House votes to impeach President Trump

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Here are five key things to know about Wednesday's historic impeachment vote and where things go from here.

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a statement at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Pelosi announced that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday has become just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. 

The House reached the 216 vote threshold to impeach the President on Article I.

A majority of the House also voted to support Article II.

The next step will be a trial in the Senate.

Here are five key questions and answers about this historic impeachment vote and where things go from here. 

RELATED: VERIFY: House investigation vs Senate trial

What are the articles of impeachment?

Abuse of power: The abuse of power charge focuses on the central charge that Trump abused his office for personal benefit by trying to get Ukraine to announce investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden by withholding aid.   

Obstruction of Congress: The obstruction of Congress charge accuses Trump of directing members of the executive branch to not cooperate with Congress in their investigations into the first charge.

When is the impeachment vote?

The House of Representatives is scheduled to go back into sessions around 9 a.m. Eastern. The House will debate the two articles of impeachment for six hours and then vote on each one, under rules set forth Tuesday by the House Rules Committee. 

A simple majority in the House is all that’s needed to impeach a president, but then things move over to the Senate for an impeachment trial.  

What is President Trump planning to do while the House debates and votes on impeachment? 

Throughout the impeachment process President Donald Trump has maintained that he has done nothing wrong. The president said this week that he won’t be watching the House vote on impeachment. 

RELATED: What to watch as Trump impeachment moves to House floor

He’s actually scheduled for a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan on Wednesday night. It’s set to begin at 7 p.m. Eastern, which opens up the possibility that the president could be impeached during his reelection rally. 

Who are the other presidents that have been impeached?

Only two U.S. presidents, Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998), have been impeached and neither was removed from office. 

Articles of impeachment were drafted against Richard Nixon, but he resigned from office before an impeachment vote could occur. 

When is the Senate trial?

If the House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump, then the process moves to a formal Senate impeachment trial, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

An official date for the trial has not yet been set, but it’s expected to take place sometime in January after lawmakers return from the holidays.  

It would take two-thirds of the Senate to vote guilty and remove the president from office. It only takes 34 senators to acquit the president. 

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