Heritage Legal Expert Reacts to House Impeachment Vote

Heritage Legal Expert Reacts to House Impeachment Vote

Dec 19, 2019 1 min read

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump. John Malcolm, vice president of The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, made the following statement.

“So President Donald Trump has now become the 20th person—and third president—impeached by the House of Representatives in our nation’s history. It is the culmination of an impeachment effort by House Democrats that began within days of Trump’s inauguration nearly three years ago. It all seems so anti-climactic.

The matter will now move over to the Senate for a trial, expected to begin in early January. The vote to impeach President Trump in the House was as inevitable as his acquittal will be in the Senate. It will require a vote of two-thirds of those senators who are present—67 if all 100 senators vote—to remove Trump from office. Assuming that all 45 Democrats and both independents vote to convict, they will still need at least 20 Republican senators to join them in order to remove Trump from office. This will not happen.

In terms of the House vote, not a single Republican voted in favor of either of two articles of impeachment, while two Democrats voted against the first article and three voted against the second. In 1998, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said, ‘There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.’ He was right. But where did that Jerry Nadler go?

President Trump will not be unseated by this partisan ploy. While this vote in the House will, no doubt, anger the president, the ultimate verdict will be rendered by the people when they vote in November 2020.”