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LIVE COVERAGE: House debates, votes on articles of impeachment against Trump

The U.S. Capitol building, center, and part of the Washington Monument, right, are seen at sunrise, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump is on the cusp of being impeached by the House, with a historic debate set Wednesday on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress ahead of votes that will leave a defining mark on his tenure at the White House. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The U.S. Capitol building, center, and part of the Washington Monument, right, are seen at sunrise, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump is on the cusp of being impeached by the House, with a historic debate set Wednesday on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress ahead of votes that will leave a defining mark on his tenure at the White House. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Watch live coverage Wednesday as the full House of Representatives debates and votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Watch live coverage here:

Here’s the schedule:

  • 9 a.m. -- House gavels in
  • 1 hour debate on the rule
  • 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: House votes on the RULE
  • 6 hours of debate, equally divided
  • 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: House votes on the ARTICLES

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence and President Trump both are rallying in Michigan on Wednesday.

How the impeachment process works

  • Congress is permitted to remove a president from office if lawmakers vote to say the official committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to the Constitution.
    • “High crimes and misdemeanors” does not necessarily refer to violations of ordinary criminal statutes.
    • Alexander Hamilton described impeachable crimes as “ those offenses which proceed from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. ”
    • President Gerald Ford: “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
  • The two most recent presidential impeachments began with the House voting whether to investigate impeachable offenses. A House committee would then conduct the investigation to see if impeachment is warranted.
    • There are currently six committees investigating Trump’s presidency. They will continue investigating impeachable offenses and send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.
    • These six committees are Judiciary, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Oversight and Foreign Affairs.
  • Articles of impeachment based on the investigation are written up by the Judiciary Committee to be voted on by the House of Representatives.
  • If less than a majority in the House vote to impeach, the official remains in office.
  • If a majority vote to impeach, the process moves to the Senate.
    • Democrats currently control the House, and would likely vote to impeach.
  • The Senate holds an impeachment trial overseen by the chief justice of the United States.
    • Chief Justice John Roberts currently presides over the Supreme Court of the United States.
    • A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors.
    • The official facing impeachment has defense lawyers.
    • The Senate serves as the jury.
  • A two-thirds majority in the Senate must find the official guilty in order for them to be removed from office.
    • Republicans currently control the Senate.
    • President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House, but was not convicted by the Senate and remained in office.

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