Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 8 student
Who is Donald Trump?
Donald Trump is the current president of the United States of America (only till tonight). He is 74 years old. He was earlier a businessman and a TV personality.
What is impeachment?
Impeachment is when a president (or any other high government official, like a judge) is charged with crimes.
Basically, when a government official does something wrong it gets reported, and then he or she is charged with the crime, that is impeachment.
For example, a government official can be impeached for bribery or for sharing confidential documents with other countries or the public. The penalty for getting impeached does not involve any jail time.
However, you can be removed from office – but for that, another process needs to be followed.
But, what’s important to understand is that impeachment itself does not mean removal from office. The entire process happens in two parts – one is the charging of the crime that’s made against the president, and the other is the removal from office.
The first part of the impeachment happens in the lower house, or the House of representatives – this is where the Congress votes to impeach or not. The next step is voting at the Upper House, or the Senate – this is where the Congress votes to remove him from office or not.
In Trump’s case, the first part is done. The Lower House has voted to impeach him. However, the second part can only be done when the Senate meets again, which is on the 19th. Many believe that this is not needed, since, on the 20th, the new president (Joe Biden) will be sworn in.
When and why was Donald Trump impeached earlier?
Trump misused his powers.
He wanted to win the election and so he tried to get information on his opponent (Joe Biden), who had some business in a country called Ukraine. Trump told the president of Ukraine that he would not give him any aid (money that the US is supposed to give Ukraine as help) if he does not carry out some investigations on Joe Biden. This was a clear misuse of his powers.
When was Donald Trump impeached the second time?
The proceedings of Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment started on January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to start a second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, following the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol a week ago
Why was he impeached?
Trump has been charged with “inciting an insurrection”, which refers to the attack that was made on Capitol Hill on January 6th this year (inciting means making something happen by your actions or words and insurrection means a violent uprising against an authority or government.) On the afternoon of 6th, thousands of Trump supporters broke through police barriers and stormed into the US Capitol building to protest against, what they say, was an unfair election. Four people died in the violence that followed.
Trump is being held responsible for setting off the mob with his remarks – some of which included things like – “big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Why is there no trial? How might this affect Trump’s future?
There is no trial yet because the trial happens in the upper house and by the time the upper house meets and decides if he should be removed or not, his presidency will be over.
But, many scholars of the US Constitution say that there should still be a trial – because impeachment is not only used to remove officials from office, but also ban them from future office. This means that if Trump is tried at the Senate and he loses, he cannot hold any government position again.
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