The Democratic-led House impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but the process is far from over. A trial is now underway in the Senate, which will be followed by a vote on whether to acquit Trump or remove him from office.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Announcing formal

impeachment inquiry

Sept. 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Announcing formal

impeachment inquiry

Sept. 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Announcing formal

impeachment inquiry

Sept. 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Announcing formal

impeachment inquiry

Sept. 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the launch of the inquiry in September. According to the Constitution, the House can impeach a president — and other civil officers, such as federal judges — if lawmakers believe they have committed “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” What constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor is open to interpretation, but an abuse of power could fit the bill. Investigators looked into whether actions by Trump rise to that level.

Pelosi chose the House Intelligence Committee to lead the investigation. It is chaired by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and includes 13 Democrats and nine Republicans. The Committee, alongside the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, called dozens of witnesses to testify or produce documents, not all of whom complied.

Formal inquiry by

House Intelligence Committee

Adam B. Schiff

Chairman

13 Democrats

9 Republicans

50%

Formal inquiry by

House Intelligence Committee

Adam B. Schiff

Chairman

13 Democrats

9 Republicans

50%

Formal inquiry by

House Intelligence Committee

Adam B. Schiff

Chairman

13 Democrats

9 Republicans

50%

Formal inquiry by

House Intelligence Committee

Adam B. Schiff

Chairman

13 Democrats

9 Republicans

50%

Three previous presidents have reached this inquiry stage: Andrew Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. The Nixon and Clinton impeachment processes included votes of the full House authorizing the Judiciary Committee to formally investigate.

Originally, Pelosi had said that the House Judiciary, led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), would investigate this time as well, but she decided that Intelligence should lead when she narrowed the focus to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Judiciary Committee members, however, still played a crucial role: They voted on whether there were grounds for impeachment.

Deciding whether to draft articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary

Committee votes to decide if there are grounds for impeachment

Jerrold Nadler

Chairman

24 Democrats

17 Republicans

Nadler

50%

The House Judiciary

Committee drafts

articles of impeachment.

The House Judiciary

Committee decides not to pursue impeachment.

No further proceedings.

President remains in office.

The House debates each article of impeachment

on the floor.

Deciding whether to draft articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary

Committee votes to decide if there are grounds for impeachment

Jerrold Nadler

Chairman

24 Democrats

17 Republicans

Nadler

50%

The House Judiciary

Committee drafts

articles of impeachment.

The House Judiciary

Committee decides not to pursue impeachment.

No further proceedings.

President remains in office.

The House debates each article of impeachment

on the floor.

Deciding whether to draft articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary

Committee votes to decide if there are grounds for impeachment

Jerrold Nadler

Chairman

24 Democrats

17 Republicans

Nadler

50%

The House Judiciary

Committee drafts

articles of impeachment.

The House Judiciary

Committee decides not to pursue impeachment.

No further proceedings.

President remains in office.

The House debates each article of impeachment

on the floor.

Deciding whether to draft articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary

Committee votes to decide if there are grounds for impeachment

Jerrold Nadler

Chairman

24 Democrats

17 Republicans

Nadler

50%

The House Judiciary

Committee drafts

articles of impeachment.

The House Judiciary

Committee decides not to pursue impeachment.

No further proceedings.

President remains in office.

The House debates each article of impeachment

on the floor.

On Dec. 13, the Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, voting strictly on party lines. House Democrats had announced the articles days earlier: one for abuse of power regarding his conduct with Ukraine and the other for obstruction of Congress during the ensuing investigation. Articles of impeachment are not criminal indictments but are similar in that they are charges against a person that could be pursued in a trial.

Trump faces the same number of charges as Clinton did. Johnson faced 11, while Nixon faced three. Nixon resigned after an incriminating audiotape was released before the full House had a chance to vote.

On Dec. 18, the House voted to impeach President Trump on the two charges after a six-hour debate. The vote was largely along party lines with voting Republicans all opposing impeachment and three Democrats joining them on at least one of the articles. Two Republicans and one Democrat did not vote. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) voted “present.”

Votes on each article

of impeachment

Full House of Representatives

233 Democrats

197 Republicans

1 Independent

Yes on any

article of

impeachment

No to

all

No further

proceedings.

