The Senate Impeachment Trial: What Happens Next?

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

by Elissa Haney

So we've been waiting an excruciatingly long year to learn the fate of our philandering president. With two articles of impeachment in front of the Senate, what happens next? Even those who hold the key to Bill Clinton's fate aren't sure what to expect. Senators continue to debate procedural issues, rendering the possibility of a speedy trial highly unlikely. The fact of the matter is that anything could happen in this unprecedented predicament. Here is an outline of some of the possible outcomes.

"Standard" Procedure

Sometime after Congress reconvenes on January 6, the Senate will summon William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to preside over the impeachment trial. House Republicans, called "managers," will officially present their case for the two articles of impeachment to the Senate. Clinton and his defense team will then have up to a month to respond, after which time both sides may present witnesses. After both sides have made their cases and witnesses have testified, the Senate will deliberate and vote on the articles of impeachment. A two-thirds majority (67 votes) in favor of one or both of the articles is necessary for the conviction and removal from office of President Clinton.

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