How Many Senators Does It Take To Impeach A President? It's Very Specific
With the House of Representative's ever-intensifying impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, it seems like the president might be at risk. However, even if the House votes to impeach Trump, it's ultimately up to the Senate to give him his final "you're fired." So, how many senators does it take to impeach a president? It's one of the few things about impeachment that's set in stone.
Under the U.S. Constitution, at least 67 senators must vote in favor to remove an impeached president from office. Article I of the Constitution states that while the House has the "sole power of impeachment," the Senate has the power to "try all impeachment." The president, vice president, and civil officers are all subject to impeachment, but in a presidential impeachment, the Constitution is specific about the process: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial, and it takes a two-thirds majority to remove a president from office. Given the 100 members of the Senate, this works out to 67 votes (and no, the vice president cannot act as a tie-breaker in this one). The Senate vote marks one of the last steps in the impeachment process, and without the majority vote, the president cannot be removed from office.
On Sept. 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would be opening an official impeachment inquiry into President Trump. White House Press Secretary told Elite Daily in an emailed statement that the inquiry was Democrats' attempt to "weaponize politics" and Trump has referred to it as "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT" in a tweet. But it hasn't stopped House Democrats from holding detailed impeachment hearings to get more details on President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he asked to investigate political rival Joe Biden. A non-verbatim transcript of the call released by the White House confirmed the presidents discussed Biden.
Even though Democrats are pushing forward with the impeachment inquiry, Trump has good odds of remaining in office. Currently, the Republican party controls the Senate, making it less likely the Senate will vote to impeach him. What's more, many Republicans have openly expressed their disapproval over the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has supported Trump, introduced a resolution on Oct. 24 to condemn the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. CNN reported on Oct. 25 that Graham's resolution gained 50 co-sponsors from the Senate, one of them being Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Graham discussed the resolution during a press conference on Oct. 24, claiming the impeachment inquiry against Trump is uncalled for. "The purpose of the resolution is to let the House know that the process you're engaging in regarding the attempted impeachment of President Trump is out of bounds," Graham said. "[It] is a substantial deviation from what the House has done in the past regarding impeachment of other presidents."