House poised to impeach Trump but Republican-controlled Senate unlikely to convict

The US House of Representatives is expected to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction

house impeachment

Photo: Al Drago/NY Times

The US House of Representatives is expected to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress today.

Trump would be the third president in US history to be impeached. To be removed from office, Trump would need to be convicted on at least one count by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. The Republican-led upper chamber is widely expected to acquit the president.

Proponents of the charges maintain that Trump conditioned military aid to Ukraine on Kiev launching an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Supporters of the president say that Trump’s actions do not constitute the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required for impeachment.

Regardless of the criminality of Trump’s actions, both Democrats and Republicans are calculating the political consequences of impeachment and acquittal on the 2020 presidential contest.

Impeachment is more likely to be a boon to Trump, whose approval rating has steadily increased since the House first announced formal articles of impeachment. Indeed, failure to convict is likely to reinforce Republican claims that the impeachment effort has been a partisan sideshow. Impeachment could also rally supporters of a “president under fire” to the polls in November.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.