nixon was never impeached, but Republicans had believed he could and advised him to resign.
Considering the process and the lack of Democrats controlling the house and the Senate, it is very unlikely that this impeachment attempt will go far. It’s not impossible but it’s definitely a longshot that has a better (but still slim) chance if the Democrats successfully flip the house and senate in the midterm elections.
The issue right now is that there is a low chance the GOP would be open to an impeachment considering how divided the parties are and the fact that many Republicans still stand behind Trump and his administration despite the scandals. Republicans are also reluctant to move to impeach Trump out of fear of how it will affect their party. Their main issue is that right now is that the party is very fractured with polarizing views. Trump as their leader is the only glue that keeping the party from tearing apart due to in party fighting. This is not to say that he is a good glue. He’s more like an off brand of Elmer's considering he kind of instigated some of those fights after targeting at least ten out of fifty-two Republican senators in his tweets.
While many of us are hoping for some impeachment or resignation, there is a lot more that needs to happen in the meantime. Instead, perhaps research potential candidates for the Midterms next year and see who will be running in your area. This is probably the best thing you can do and is very important considering that young voters are least likely to vote in midterm elections due to the lack of media coverage of the event and the lack of discourse on social media about it. Please, please pay attention for next years midterms, and maybe you can flip the house and senate and give a potential impeachment a greater chance than it currently stands.