Articles of Impeachment! Now what?

After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats on Tuesday brought two articles of impeachment against him. They charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

So, what are the next steps?


Debate and vote in the House of Representatives: The House Judiciary Committee will now debate the articles of impeachment and vote on whether to recommend they be taken up by the full House of Representatives. With Democrats in control of the committee and the House more broadly, impeachment is very likely to be approved in both. If so, Donald Trump will become just the third president in American history to be impeached.

Senate trial: As soon as January 2020, Trump would go on trial before the Senate, where a two-thirds supermajority of votes would be needed to convict him of the impeachable offenses and remove him from office. Republicans control the Senate by a 53-47 majority, meaning that 20 GOP senators would have to turn on the president in order to oust him – this is a pipe dream: Trump's approval rating among registered Republicans is north of 80 percent.

If he is impeached but not removed from office, he would remain in the White House, with no restrictions on continuing to seek re-election next November. Pundits and pollsters will endlessly debate whether impeachment hurts or helps him at the polls.

How long will it take? Trump could be formally impeached before Christmas, when Congress has a scheduled recess. After that point, the calendar would fall into the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who would decide when to run the Senate trial.

There's little precedent for how long a Senate trial would last: the only one in modern US history – the 1999 trial of Bill Clinton – lasted just over a month.

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As the coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world economy into turmoil, you've probably heard a lot about what might happen to "supply chains," the vast networks of manufacturing and shipping that help create and deliver all those plastic toys, iPhones, cars, pills, pants, yogurt, and N95 face-masks you've been waiting on.

The future of global supply chains is an especially important question for China, the world's manufacturing powerhouse. Some countries and companies now worry about relying too much on any single supplier for consumer and medical goods, let alone one where the government hid the first evidence of what became a global pandemic and sometimes enforces trade and investment rules in seemingly arbitrary ways. The US-China trade war — and the vulnerabilities it reveals for manufacturers — certainly don't help.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Got through the Fourth of July. Pretty rough one for 2020 here in the United States. Still in the thick of it as we see caseload exploding in the United States. But really, the virus is all about developing markets right now. Poor countries around the world very soon, with the exception of the US and the UK, all of the top 10 countries around the world in terms of coronavirus caseload will be poorer countries. Let's keep in mind, these are countries that test a lot less, which means the actual numbers, in the United States the experts are saying probable likelihood of total cases is about 10x what we've actually seen in the US, in emerging markets and most of them, it's more like between 20 and 100. In other words, this is really where the virus now is.

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Many countries around the world — mostly democracies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe — have condemned China's recent move to implement a draconian new security law for Hong Kong that in effect ends the autonomy granted to the territory when it reverted from British control to Chinese rule in 1997. However, last week 52 countries expressed support for China's decision at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Most of these countries either owe China a lot of money or are relatively authoritarian regimes themselves — but not all of them. Here's a look at the China-debt exposure and freedom rankings of the countries that took Beijing's side on the new Hong Kong law.

0: The trial in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi opened in a Turkish court on Friday, but 0 of the 20 Saudi agents accused of the gruesome murder were actually in the courtroom. Saudi Arabia says its own closed-door trial over the slaying was sufficient, and has so far refused to extradite the suspects to Turkey, where Khashoggi was killed.

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