Here’s a refresher on the impeachment process….
The first step is for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there are grounds to begin impeachment proceedings. If they decide there are grounds, the chairman of the committee – now Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) will propose a resolution calling for a formal inquiry. If the formal inquiry is in agreement that there are grounds for impeachment, another resolution will be drafted and sent to the full House of Representatives. This resolution will state whether or not impeachment is warranted and if it is, will list the Articles of Impeachment. This is a formal statement of why impeachment is specifically warranted. The House then debates the Articles of Impeachment and votes.
If the House votes to impeach, the process then moves over to the Senate. The Senate then holds a trial. Members of the House serve as prosecutors and the President is represented by lawyers. The judge is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The senators serve as the jury. After the case has been presented, the “jury” meets in private to debate. They then vote in an open session. A conviction requires two-thirds of the vote. A conviction leads to the President’s removal from office.
What happens if Donald Trump is impeached?
If the House were to impeach and the Senate were to convict, the President Donald Trump would be removed from office and the Vice President Mike Pence would immediately be sworn in. If the Vice President becomes President, then Congress elects a Vice President and declares a vacancy in the Congress.
According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1792, the Senate President Pro Tempore, Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is next in line after the Vice President to succeed to the presidency, followed by the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI).