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Senate trial

What you need to know about the Senate trial

The trail includes senators, house members who serve as prosecutors in the senate and lawyers who defend the president. The president himself can show up a stance on the charges too. The chief justice of the United States of America presides over the trail and has the power under longstanding senate rules to rule under all questions of evidence, that means he can, in theory, allow the house members to call the house witnesses they want and decide what evidence gets introduced, but the chief justice’s ruling can be overridden by the majority of the senate. There is high possibility of the fact that the senate is running on pre decided rules, these rules are the ones which pertain to witness and similar issues of evidence and questioning when the trial is going on.

Voting in the senate

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Both sides get to argue their case when their train begins and its closed before the senate votes on each article of impeachment. It takes 67 votes to convict an impeachment trial if all 100 senators vote but a simple majority of 51 could vote to end the trial. In the case of an acquittal, the president will remain in the office and the charges will be dropped. If the president is convicted on any of the articles of the impeachment, he or she is automatically removed and the vice president is sworn in. As of now, only three presidents have gone through impeachment trials in American history, Johnson in 1886, Clinton in 1999 and Trump in 2019, all of these presidents were acquitted by the Senate of the United States of America.


The process

If articles of impeachment are approved in the house then it moves to the Senate where there is a trial. The Senate is closely divided between the Republicans and the Democrats, as of now the Republicans have 53 seats in the senate, they pretty much make the rules the way they want to make them. In Clinton’s trial, both members of the Democratic and Republican parties got together and arrived at a set of rules that both sides could live with. There are existing rules about the process including how it is, to begin with, the house managers coming over and reading the articles of impeachment, followed by the introduction of evidence and witnesses. There are opening articles on both sides and cross-questioning arguments on both sides.



The Senate vote on the articles of impeachment is done on public, although it has never happened that the president has been impeached, if it ever happens, America would be completely afloat in uncharted waters. All cases of the impeachment process are prescribed in the constitution and are strictly adhered to. The Senate is the highest power here all decisions are made by it, generally the senate tries to work together so the result is favourable for both sides.


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