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Legislative Updates

Speaker of the House announces impeachment inquiry of the President

Today, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. The announcement comes in response to a new allegation linking Trump’s actions in his role as President to his own political interests when during a July 25, 2019 phone call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to “look into” former Vice President Joe Biden -- who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge Trump next year -- and his son, Hunter Biden.

What the announcement by the Speaker means is that the House, via six separate committees (Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight, Ways and Means, and Financial Services), will investigate whether his actions qualify as an impeachable offense. According to the Constitution, the House can impeach a president if lawmakers believe they have committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Should that be the conclusion of the House, it will vote on whether to impeach the President or not, a vote that requires a simple majority. This would then send it to the Senate for a trial and possible prosecution. That trial would be overseen by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, and would require a two-thirds vote to prosecute the President otherwise he is acquitted. While three presidents have had formal impeachment inquiries launched against them (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton), none have been removed from office (Johnson and Clinton were acquitted and Nixon resigned).

At this time, the House Judiciary Committee will lead the investigation, but articles of impeachment have not yet been drawn up. NALC will continue to monitor the progression of this investigation and keep letter carriers up to date on any developments.

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