How to Watch the Impeachment of Donald Trump: Viewer’s Guide

The impeachment of President Donald Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives will play out over six hours of debate Wednesday, concluding with votes on two articles of impeachment.

The House starts its legislative session at 9 a.m. in Washington with the impeachment debate as its first order of business. Democrats say they have enough votes to adopt the articles of impeachment, and no Republicans have indicated that they’ll join them.

The first article of impeachment alleges that Trump abused his power by asking Ukraine to announce politically motivated investigations in exchange for nearly $400 million in security aid and an invitation to the White House for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The second article says he obstructed Congress by instructing his administration to not comply with House subpoenas and requests for documents and witness testimony.

Where to Watch

  • Bloomberg.com will stream Wednesday’s House session live, and it will be available here for terminal subscribers.
  • The House floor debate and votes will be broadcast by C-SPAN and shown in part on U.S. cable news networks.

Floor Process

  • The House on Wednesday will begin with a debate and vote on the rule to govern how the impeachment debate will be conducted. The rule vote, expected at midday, will probably fall along party lines, which means the Democratic majority sets the length and terms of debate.
  • The rule provides for six hours of general debate on the articles of impeachment, which will be followed by several roll call votes.
  • Republicans are expected to delay the proceedings by forcing votes on motions to adjourn.
  • With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presiding, at about 7:30 p.m. the House will move on to the historic vote on the first article of impeachment regarding abuse of power, followed by a vote on the second article on obstruction of Congress.
  • If either of the articles is adopted, Trump will become the third president in American history to be impeached.

Key Lawmakers

Jerrold Nadler, left, and Doug Collins

  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler will lead the Democrats in the floor debate, with his opening statement expected shortly after noon.
  • The top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, will lead the Republicans, with his statement expected at about 12:20 p.m.
  • House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff will make a speech at about 3:45 p.m. summarizing his committee’s investigation of the Ukraine allegations.
  • An impassioned defense of Trump is expected from top Oversight Committee Republican Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and Trump ally Mark Meadows.

Key Documents

Trump’s Plans

  • Trump will hold a campaign rally Wednesday evening in Battle Creek, Michigan, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Next Steps

  • Once the Senate receives articles of impeachment from the House, it must begin a trial. Senators would be the jury for the case presented by House managers and the White House defense, with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. A two-thirds majority is required to remove Trump from office, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Trump will be acquitted.
  • Senate Republicans and Democrats are negotiating over the process for the trial and whether witnesses will be called. Fifty-one senators have the power to set the procedures, and Republicans control the chamber 53-47.

The History

  • Only two presidents in U.S. history have been impeached by the House. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for firing his secretary of war over Congress’s objections and for other decisions related to the reconstruction of the American South after the Civil War. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice related to his sworn statements regarding his affair with a White House intern. Both presidents. were acquitted by the Senate.
  • Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment related to the burglary of Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building and the subsequent cover-up. His advisers had warned him that he was likely to be impeached and removed from office.
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