President on Trial

January 31, 2020
INSIDE THE SENATE Members of Congress gather in the Senate for President Trump’s impeachment trial on January 22.
SENATE TELEVISION/AP

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began on January 21 in Washington, D.C. It’s being held in the U.S. Senate. All 100 senators are the jury. Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court is the judge.

On December 18, the House of Representatives impeached Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Now, seven members of the House will present evidence in the Senate trial. They will argue that it’s enough to remove the president from office.

A team of lawyers will defend the president. They will argue that the evidence does not call for his removal.

At the end, senators will vote. If at least 67 find Trump guilty, he will be removed from office. This is unlikely to happen. Trump is a Republican, and Republicans lead the Senate. Many have indicated they will support Trump.

This is the third impeachment trial in U.S. history. The first was for Andrew Johnson, in 1868. The second was for Bill Clinton, in 1999. Neither was removed from office.

It’s unclear how long Trump’s trial will last. Clinton’s trial lasted about five weeks.

Stop and Think! Why would a news story include historical information? This story, for example, includes information about past impeachments. Is this useful to readers? Explain.