President

remains

in office.

Trump is

impeached.

Votes on each article of impeachment

Full House of Representatives

233 Democrats

197 Republicans

1 Independent

Yes on any

article of

impeachment

No to

all

No further

proceedings.

President

remains

in office.

Trump is

impeached.

Votes on each article of impeachment

Full House of Representatives

233 Democrats

197 Republicans

1 Independent

Yes on any

article of

impeachment

No to

all

Trump is

impeached.

No further proceedings.

President remains in office.

Votes on each article of impeachment

Full House of Representatives

233 Democrats

197 Republicans

1 Independent

Yes on any

article of

impeachment

No to

all

Trump is

impeached.

No further proceedings.

President remains in office.

Next impeachment moves to the Senate. The Constitution does not require a trial to occur, stating only that the Senate has the “sole power to try,” but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) committed to holding one.

The specifics of the trial became a source of contention. Democrats called for more investigative work and witnesses, which McConnell was against. After a month-long stalemate the House delivered the two articles of impeachment to the Senate on Jan. 15, allowing the trial to begin.

SENATE

Trial before full senate

John G. Roberts Jr.

Chief Justice of the United States presides.

Senate

Acts as the jury.

SENATE

Trial before full senate

John G. Roberts Jr.

Chief Justice of the United States presides.

Senate

Acts as the jury.

SENATE

Trial before full senate

John G. Roberts Jr.

Chief Justice of the United States presides.

Senate

Acts as the jury.

SENATE

Trial before full senate

John G. Roberts Jr.

Chief Justice of the United States presides.

Senate

Acts as the jury.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. presides over the trial where Senators serve as jurors.

First, the Senate votes on the rules of the trial, including its length and speaking time. During the trial, House “managers” — House lawmakers who are designated to argue the case for impeachment — outline the charges, and the president’s attorneys defend him. Both sides may call and cross-examine witnesses.

Johnson and Clinton were tried in the Senate. Then-Rep. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) was a manager during Clinton’s trial.

After each side makes their opening arguments, and answers questions from the Senators, the Senate will vote on whether to dismiss the case or move forward with evidence and witnesses.

Senate trial

WE ARE

HERE

67 votes

needed to

convict

53 Republicans

45 Democrats

2 Independents

who caucus with Democrats

2/3 of Senate

votes to convict

Trump is

removed.

2/3 threshold

not met

Trump

remains

in office.

Senate trial

67 votes

needed to

convict

WE ARE

HERE

53 Republicans

45 Democrats

2 Independents

who caucus with Democrats

2/3 of Senate

votes to convict.

2/3 threshold

not met

Trump is

removed.

Trump

remains

in office.

Senate trial

WE ARE

HERE

67 votes needed to convict—

53 Republicans

45 Democrats

2 Independents

who caucus with Democrats

2/3 of Senate

votes to convict

2/3 threshold

not met

Trump is

removed.

Trump remains

in office.

Senate trial

WE ARE

HERE

67 votes needed to convict—

53 Republicans

45 Democrats

2 Independents

who caucus with Democrats

2/3 of Senate

votes to convict

2/3 threshold

not met

Trump is

removed.

Trump remains

in office.

Following final arguments — that occur either after the case’s dismissal or the calling of witnesses and introduction of evidence — the Senate deliberates behind closed doors. However, voting is done in open session. The bar is high for conviction: a two-thirds majority of the senators present.

If convicted of any charge, the president is removed from office and cannot pardon himself to avoid losing his position, according to the Constitution. The vice president becomes president.

Clinton was handily acquitted, but only one “nay” vote on each of three charges kept Johnson from being removed from office.

Related stories:

Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry

What’s next in the public impeachment hearings

Live updates: Historic impeachment hearing begins

Read the text message excerpts between U.S. diplomats, Giuliani and a Ukrainian aide

Why now? The moments that moved Pelosi and House Democrats toward impeachment

Note: There are 431 members of the House as four seats are currently vacant.

Photos by The Washington Post, Getty Images, and the U.S. House Office of Photography

This graphic originally published on Sept. 25, 2019