Local expert breaks down impeachment process

In this politically charged era, many viewers are still confused about the impeachment process unfolding before them. We break it down. (WJHG/WECP)
In this politically charged era, many viewers are still confused about the impeachment process unfolding before them. We break it down. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 6:22 PM CST
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With impeachment talk and related hearings bombarding the airwaves and the web, it's hard to make sense of it all.

"They throw the word impeachment and they cover the investigations and all that but they don't ever explain the process," said Travis Meadows, a student at Gulf Coast State College.

"It's very confusing to a lot of people most of the time. Most of the time I'm confused about it," said Victoria Routh, another student.

So we met with one local scholar to explain the process.

"The House of Representatives would be the chamber that initiates the proceedings and they start this with an inquiry or an investigation and they will develop charges or articles of impeachment," said Elizabeth Trentanelli, a professor of political science at the college.

Jerry Nadler, the Democratic House Judiciary Committee chair, announced Tuesday, "the first article is for abuse of power... this gives rise to the second article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress."

The Democrat-controlled House will then vote on the articles. If passed, they will be sent over to the Republican-controlled Senate where a trial will take place.

Trentanelli said, "The chief justice of the U.S.- the United State Supreme Court- will come over to the Senate and preside as the judge in the Senate and then there will be rounds of testimony and discussion and debate."

The Senate will then vote on whether the president will be removed from office.

"For a president to be impeached- removed from office- would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate," said Trentanelli.

But in these politically charged times, often one of the most difficult and important things to do is listen to each other.

"It's ok for people to have different opinions, but if you have good professional friendships then your opinions aren't going to divide you," said Routh.

Trentanelli also advises to be a responsible consumer of information, "Social media is great but it's always good to double check what people are posting, you know, and get some actual documentation."

The Senate is expected to begin the impeachment trial in January.

Removing the president would require at least 20 GOP senators, along with all the democrats, to vote yes on the articles of impeachment .

If President Trump is removed from office, he would be the first president in U.S. history to suffer that fate.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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