"Nobody Is Above the Law" — FAQs
- Why impeachment?
- How does the impeachment process work?
- Why are these events happening the day before the House votes on impeachment?
- When will the events take place?
- Isn't the night before the House votes too late?
- How can my local organization get involved?
- Why do you support impeachment when it will stall in the Senate?
- Isn't VP Mike Pence a greater threat?
- Why are some Republicans saying what Trump did wasn't that bad?
- Should Congress remove a sitting President so close to an election?
- I worry that people don't care about impeachment like they care about healthcare. Why are you focusing on this?
Impeachment is how we stop what we cannot tolerate. The authors of the Constitution included it as a way to stop presidents who attack our democracy in exactly the way the Trump administration is attacking our country now. Impeachment will stop Donald Trump’s abuses of power and prevent the next president from repeating them.
How does the impeachment process work?
Impeachment occurs in the House of Representatives, when the House passes articles of impeachment by a majority vote. Once the House impeaches Trump, it will then be up to the Senate to remove him from office by convicting him in a two-thirds vote. The House is currently in an impeachment inquiry, collecting information about Trump's wrongdoing, which will form the basis of impeachment articles, a list of his documented abuses. These articles will be recommended by House committee leadership to the speaker of the House for hearings and then a full floor vote. Once the House impeaches, the Senate will act as a jury and decide whether to convict.
Why the day before the House vote on impeachment articles?
The day that the House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump will be a historic moment that will shape the trajectory of our country for years to come. We need to make sure that the public support for impeachment that has driven Congress to act is part of that moment and is the closing argument that members of Congress hear before they cast their vote—whatever it may be.
House members will head to the vote the following day with the voices of their constituents urging them to act.
The House can—and will—impeach Donald Trump. That alone will be a monumental achievement and sign that our politics are not too broken to hold Trump accountable. But that's not the whole story. We need to impeach and remove.
Removal from office—which has never happened in U.S. history—would require support from the Senate. And senators will be watching public opinion and protest closely as the House prepares to impeach and hand them the opportunity to remove. If the Republican-run Senate fails to convict Trump, then they will be on record supporting the kinds of abuses made public during an impeachment inquiry. But while the Senate's convicting Trump seems unlikely, we must remember that it was almost unfathomable to imagine Senate Republicans backing impeachment for Richard Nixon ... until that seemed inevitable and forced his resignation.
On what date will events take place?
"Impeach and Remove" is a national set of pre-planned events, but we don't yet know the date they'll take place! Weird, huh?
We know we want to speak up for impeachment on the eve of the monumental House vote. But we don't know when that will be! So we're asking folks to begin planning the event they would have that night and to be flexible and responsive for the moment we learn when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi schedules that vote. We aim to give hosts and attendees as much advance notice as possible between when we "activate" the events by setting a date for them to take place and when they occur. At the very least, we'll give folks 24 hours' notice. That's Plan A. If for some reason Plan A isn't possible—we don't know that the House vote will take place until it's about to happen, there's a chance the House won't vote at all, or there's some other scenario—we'll do our best to announce a Plan B and to communicate with everyone clearly.
Isn't the night before the House votes too late to affect anything? Aren't you taking for granted that a vote will even happen?
Nope! At least that's our best guess. But the future is hard to predict :)
We agree that it's critical for members of Congress to hear from their constituents immediately about the need to impeach Donald Trump. Many of the partner organizations in this mobilization are doing everything they can to generate consistent pressure for Congress to move forward, considering the urgent threat Trump presents to our country. But right now, just based on the publicly available information about Trump's dangerous and unpatriotic actions, we expect that the House investigations will yield articles of impeachment, the formal list of impeachable allegations the House will then be asked to vote on. So while remaining vigilant to safeguard that process, we want to be prepared to mobilize public action on the eve of that historic vote—and to use that incredible energy to call on the Senate to build on presumed impeachment in the House by removing Trump from office.
I'm part of a local organization that already supports impeachment. How can I get involved?
Create a local event to get your group involved in the day of action!
Why do you support impeachment when it may stall in the Senate?
Impeachment occurs in the House of Representatives. Once the House votes on and passes articles of impeachment, Trump will have been impeached. That action in itself will be a rebuke to Trump and his effort to put himself above the law.
However, once the House impeaches Trump, it will be up to the Senate to remove him from office. The Senate would need a two-thirds majority to convict Trump, which would require bipartisan support from at least 20 Republicans. But there are several reasons to pursue impeachment nevertheless. First, the public reckoning Trump would face in House impeachment hearings would be a strong antiseptic to his toxic politics. We also believe that the political realities can shift. For example, Nixon resigned only when he thought his party would vote against him in an impeachment vote. Finally, there is a principle of accountability we need to maintain regardless of the political posturing of the Senate.
Trump is the epitome of the threat to our democracy envisioned by the Founding Fathers when they invented impeachment as a remedy for a law-breaking, power-abusing tyrant. It’s our moral and democratic responsibility to maintain the integrity of this constitutional tool.
Isn’t Mike Pence as great or a bigger threat?
We'll take this question on three levels:
First, the primary question isn't whether Pence is better or worse than Trump; it's whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses. He has, and he should therefore be impeached.
Second, there’s no doubt that Pence would be a terrible president, but Trump is one too—and there’s no evidence that Pence would be worse than Trump, who’s fully embraced Pence’s bigoted social conservative agenda.
Third, we believe that the impeachment of Trump would either implicate Pence or compromise his ability to effectively drive his agenda. Pence has already been implicated by Trump for his involvement in the conversations at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
Bottom line: We believe impeaching Trump—even if it were to lead to Pence’s elevation—is the best available option.
Some Republicans are saying that Trump didn't do anything wrong, or that if he did, that it wasn't that bad.
Trump extorted the head of another country, using hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, so that leader would get his government to interfere in an American elections for Trump's personal benefit. None of that is okay, especially from the highest office in the country.
We ignore Donald Trump’s heinous actions at our own peril.
Should Congress really remove a sitting president so close to an election?
This is a “forest for the trees” argument. First of all, impeachment is in the Constitution for cases in which the country and our fundamental democratic values are threatened by the president. It's there specifically as an “escape hatch” in the case of a president who has abused their office. With the Ukrainegate scandal, Trump has shown that he is intent on using his power as president to unlawfully stack the deck in his favor—and that he'll do it in the midst of an inquiry into his political crimes.
Donald Trump putting himself above the law to solicit interference in an American election to help himself is exactly the kind of thing impeachment was intended to address.
I worry that people don’t care about impeachment. You should be focusing your efforts on things that are actually impacting people’s lives, such as the economy and health care, and not wasting your time with a lost cause that’s remote from most people’s lives.
It's a false choice between pursuing impeachment and pursuing an agenda that improves people's lives.
Our movements have been actively campaigning for things such as universal health care and against things like the wall for years, and we will continue to do so. This doesn’t mean we’re not able to simultaneously campaign for impeachment. And it's hard to imagine how even more lawlessly Trump will behave if the House does not use the tool in their power—impeachment—to rebuke his authoritarian power grabs.
Large sections of the American public think Trump has sold us out to put his interests over those of our country. That matters. The question many people have is whether we can win. We believe that the House investigation and hearing process have the potential to convince even more Americans of just how corrupt and criminal this administration is.