It's been weeks now since the House of Representatives began an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24, and there's been no shortage of developments. In response to the inquiry, the White House said Democrats "continue to weaponize politics" and it's "nothing new." With depositions scheduled for a number of key figures like Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, State Department Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in the coming days, you might be wondering: How many representatives does it take to impeach a president? Here's what to know about the number of votes required.
While it may feel like things are moving quickly, there are still a number of steps that need to happen before Trump is brought before Senate, who would then hold a trial to determine if the charges are serious enough to remove him from office. After the House Judiciary Committee assesses the evidence to see if the president has committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors," According to the Constitution, the House will then vote on whether to move the process to the Senate. There needs to be a majority vote, meaning that at least 218 members of the House of Representatives must vote in favor of continuing the proceedings. If a majority vote is reached in the House, then the president is officially impeached, although that does not yet mean that he will be ousted from office.
From there, at least two-thirds of the Senate, or 67 senators, must vote to remove the president from office. That is the final step in the process.
Breaking things down along party lines, that means that hypothetically, just 24 Republican Congressmen and women would have to vote to send the matter to the Senate, if all 194 Democrats in the left-controlled House voted the same. From there, if all 48 Democrats in the Senate voted for removing Trump from office, then only 19 of the 52 Republicans in the right-controlled Senate would have to cast their vote to officially end the Trump presidency. In total, all 242 Democrats and at least 43 Republicans would have to vote that the president should be removed from office for it to happen.
Although Congress is technically in recess right now, it's been a pretty wild couple of days on Capitol Hill. Not only did the White House announce that it was refusing to cooperate in the impeachment investigation, but on Friday, Oct. 11, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch agreed to cooperate with lawmakers and reportedly had a nearly 10-hour-long closed-door deposition testifying before Congress. According to the New York Times, Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is also currently under investigation. Elite Daily reached out to Giuliani for comment on the investigation, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Although the White House stated that it refuses to cooperate with the probe, the impeachment inquiry is only continuing to heat up with more depositions scheduled in the coming days. So far, the Democrats have responded to the Oval Office's stonewalling efforts by subpoenaing multiple individuals, including Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, according to CNN and the Associated Press.
However, it's important to note that no sitting president has ever been removed from office before. Both Bill Clinton and Andrew Jackson were impeached by the House, but the Senate was not able to achieve a two-thirds majority vote to remove either former president from the presidency. In addition, the Senate is currently a Republican-controlled entity. Considering how divided party lines are at the moment, constituents will just have to wait and see how things unfold in the coming months as the Democrats continue to pursue the impeachment inquiry.