KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – The news of the official impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump has had many people outside of Washington asking what exactly the next step in the process is.
Benjamin Woodson is keeping a close eye on developments from Washington. The UMKC political science professor told KCTV5 News that he believes history is in the making.
“The House will impeach Trump. It is going to happen almost certainly,” Woodson said. “And then there will be some sort of trial in the Senate.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not laid out exactly what the process will be for getting articles of impeachment in front of the House for a vote.
“The Constitution is very vague as far as impeachment goes,” Woodson said, noting that an actual crime doesn’t have to be committed for impeachment.
However, Woodson believes the House will likely wait until after the whistleblower testimony to vote. If the representatives pass articles of impeachment, that would essentially be like an indictment.
After that, the Senate becomes the jury, deciding whether the president remains in office. Only two presidents have been formally impeached – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – and no impeached president in history has been removed the from office.
“The question in the Clinton trial wasn’t whether he did it, it was whether he should be impeached for it,” Woodson said. “And so that’s the question in this as well.”
So what does the professor think will happen with President Trump? Woodson believes impeachment is possible, though it was not prior to the current Ukrainian controversy.
For now, Woodson said the country will just have to wait and see how Republicans react as more information comes out about the president’s conversations with Ukraine.
It’s unclear how long it will take for all of this to play out. If the House were to impeach the president, it would take two-thirds of the Senate voting yes to convict for Trump to be removed from office.
KCTV5 News reached out to local lawmakers involved in the Clinton impeachment process, including Senators Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran and Roy Blunt.
Senator Roberts said in part that the political “left doesn’t want Donald Trump to be president.”
“The left doesn’t want Donald Trump to be president. That is their sole focus. I want to work on free trade, better health care and child nutrition improvements. That’s what will help people in Kansas. The rest of this is political theater.”
Moran and Blunt, who were members of the House during the Clinton proceedings, did not offer a comment.