The Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach and remove the “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States” upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Any official convicted by the Senate is immediately removed from office.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would move ahead with an “official” impeachment effort after reports that President Trump withheld aid to Ukraine while he was pressing the country to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.
Mr. Trump said he approved the Wednesday release of a transcript of a July call with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pressed his Ukrainian counterpart for a probe of the Bidens. But Democrats are seeking the release of a full whistleblower complaint made to the inspector general of the intelligence community that includes the July phone call.
The White House is preparing to allow the whistleblower complaint to be turned over to Congress by the end of the week.
The Democratic-controlled House needs a simple majority to impeach the president. If Mr. Trump is impeached in the House, the matter would move to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it would face little chances of conviction by the necessary two-thirds super majority. No Republican Senator supports removing the president from office, and many have shrugged off the president’s actions concerning Ukraine.