SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump, what comes next is up to the Senate.
“It really changes the dynamic for the 2020 election,” said Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.
“I think both sides are going to use what has happened for ammunition for this next election. President Trump, without question, is going to talk about how this was an unjust proceeding from the beginning. It’s an issue Democrats have been trying to get him from the day he was elected office, maybe from before the time he was elected office. He will use this to try to gain traction. The Democrats are going to talk about this being a case where actual articles were presented because these crimes occurred. Whether people believe that is going to be based largely on where they fall politically,” explained Perry.
The two articles of impeachment voted on Wednesday night, will be turned over to the Senate. In order for the president to be convicted, all Senate Democrats, the two Independents and 20 Republicans will have to vote “yes” on both articles of impeachment.
“The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court will oversee a trial and quite literally, our members of the Senate are going to act as jurors. They are going to have to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on those articles of impeachment to convict the president,” said Perry. “I think it’s really unlikely that the Senate is going to vote to convict him.”
And, according to Perry, Utahns have good reason to pay close attention to what’s unraveling in Washington. “Utahns are paying attention because it matters what happens in Washington, D.C., and the reality is we want the rule of law to be put into effect. We want people to be held accountable when they should, but we also want the safeguards put into place when this becomes more about politics than about the law.”
A trial will be held in the Republican-controlled Senate early next year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he wants the process to move quickly.
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