What’s the hold-up?
At this point, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is withholding the articles until she knows the parameters of the trial and are guaranteed a fair trial.
“The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct.” Pelosi tweeted December 23, “President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process. What is his excuse now?”
However, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell wants to conduct the trial on different terms, which may allow witnesses to be called in if the Senate votes on it. Ultimately, it’s the Senate who decides how the trial is run so until they work out the details of the trial, the impeachment stays at a standstill.
The Senate trial is the final step in the impeachment process. The House trial decides if the president is impeached, but the Senate decides if the President is forced to leave the office or not. It’s completely possible for Trump to be impeached but continue to finish his term and run for election this year. However if Trump is forced to leave his term early he would not be able to run for re-election.
Will Trump actually be removed from office?
Probably not. The House vote was quite polarizing, they voted 230-197 for the charge of Abuse of Power, voting very closely along their party lines (232 Democrats and 198 Republicans).
It would not be shocking to see the Senate, which has a Republican majority, vote in a similarly partisan way. A two-thirds majority is required to remove the president, and If the Senate were to vote along party lines, then 54 would vote to keep Trump in office and 44 would vote for removal.