What is impeachment and can Donald Trump be removed from office?

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Impeachment is a mechanism by which Congress can remove a sitting president.
Before Donald Trump, only two US presidents had been removed from office.

Mr Trump was impeached in 2020 for claiming to have abused his power by withholding aid to Ukraine in the hope that his leader would investigate Joe Biden, his political rival. He was indicted by the House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate.

Now, Mr. Trump risks becoming the first president in history to be impeached twice. Democrats are demanding the president be removed from office after inciting a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6.

Members of the Democratic Congress plan to file a single article of impeachment on Jan. 11, accusing the president of “incitement to insurgency.”

Here’s how impeachment works.

What is impeachment?

Impeachment is the process by which Congress brings certain officials, namely the President, to justice.

The US constitution defines a wide range of offenses that can lead to indictment: “Treason, corruption or other serious crimes and misdemeanors”.

How does it work and how many votes are needed?

Impeachment does not mean that a president will necessarily be expelled from office. It proceeds like a bill passed by the legislature.

First, a majority in the House of Representatives – 218 out of 435 members – must approve the articles of impeachment previously approved in committee.

Democrats hold a majority in the House of Representatives; 233 to 195 (five seats are vacant and one is independent).

When Mr. Trump was impeached in 2020, the articles of impeachment were easily passed in the House.

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