US President Donald Trump has been impeached by the House, following weeks of the debate. He becomes the third president in history to be impeached.

The House passed two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in the lead-up to the impeachment. The first article garnered a 230 – 197 vote while the second one garnered a 229-198 vote.

It is now up to the Senate to decide whether to convict Donald Trump or remove him from office.

Background to the impeachment

Trump’s presidential tenure has been marred with scandal after scandal, both new and old. Despite the Democrats numerous attempts to try and impeach him none have ever really materialized, until now.

Reason for impeachment

President Trumps’ disregard for policy and ‘act now, deal with the consequences later’ approach, lies at the center of his impeachment. He was accused of abuse of power after directly reaching out to the Ukranian president to try and hurry along investigations against his rival, Joe Biden.

Former US Vice President Biden and his sons’ dealings with a Ukrainian natural  gas company has recently come into question. Trump is on record attempting to coerce the Ukrainian president into a quid pro quo deal. At the time, Ukraine needed military aid to pro-Russian separatists. President Trump thus asked for a ‘favor’ in the form of a hurried investigation in exchange for the funds.

The Republicans have however vehemently denied this claims. According to the party the funds were released but no investigation has been launched on Biden. Therefore this nullifies the Democrats claims.

Republicans retaliate

Despite his impeachment, his removal from office remains unlikely, given  the senate that will decide the next move is largely Republican-controlled. The Republicans voted as a unit during the impeachment proceedings, and  this is likely to be the case in Senate. Trump had earlier reacted to the proceedings in a scathing attack on the Democrats and house speaker, Pelosi. A six-page letter to the house termed the proceedings as “baseless” and “preposterous”.

Can Trump run for Office after impeachment?

So can Trump run for Office after impeachment? That is going to depend on the outcome of the Senate Trial and vote. If acquitted he stays put, if convicted – they can then then have a vote to disqualify him from holding office. If a vote of disqualification is not taken, the he can still run for office. This abstract from the Washington Post puts it more into perspective:

“If no disqualification vote is held, even a convicted official can reenter federal service. U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings was removed from office in 1989 after he was impeached in the House for engaging in a “corrupt conspiracy” — soliciting a $150,000 bribe in a case before him — and convicted in the Senate. But the Senate took no vote on disqualification. In 1992, Hastings ran for and won a seat from Florida in the US House of Representatives, where he remains to this day.”

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